VDMA: Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences is "Best Machine House 2019"

goenzcom berlin | Konstantin Gastmann

Mainfranken has the best German "Maschinenhaus": The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences has won the fourth VDMA University Award. A total of 125,000 euros in prize money was distributed.

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences has been awarded the VDMA University Prize "Best Machine House 2019". With a record number of 38 applications received for the VDMA University Award 2019, Würzburg prevailed against 37 competitors. This year's competition called for concepts that were planned or in the process of being developed to deal innovatively with the requirements of industry 4.0 and to reorient and further develop course content, teaching and learning formats.

"With the digitalization of production, products and services, the demands on future engineers are changing dramatically," explained Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Managing Director of the VDMA, at the award ceremony in Berlin. It is therefore essential for universities to make their teaching fit for industry 4.0.

The winning concept focuses on the acquisition of competence and personal responsibility
The didactic concept "c-factory" of the winning university has fully hit the nerve of the 21-strong jury. The "c-factory" is a model factory that focuses on the acquisition of skills and the personal responsibility of learners. Students work in a realistic industrial environment, physically and digitally mapping the lifecycle of a technical product. Thus they get to know the dimensions of industry 4.0 in practical work and acquire the necessary competences. The jury was particularly positive about the teachers' willingness to open up to a completely new didactic approach and thus to question the previous teaching.

Interdisciplinary cooperation and networked thinking are in demand Three more universities made it to the
finals of the competition. The Bochum University of Applied Sciences with its Faculty of Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering scored well with the "BO Smart Factory" learning factory - in particular due to the interdisciplinary cooperation of the courses of study Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Sustainable Development and Industrial Engineering. With the project "Development and construction of a sustainable fresh cheese vending machine", the Kempten University of Applied Sciences succeeded in convincing the jury with three faculties - mechanical engineering, information technology and business administration. The main arguments for this were the practical relevance and the possibility of networked and agile work. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the TU Munich is also one of the finalists. With the "Project-based Demonstrator Facility", the Faculty would like to improve the systematic and comprehensive networking of learning outcomes with regard to Industry 4.0. Students can construct machine subsystems in subtasks themselves and thus experience the interaction of different disciplines using concrete examples.

Ceremonial award ceremony in Berlin

The four finalists were honored at a festive awards ceremony in front of around 100 guests from business, science, politics and society in Berlin. The prize money will be used to further expand, implement and disseminate the submitted teaching concepts so that they can be sustainably anchored in the university.

With 125,000 euros, the
VDMA University Prize is the highest endowed award for engineering science university teaching in Germany. It is aimed at faculties and departments of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and, for the first time, computer science. The winning university can look forward to over 65,000 euros - the remaining finalists will each receive 20,000 euros. A total of 38 universities took part in the competition. "Our award is an exclusive tribute to outstanding achievements in university teaching," Hartmut Rauen noted. "As Germany's largest industrial sector, it is part of our responsibility to be active in improving engineering education. For this reason, the association had already launched its "Machinery House - Platform for Innovative Teaching" initiative in 2013.

The university award is an important component of the VDMA initiative "Maschinenhaus", which supports the faculties and departments of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science in improving teaching and achieving greater academic success. It sees itself as a "platform for innovative teaching" that networks actors from universities, politics and companies.

More information about the winners can be found at http://bildung.vdma.org/hochschulpreis . Michael Patrick Zeiner, project manager of the Maschinenhaus Initiative, phone 069 6603 1160, michael.zeiner@vdma.org, will be happy to provide you with photos of the award ceremony and contacts to representatives of the award-winning universities.