Engineers working in the fields of public engineering and facility engineering plan, project, build and operate public utility and waste disposal plants and systems in the following areas. They equip residential buildings, factories and workshops, industrial buildings, hospitals, swimming pools, shopping centres, administrative buildings, schools, and so on, or even whole human settlements, estates and communities, towns and cities with incineration plants, heating systems, air-conditioning and sanitary systems, as well as electrical installations; they provide protection systems and measures against harmful gases, vapours and dusts; they treat water and ensure that sewage and effluents are efficiently treated and safely disposed of; further areas of responsibility include noise abatement, power and energy usage and consumption, distance heating networks, heat recovery plants and reverse cycle thermal pumps, solar power heating systems; industrial plants equipped with public utilities and disposal technology. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and environmental engineering are key areas for this subject.
Interdisciplinary degree programmes in facility management take a holistic approach to the field, under consideration of technical, commercial and infrastructural aspects.
Studies are primarily provided by universities of applied sciences. Technical universities and universities of technology may provide specialisations in public utilities engineering during the advanced stage of a mechanical engineering programme. Particular significance attaches to the field of thermal engineering and fuel technology.
Employment opportunities for public utilities and facilities engineers are to be found in
project planning and site management in companies involved in sanitary, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation engineering and in swimming pool and hospital operations engineering,
the operation monitoring and supervision of industrial companies and major building complexes (e.g. hospitals) equipped with their own in-house power supply,
the development, testing and sales departments of manufacturers of utility-technical plants, installations, systems and products,
public authority planning and supervision areas (e.g. local authorities, building authorities) and with public utility operators of gas, water, electricity and distance heating systems,
engineering offices or expert assessor offices, either in an employed or a freelance capacity.
Depending on the school/vocational qualifications, students are generally required to complete a pre-study internship of several weeks. Practical phases of varying length are completed during the studies.
Basic modules on the mathematical-scientific (mathematics, chemistry, physics) and engineering principles (engineering mechanics, electrical engineering, materials engineering and structural engineering, measurement engineering/metrology, instrumentation and control engineering, thermodynamics, energy and environmental engineering).
Depending on degree programme, specialisation in areas like facility engineering and technology, heating and air-conditioning, gas, water and sanitary engineering, electrical fitting, energy efficient consumption, climate appropriate building, fire safety measures, integrated planning. Public and industrial utility engineering, energy and refrigeration engineering, gas, water and electricity utilities, distance heating, fuel and gas engineering, power management; environmental engineering, mains and pipeline engineering, immission control, sewage and effluent treatment engineering, waste management. Facility management, construction management, project planning, property and estate management, contract and contracting (contract award) law. Cross-disciplinary modules on business management, technical English, legal principles, applied information systems, rhetoric, etc.
Studies may be divided into a basic and a main study stage.