Product development, design
The courses in product development and design are aimed at the development and design of industrial products. The focus is on the entire product life cycle. In addition to quality assurance and recycling measures, economic aspects are also taken into account.
The study field at a glance
Students in product development/design deal with systematic steps that are necessary for the concept development and design of new products. The path from the product idea to the concept and on to the realization is usually in collaboration with other departments.
Mathematical optimization methods, company-specific software solutions and standardized merchandise management systems (ERP systems) are used. There are points of contact and numerous overlaps mainly with process engineering, information technology and industrial engineering / technology management.
Bachelor's and Master's programs in this field are offered by universities of applied sciences, dual colleges and universities. The course of studies is often offered within the framework of mechanical engineering or engineering. Possible undergraduate courses are mechanical engineering (product development and simulation), mechanical engineering (product development and technical planning), product development and technical design or technology development. Master's programs range from development and production to product and system development.
Contents of the course
The course teaches mathematical and scientific basics as well as theoretical and methodical specialist knowledge. The lectures, seminars and practical exercises are assigned to different modules, such as mathematics and computer science, physics, technical mechanics, electrical engineering, thermodynamics, design systematics, CAD, materials science, production engineering and business studies, ergonomics.
There are opportunities for in-depth study e.g. in factory planning, production planning and control, production equipment and logistics, design of machine tools, metal processing and CNC technology, process, project and personnel management, forming technology, industrial logistics, material flow technology, industrial robots, applied computer science, quality management, environmental protection. Depending on the focus (e.g. in production engineering or production management) there are further technical or management oriented subjects; supplementary project management.
Admission criteria & study application
Depending on previous training, it may often be necessary to prove that you have completed a pre-study internship of several weeks, e.g. in production plants or engineering offices. If necessary, there may also be internal university selection procedures. During the course of study, practical phases of varying duration are planned.
Possible careers after graduation
Graduates of this field of study have access to fields of activity in various industries in which products are industrially manufactured. Employment opportunities are offered in mechanical and plant engineering, automotive engineering, power generation, the electrical industry, precision engineering, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the textile industry, the paper industry, the iron and steel industry, the food industry and the luxury food industry.
In addition, they are employed in engineering offices, business and professional associations and in the public sector, e.g. in the trade inspectorate or occupational safety offices. Independent work, e.g. in sales or consulting, is also possible.