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Praxis-Projekt im Maschinenbau: Raus aus dem Hörsaal! (Presseinfo 12. Februar 2018)

Practical project in mechanical engineering: Get out of the lecture hall! (press release February 12, 2018)

In the winter term 2017/18, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Leibniz Universität Hannover converted the curriculum for the bachelor's degree course in "Mechanical Engineering" and "Production and Logistics" and established an obligatory practical project in the first semester. The aim is to communicate from the very beginning what engineers expect later in their profession: to solve technical problems in a structured way in a team.

The idea from the dean's office of mechanical engineering to start a practical project for first-year students had taken shape at the Institute of Assembly Technology (match) at the Hannover Centre for Production Engineering. This is also where the coordination of this "bachelor's project" lies. 13 mechanical engineering institutes have each offered a project for which the focus is not on technical competence, but rather on problem-solving skills - an offer for a total of around 450 first-semester students.

The thematic priorities varied depending on the institute. Among other things, longboards became e-longboards, a temperature control system including circuit board design and programming took shape, Lego developed into autonomous robots that could transport objects along a course, and in a model racing car the students identified a missing component, designed and manufactured a spare part. In the last two weeks of the winter semester, there was a big "final" in some projects - the various Lego robots competed against each other on a course; the racing cars, supplemented by a new spare part and controlled by their teams, drove their laps in the parking lot for the fastest time.

Martin Stucki, research assistant at match, coordinated the bachelor project from the beginning. Only a few days after the end of the semester the evaluation is available. He is satisfied with the result: "Three quarters of those surveyed agreed with the statement "The Bachelor's project increased my interest in the study contents of my subject"  - and almost 90 percent stated that the project had a good learning and working atmosphere. Many free answers and comments from the participants on what they would have benefited most from also make him optimistic. To quote only two: "Group work. Solving problems. Tinkering is fun. Constructing too." Or "Very nice working atmosphere, very exciting topic, a lot of self-organization". Stucki is optimistic that the project will fulfil its task: "The experience gained from the bachelor's project should also be a decision-making aid as to whether or not one feels called upon to work as an engineer at all. Those who can identify with it are then motivated to overcome the initial dry spell with the predominantly theoretical foundations."

Click here for a detailed report with photo impressions.

Note to the editor:
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information:
Dipl. -Ing. Martin Stucki (formerly Brüggmann) from the Institut für Montagetechnik (Institute for Assembly Technology) at brueggmann@match.uni-hannover.de or telephone +49 511 762 18277 and Lisa Lotte Schneider, M. Sc., study course coordination of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, at schneider@maschinenbau.uni-hannover.de or telephone +49 511 762 17519