Virtual Product Engineering Network crosses Industry and University Chasm
DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Bitzer, Michael; Handschuh, Sebastian; Langlotz, Martin
Institution: Virtual Product Engineering – VPE Network Association, Germany
The engineering and design education across Europe can vary from countries and types of universities. With special focus on the situation in Germany this paper discusses an industrial view on the current situation in engineering and design education. Furthermore, the education in design engineering is mainly structured in engineering domains – e.g. mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science. Established and new approaches – such as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) or Systems Engineering – lead to new set of skills required from university educations. The field of study “Virtual Product Engineering” (VPE) combines knowledge and skills cross classic engineering disciplines: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science. Homebased in this interdisciplinary environment the “VPE Network” was established to leverage on the one hand interdisciplinary education at universities and on the other hand benefit from an active network within the industrial base. The VPE network is an association founded in 2012 by former PhD students of the Institute for Virtual Product Engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. The VPE Network is a community for knowledge and experience exchange of practitioners, students, researchers and friends. This paper will conclude with a first resume on the work of the VPE Network and the presented approach. Moreover, further activities and topics are identified to enlarge the impact on design and engineering education and enable to bridge the identified chasm between industrial need and university offer in the context of engineering education.