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Total immersion: Hands and heads-on training in a learning factory for comprehensive industrial engineering education

: Jaeger, A.; Mayrhofer, W.; Kuhlang, P.; Matyas, K.; Sihn, W.

International Journal of Engineering Education 29 (2013), No.1, pp.23-32
ISSN: 0949-149X
ISSN: 0742-0269
Journal Article
Fraunhofer Austria ()

The 'Learning and Innovation Factory for Integrative Production Education (LF)' at the Vienna University of Technology (VUT) is the basis of the case study presented in this paper. One of the key objectives of the Learning Factory was to develop an immersive learning environment resulting in an integrated hands-on and 'heads-on' educational laboratory. One key-challenge was the utilization of the potential of problem-based and action-oriented learning and its transfer to higher education in industrial engineering. The teaching methodology harnesses the advantages of an interdisciplinary, experience-based and applied approach to learning and knowledge transfer, in order to build and hone the key competences of future industrial engineers. This is done in the context of a comprehensive approach to the Product Development Process, spanning the entire genesis of a product from product conception to serial production. Therefore, the pilot course was dubbed the 'integrative P roduct Emergence Process' (i-PEP). The presented case study shows the first results with respect to competence development for industrial engineers and presents the current approach of the VUT-LF and intended future developments.