Electrical / Information Engineering
Studying Electrical and Information Engineering in Germany
An article by Madlen Ottenschläger. Cooperation from: Gabriele Meister.
That is what it's about
Many technical developments are based on advances in electrical engineering. These include, for example, self-driving cars, the "Internet of Things", smart phone sensors that measure the alcohol content in the breath, or surgical robots that can make the smallest incisions with the utmost precision. Electrical engineering and information technology is also the basis for much of what has made work life or home-schooling easier in the Corona pandemic, such as video conferencing and streaming. "This applies not only to data and power transmission, but also to data acquisition, data processing and data storage," says Thilo Pionteck, professor at the University of Magdeburg and vice chairman of the Faculty Council for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. Current topics in the subject are medical technology, resource efficiency, renewable energies and e-mobility. Mobile applications such as smart watches or networks that control themselves are also playing an increasingly important role.
This is how the course runs
In the first semesters, lectures on electromagnetic fields and waves are part of the curriculum in addition to mathematics and physics. Students learn how to design analogue and digital circuits, process data and transmit information. This requires a lot of computer science and programming.
From the third or fourth semester at the latest, students work on practical tasks in laboratories. They then consider, for example, how the energy consumption of a factory can be reduced by intervening in the control system. In the process, they practice using testing and measuring equipment.
Questions about how to generate, store and use electricity, renewable energies and e-mobility are also becoming increasingly important in degree courses. In information technology, signal and message transmission, for example via phone networks is in the foreground.
Students select areas of specialisation in the later semesters of the Bachelor's. Common fields include automation technology, information technology, energy technology, medical technology and microelectronics. Within these fields, one can specialise further, for example in nano electronics, which deals with circuits on the scale of molecules.
The practical semester, which is part of the degree courses at almost all universities of applied sciences, is spent for example in IT departments of large companies or directly at IT companies. Some compulsory internships are required at the universities; many of these often deal with real company issues. For example: The network technology of a telecommunications company weakens when many customers access it at the same time during peak hours. What can be improved?
Typical questions raised within the subject
- How are computer chips designed?
- How can the energy efficiency of processors for smart phones be increased?
- How can excess solar power be stored?
- How can the storage capacity of batteries in electric cars be increased?
- How can more data be transferred in less time?
- Why do AI applications require special hardware devices?
The subject suits you,...
... you are fascinated by how devices work, for example, how cars can drive themselves. You should think abstractly and creatively and have communication skills. "These are the most important requirements. You don't necessarily have to have a grade level 1 in mathematics," says Kira Kastell, professor at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and chair of the Departmental Council for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. She advises undecided students to listen to a few lectures during the school holidays - you can find recordings on the Internet.
Is there a numerus clausus?
About one fifth of the courses have admission restrictions. Most courses have no admission restrictions.