As a classical field of engineering, mechanical engineering is one of the most important domestic and export industries in Germany. As the name implies, mechanical engineering focuses on the construction and production of machines of all shapes and sizes. The areas where machines are used and the different specifications are constantly growing, so that nowadays the spectrum ranges from measurement and control engineering via microsystem technology to optical technologies. The rapid development in technologies presents ever-new challenges to mechanical engineers. With a solid foundation in physics – from materials science and mechanics to thermodynamics – they find solutions to the increasing number of new problems.
What qualities are required?
As with most engineering degree programmes, mathematics is central to mechanical engineering. You should thus have a good grasp of mathematics and be able to face new challenges with the aid of mathematical models. Your primary interest should naturally be in technical matters. You should be able to think analytically and creatively and to apply your knowledge of physics and chemistry in a practical way. Ability to work in a team is required in mechanical engineering as in most other engineering degree programmes. In addition, you should be able to work in a disciplined and focused way, as the effort required to study mechanical engineering is high.
- Foto: RWTH Aachen/ Peter Winandy
What does the degree course look like?
Mechanical engineering comes with a huge range of different specialisations, which is why the degree courses at the individual universities can vary widely. If you are aiming for a specific area of employment, you should select a university which offers your chosen specialisation. Despite the wide range of specialisations, the first three or four semesters of the bachelor’s programme at the universities are similar. Here the focus is on the mathematical and scientific basis of mechanical engineering, and always includes:
- Electrical Engineering
In the second phase (5th and 6th semesters), the emphasis is on mechanical engineering proper, and by selecting the appropriate advanced courses, students can start to specialise. Compulsory subjects in this phase may include:
- Foto: TU Darmstadt/ Katrin Binner
- Materials Science and Production Technology
- Business Studies
- Information Technology
Typical specialisations, depending on the individual universities, could be:
- Lightweight Construction
- Production Technology
- Textile Engineering
- Marine Technology
- Paper Technology
- Aerospace Technology
- Environmental Engineering
- Industrial Science
In addition, students work on projects and take part in excursions. There is generally a compulsory several-week internship. An additional pre-study internship is an entrance requirement for some universities.
During the sixth semester, students work on their bachelor’s dissertation.
In a subsequent master’s programme you can take advanced courses and specialise in one of the many areas of mechanical engineering. Here the individual universities play a crucial role in the choice of specialisation. The master’s programme, which usually takes three or four semesters, is completed with a master’s thesis.
Fields of Employment
Mechanical engineers are employed wherever technical plants are planned, constructed, operated and maintained. Accordingly, there is a wide variety of career options. Depending on the nature of the business, mechanical engineers work on ideas, design, calculation, construction, optimisation, research and development, production, and sales of machines of all sorts, as well as in management. They can be found primarily in machine and plant construction, electric motor construction and the automobile industry. Energy supply companies as well as the manufacturers of devices for measurement and control engineering or medical technology are also potential employers. Mechanical engineers can thus be found in almost all industries, in business, science and the public sector.
To see if mechanical engineering is the right choice for you, why not take the Studienfeld-SelfAssessment Maschinenbau test of RWTH Aachen? Studienfeld-SelfAssessment Maschinenbau
The Carl Benz School, Mechanical Engineering College of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, offers a bachelor's degree programme in Mechanical Engineering (B.Sc.) which is fully taught in English (please note the tuition fee). Students and alumni come from over 45 countries.
Usually, undergraduate courses at TU9 Universities are taught in German.
For further information on studying mechanical engineering at TU9 Universities, visit:
- RWTH Aachen
- TU Berlin
- TU Braunschweig
- TU Darmstadt
- TU Dresden
- Leibniz Universität Hannover
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- TU München
- University of Stuttgart
An Egyptian mechanical engineering student at TU München provides an insight into her studies: