Automotive engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering and covers the building and operation of vehicles with the exception of aerospace and marine engineering, so above all car manufacturing and rail vehicles. Key areas of general mechanical engineering are complemented by electrical engineering, electronics, IT/information systems and other fields in accordance with the special demands that the many types of passenger and commercial vehicles have to meet.
Positioned between automotive engineering and traffic route engineering, the field of modern traffic and transport engineering deals with cross-disciplinary questions relating to the organisation of traffic flows and the design and dimensioning of traffic systems for passenger and goods transport. It studies the complex interplay between the various transport and traffic systems (motor vehicles, aircraft, rail vehicles and ships) and develops potential traffic planning solutions. In view of the ever-growing volume of traffic, the field of applied traffic engineering is a key to ensuring our continuing mobility.
Vehicle engineers are above all concerned with fields in vehicle engineering (body and chassis), motor/aggregate technology, and transmission and gearbox systems. The development and deployment of electronic control and information systems (computer-aided driving) is gaining increasing significance. Employment opportunities are to be found in the motor vehicle industry, including commercial and special purpose vehicles, with manufacturers of motor vehicle parts, accessories, bodies and trailers, in motor vehicle supply branches and in rail vehicle manufacturing. Over and above this, careers in freight and logistics companies, with public transport operators, in engineering offices, or TÜV technical supervision units, and in the civil service are possible, as are freelance careers, for example, as a motor vehicle inspector.
Lectures and practical courses in mathematics, engineering mechanics, physics, thermodynamics, electrical engineering/electronics, chemistry/materials science, projective geometry, technical design, components, measurement, testing and control technology, computing, fluidics, hydraulics and pneumatics, cultural and social studies.
Combustion engines, motion analysis, machine dynamics, structural calculation, stability theory, electronics, auxiliary machines and heat exchangers, plus further courses as per the chosen specialisations e.g. manufacture and operation, computer-aided-engineering (including computer-aided technical design, chassis engineering (simulation), light-weight engineering, numerical mathematics), sensor technology, measurement engineering/metrology, vehicle information systems, vehicle energy management systems, road vehicles, special purpose and utility vehicles, rail vehicles, bodywork/chassis engineering, motor vehicle inspection engineering, vehicle damage and assessment, maintenance and servicing, customer services.
Delivery of the mathematical, technical-methodological and physical principles. Introduction to traffic and transport, information technology for engineers, materials engineering, design theory, mechanics. Optional modules like electrical engineering, metrology, theory of traffic planning, economics and business administration.
Specialised training based on the subjects from the basic study stage. Depending on the range of subjects and choice of core study areas, programmes prepare students for positions in various career fields. Typical core areas include traffic and transport planning and operations, traffic management planning, passenger and goods transport, logistics and systems, traffic telematics, ship and marine engineering, aerospace engineering. Complementary exercises, excursions and project work.