Research from the word go

Research from the word go

Robot “Cookie Monster” took second place in the 2010 competition in the project seminar “Practical Development Methodology” (PEM). Image: Roman Grösser
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Robot “Cookie Monster” took second place in the 2010 competition in the project seminar “Practical Development Methodology” (PEM). Image: Roman Grösser

Can a first-semester student feel like an engineer? Definitely. Studying here means being involved in research from the very beginning.

Our new students construct wind power plants, energy-saving coffee makers or industrial grills in projects that set nationwide standards. The mandatory seminar “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering” has long since attained cult status among students. And it is highly motivating: the number of drop-outs has decreased significantly.

Not surprisingly, students who are trusted with analysing and solving practical problems early on will soon understand the breadth of Mechanical Engineering and the importance of the basic disciplines; they will also learn much about the social relevance of their later careers.

The model is thriving. In project seminars, our Electrical and Mechanical Engineering students construct an electro-mechanical curling machine or heavy cargo aircraft. This you can only do in a team.

The challenge is no less than that faced by professionals in industry. Under time pressure, students must come up with clever, high quality, cost- and resource-efficient solutions that really work. To take responsibility for a robust, forward-looking education can be fun.