New Degree Program: International Alignment and Focus on Sustainability Bachelor Sustainable Engineering of Products and Processes to start in winter semester
The first bilingual bachelor’s degree program at Technische Universität Braunschweig will be introduced in the winter semester of 2021/22. It brings international and German students together in a special way. Prospective students can still apply for the program, which has admission restrictions, until July 31.
The aim of the “Sustainable Engineering of Products and Processes, B.Sc.” program, which is offered by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, is to provide a holistic approach to the topics of mobility, product design and manufacture, process engineering and energy supply. Future graduates are to be prepared for the changes already taking place in the traditional fields of engineers, caused by global challenges such as climate change and the problem of limited resources. The degree program therefore places a special focus on considering the entire life cycle of products and systems, the economic balance and societal impacts, and how they interact.
“In view of the enormous challenge of climate change and the resulting upheavals that our economy and industry will experience in the coming decades, engineers with holistic thinking are needed to develop sustainable technical solutions to the most pressing problems,” says Professor Georg Garnweitner, head of the task force for the conception and introduction of the SEPP degree program.
This is taught in the new “Sustainable Engineering of Products and Processes, B.Sc.” degree program starting in the 1st semester, without sacrificing a solid education in engineering fundamentals. Starting in the 3rd semester, students can choose an individually designed specialization in one of three focus areas. Aspects of a holistic approach and sustainability are specifically rooted in each area.
“The new degree program is an important building block in the internationalization of engineering sciences at the TU Braunschweig. In order to establish strategic partnerships with internationally leading universities, it is an essential prerequisite that we also offer teaching in English in the future areas of our research. This enables a continuous exchange in teaching and research. This is especially true for our research focus on mobility. There, we have been internationally visible since 2019 with the Cluster of Excellence ‘Sustainable and Energy Efficient Aviation’,” explains Professor Rolf Radespiel, head of the Institute of Fluid Mechanics.
Prerequisite: language skills
The degree program pursues a language concept that is new at the TU Braunschweig, which is intended to appeal equally to both foreign and German prospective students and prepare them for their later professional life in a globalized society.
The aim is to enable graduates to analyze subject-specific and interdisciplinary problems in German and English, to develop sustainable solutions and to be able to represent these convincingly from a subject-specific and interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, the basic engineering courses of the first three semesters are offered in both languages. Some of the courses are held separately in German and in English, and in some cases video recordings of lectures in the second language are available. In-depth courses on sustainability are in English. International students must catch up on German by the end of the third semester. Courses in the higher semesters are usually offered in one of the two languages, so that all students take both German and English courses.
Different areas – one goal
Technological change is essential for a sustainable and livable future. The areas of individual and collective mobility, the development and manufacture of products, and efficient material conversion and energy supply require sustainable alternatives as well as methods and knowledge for their technical implementation. At the same time, international thinking and action of future engineers is necessary to realize effective and sustainable technical solutions in the globalized economy. The students of this degree program meet these requirements. They can choose between three specializations:
Sustainable energy and process engineering
… deals with processes of energy or material conversion that provide our everyday supply of heat and electricity as well as products such as sugar, toothpaste or medicines. While the engineering of these processes has been very successful in enabling mass production at low cost, sustainability requires holistic optimization. Aspects such as climate impact, waste and pollution, impact on society on a global scale or dwindling resources have to be considered. Novel approaches ranging from continuous integrated production processes to bio-inspired systems and miniaturization promise to combine economic and environmental benefits.
Technical products are complex systems that impact the environment through the use of energy and raw materials and the generation of emissions. Solutions to achieve sustainable development require a life-cycle approach. The goal is to optimize costs and returns, and minimize risks and environmental impacts throughout the product lifecycle. Digital twins – linking the physical world with digital models – provide a framework for assessing both energy and material efficiency in a production process.
… considers ground-based transportation and air travel as a complete system. With fossil fuel-based transportation systems accounting for 24% of global carbon dioxide emissions, a new balance of technical, economic, and environmental considerations is needed in the design of future transportation. Disruptive technologies such as “green” hydrogen, electrification of propulsion systems, and machine learning algorithms will help shape this paradigm shift in mobility. Beyond traffic simulation and aircraft/vehicle design, the interaction of using different transportation systems for a route must be included in a sustainable mobility concept.