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Driving to Success: An Automotive Engineering Degree in Germany

As the home of Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen, Germany is a car-enthusiastís dream.
BY Achala Upendran |   04-03-2014
As the home of Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen, Germany is a car-enthusiast’s dream. Backed by strong industrial connections, automotive engineering degrees offered by German universities provide an inroad to the car and vehicle industry.

Cars and the German Connection

In Germany in 1886, Karl Benz designed the first Benz Patent Motorwagon - widely regarded as the first motorcar. Since then, the country hasexcelled in thedesign and production of vehicles ranging from luxury cars such as  Porsches and Audis, to the ‘everyman’ Volkswagen. Germany’s car production accounts for a staggering 35 per cent of Europe’s total, and its government invests heavily in the Research and Development (R&D) of the automotive industry.

An Automotive Engineering Degree

Students working on car design; Photo courtesy: www.press.bmwgroup.com

A postgraduate automotive engineering degree qualifies students to be developers, designers and researchers in the car industry. German universities usually require students to have a Bachelors in Engineering (B.Eng. or a B.Tech) before they apply for the course. Prior work experience in the field is also strongly recommended. Students are required to submit proof of English competency if they are from a country where English is not considered a native language. This can be done via the TOEFL or IELTS.

The following courses are all in English..  All of them are three-semester courses.

Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences

Photo courtesy: www.theawesomer.com

Ostfalia’s Faculty of Automotive Engineering offers an M.Eng. in Automotive Service Technology and Processes. The program stresses  management aspects and business strategy in the car market as well as technological know-how. The third semester of the M.Eng sees students undertaking a project with local auto suppliers, and completing a thesis. The thesis topic is supplied by car companies  – for example, Volkswagen.

Technical University of Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt’s program culminates in an M.Eng. in Automotive Engineering. Along with an in-depth study of cars, the program offers an optional study of motorcycles.

Students study  the information systems that form an integral part of contemporary vehicles, such as the software that goes into the development of driver assistance systems  ie. GPS and automatic parking facilities.

Ingolstadt is currently building CARISSMA, a centre devoted exclusively to researching ways of increasing  road safety.. Researchers will develop and test systems seeking to minimize the risk of road accidents for drivers with slow reaction time – those suffering physical disabilities, and elderly drivers. The Center is expected to be functional by 2015.

Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences

This school is located in the heart of Germany’s automotive industry (20 km from Stuttgart), and  has strong connections with local companies which include Bosch, Audi and Porsche. The department’s teaching faculty has professors and company executives on board. Coursework is made up of company visits, case studies andhands-on project work.

Students can choose between three specializations: Software Based Automotive Systems, Vehicle Dynamics and Car Electronics.

Esslingen offers a separate M.Eng in Design and Development for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, which incorporates elements of materials science, design and production technology.

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