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Praxis Oriented Engineering Education In Vehicle Technology Studies Challenges And Solutions

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Faculty Set the Preliminary Standards for Co-ops

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.967.1 - 15.967.12



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Paper Authors

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Emilia Bratschitsch Joanneum University of Applied Sciences

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Annette Casey Joanneum University of Applied Sciences

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Praxis-Oriented Engineering Education in Vehicle Technology Studies - Challenges and Solutions


Universities of applied sciences have to fulfil two main requirements: They should provide praxis-oriented education and engage in applied research and development .

The approach used to meet these requirements at our department of Vehicle Technology can be described by a three-pillar model.

Figure 1: Three-pillar model

Praxis-oriented learning includes project and problem based learning, as well as a focus on the application of theories and methods learned in core engineering subjects (i.e. mathematics, mechanics, electrics). The main challenges are the coordination of the lectures with regard to content and timing, and lecturers’ motivation. Furthermore, project and problem based learning demands much more time in terms of supervision than standard lectures. Involving students in industrial projects is not without risks and we have to ensure that such projects are completed to the satisfaction of our partners in industry.

All departmental staff who teaches engineering subjects is required to have at least 3 years of industrial experience. 82% of all lecturers are external and work directly in the automotive, in the railway industries or in research institutes. The benefit for the students is that particularly these external lecturers give regular input on topics and practices which are state-of-the-art. This contact between undergraduate engineering students and professionals from industry is very important but it also creates additional work such as the coordination of timetables, didactical methods and course materials. Moreover, we have to harmonize assessment criteria and standards with the objective of identifying the correlations and incongruities between academic and industrial requirements.

Access to professional equipment, combined with good infrastructure and facilities, provides an excellent basis for quality in engineering education. The usage of modern instruments and test beds, for example, greatly motivates students as well as lecturers and facilitates a smooth transition from university to industry for the graduates. All investments and services should be financed by the department itself and, therefore, we are asked to share resources at all

Bratschitsch, E., & Casey, A. (2010, June), Praxis Oriented Engineering Education In Vehicle Technology Studies Challenges And Solutions Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16578

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