Automation and production technology

Students in this area primarily deal with control, regulation and automation technology in order to optimize production processes or to develop innovative systems and machines for an increasingly automated industry.

The study field at a glance

The tasks in automation and production technology include the development of new manufacturing processes and products, the planning of production facilities, production lines and complete manufacturing sites. In order to adapt the control and regulation of processes of all kinds to the digital age, graduates of this field of study design automation concepts and digital infrastructures (“Industry 4.0”) and develop the necessary hardware and software. Automation tasks and control technology problems require, among other things, the use of methods from electrical engineering, system theory and control technology, sensor and measurement technology, process computer and communication technology. User interfaces now play a crucial role at the human-machine interface in order to be able to operate machines and systems intuitively. In the future, broadband and cloud technologies will allow global control, monitoring, remote maintenance and optimization of entire factories and production facilities.

Offered courses

Courses in this area are offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In addition to “automation technology” or “production technology”, there are also courses such as “Smart Automation”, “Robotics and Autonomous Systems” or “Computational Engineering”. Master's degree programs focus, among other things, on economic efficiency (“value creation management”) or specific areas of application (“automotive production”).

Contents of the course

During the course, mathematical, scientific and technical content is taught in sub-areas of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and information technology. In addition to subjects such as control, measurement and digital technology, the curriculum also includes thermodynamics, construction, CAD, materials science, business administration, computer science, programming and often English.
Almost all courses in this area include integrated practical periods or semesters.

Admission criteria & course application

Some universities carry out internal university selection process.

Possible careers after graduation

Production and automation technology engineers work in all industries in which products are manufactured industrially. Employment opportunities are available, for example, in mechanical and plant engineering, motor vehicle construction, the electrical industry, precision mechanical industry, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, textile industry, paper industry, iron and steel industry, food and beverage industry and energy production. They are also employed in engineering offices, by business and professional associations and in the public service, e.g. in trade inspections or occupational safety offices. Self-employment, for example in sales or consulting, is also possible.