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The Laboratory within Engineering Education

Brief description of the project

Project goal

The overarching goal of the project is the improvement of application and competence-oriented laboratory activities in engineering education. In this way, the project aims to contribute to the optimal education of future engineers.
The goal demands an interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, the project team is not only multidisciplinary (engineering and higher education didactics); it also applies methods and research in social/cultural science in higher education didactics as well as current trends.


The first step will analyze the current status of research as well as laboratory tasks. After that, an index of criteria will be constructed to classify and assess laboratory tasks with respect to their effectiveness for learning in occupational areas inside or outside university in the future. By means of further empirical analyses, a dynamic database will be developed to include examples of best-practice, a white paper for teaching laboratory, and continuing education programs for laboratory teachers.

Target group

Project results will be directed towards higher education teachers in technical subjects. They shall be provided with a summary of existing, established, and ideal laboratory experiments as well as recommendations for the development of modern laboratory training.


The educational laboratory for engineering is a traditional tool and powerful format within academic education for engineering. It has central relevance in application-oriented as well as in research-oriented fields of study. These include, among others:

  • the practical implementation of theories as specific technical engineering activity through
  • implementation and analysis of practical experiments and critical assessment of the utilized procedures.

Laboratory education is especially necessary in production engineering. It allows students of differing experience levels to gain and deepen their engineering knowledge, practical skills, and area-specific competencies through exemplary research.

Project data

Project period:
12/2011 to 05/2015

Project leadership:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. A. Erman Tekkaya

Scientific leadership:
Christian Pleul

Project leadership at zhb:
Prof. Dr. Uwe Wilkesmann (since 01.04.2012)
Prof. (a. D.) Dr. Dr. h.c. Johannes Wildt (until 31.03.2012)

Scientific leadership at zhb:
Claudius Terkowsky (lead of the Engineering Education Research Group at zhb)
Project staff at zhb:
Emanuel Bielski (student)
Project coordinator:
Dr. Martina Röbbecke (acatech - National Academy of Science and Engineering)