Product Development, Construction

The development and design of industrial products are the focus of this field of study. The focus is on their entire product life cycle. In addition to quality assurance and recycling measures, business aspects are also taken into account.

The field of study at a glance

Students in this field deal with systematic steps required for the development and design of new products. The path from the product idea through the concept to realization usually takes place in collaboration with other departments.

Mathematical optimization methods, company-specific software solutions and standardized enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are used. There are points of contact and numerous overlaps, especially with the manufacturing technology of computer science and with industrial engineering/technology management.

Course offered

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in this field are offered by universities of applied sciences and dual universities as well as universities. Often, the field of study is offered as part of mechanical engineering. Possible undergraduate courses include "Development and Design", "Design Technology", "Mechanical Engineering/Product Development" or "Technical Design". Master's programs are called "Lightweight Construction" or "Product and System Development".

Contents of the course

The course imparts mathematical and scientific basics as well as theoretical and methodological specialist knowledge. The lectures, seminars and practical exercises cover topics such as mathematics and computer science, physics, technical mechanics, electrical engineering, thermodynamics, construction systematics, CAD, materials science, manufacturing technology and business administration or ergonomics.

There are opportunities for in-depth study, for example, 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 technology or production management), there are other technical or management-oriented subjects.

Practical phases of varying durations are planned during the course of study.

Admission criteria & application for study

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.

Career opportunities after graduation

Graduates of the field of study have access to areas of responsibility in various industries in which products are manufactured industrially. Employment opportunities are available, for example, in mechanical and plant engineering, in motor vehicle construction, in energy production, in the electrical industry, precision engineering industry, automotive industry, textile industry, paper industry or metal processing industry.

In addition, they are employed in engineering offices, by business and professional associations and in the public service, for example in trade inspections or occupational safety offices. Self-employment, for example in sales or consulting, is also possible.