Today, February 14, 2014, the German Engineering Association (VDMA, Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.) will hand over the VDMA University Prize “Bestes Maschinenhaus 2013” (Best Machine House) to the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The winner of the prize in the amount of EUR 100,000 was chosen in No-vember already. The prize will now be handed over officially dur-ing the celebratory colloquium of the Department. It acknowledges the convincing education concept that enhances the success of studies and ensures quality in education.
“With the prize, we acknowledge that KIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering succeeds in ensuring a high teaching quality by various well-coordinated measures,” says Hartmut Rauen, Member of the VDMA Board. In his opinion, excellent education is the only means to produce the excellent staff needed by German industry.
“We are very happy about this award! Highly qualified engineers are the basis of our success in science and industry. The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers method- and research-based educa-tion, together with consistent quality assurance,” emphasizes the Dean, Professor Jürgen Fleischer. He thanked the Studies Dean, Professor Carsten Proppe, who coordinated the submission of the Department’s education concept to the VDMA.
The prize money will now be used for the extension of a multi-media model library. At this model library, students may have a look at more than 2000 exhibits, touch them, and test them in order to improve their understanding of technical systems. Using a QR code and a smartphone app, they can retrieve images, texts as well as audio and video files relating to the exhibits. The idea of this model library was developed by Professor Albert Albers, Head of the Institute of Product Engineering (IPEK).
Unveiling the sculpture: Hartmut Rauen, member of the VDMA executive board, and Prof. Jürgen Fleischer, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Photo: Irina Westermann)
“The University Prize of the VDMA will further motivate us to develop and implement ideas like these and to continue our efforts to enhance the quality of education and the success of studies,” Jürgen Fleischer says.
The prize, a sculpture, is inspired by a turbine blade and has the form of a Möbius strip. Due to the materials used, stainless steel and cop-per, it symbolizes the interaction of mechanical and electrical engi-neering. With its Machine House Initiative, the VDMA wants to im-prove the quality of education in both sectors. “The Machine House also stands for the home, the feeling of security of the students and, hence, for the responsibility of the universities and industry for the young people and their success in studies,” Rauen says.
Within the framework of the two-stage competition in 2013, the VDMA asked all universities in Germany to apply for the university prize. The universities submitted viable concepts for enhancing the success of bachelor programs in mechanical and electrical engineering. Six Ger-man Departments and Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Elec-trical Engineering qualified for the final. A jury of 14 representatives of universities, companies, and associations finally declared the education concept of KIT the winner of the competition.
The video about the 1st place of the KIT in the VDMA University Prize competition “Bestes Maschinenhaus 2013” can be found at http://www.mach.kit.edu/
About the Machine House – the VDMA Initiative for Success of Studies
The Machine House competition consists of two phases: Together with the partner, the German Center for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies – University Development, the theoretical basis was developed. Conditions of studies in the areas of mechanical and electrical engineering were analyzed. On this basis, the reference model for good education was generated and further developed by a survey of all universities. Case studies at selected pioneer universities served to test the model in practice. Phase 2 started in early 2013. With several VDMA-funded consultancy days at a University of Ap-plied Sciences and a university in every federal state, theory was transferred to university practice. A tool box with the most promising measures, indicators, and instruments is used for practical application. Two times per year, representatives of universities meet to exchange experience and to discuss important aspects of quality management and education.
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