The “Learning Factory”: An immersive learning environment for comprehensive and lasting education in industrial engineering

Andreas Jaeger, Walter Mayrhofer, Peter Kuhlang, Kurt Matyas, Wilfried Sihn


This paper presents the ”Learning and Innovation Factory for Integrative Production Education“ as a case study for a modern didactic approach at the Vienna University of Technology (VUT). The developed teaching methodology is combining the advantages of an interdisciplinary, experiences-based and applied approach to knowledge transfer, aiming to enhance the key competences of future industrial engineers. The goal of this program is to teach the entire genesis of a product from product conception to serial production, which is also known as the Product Development Process [1] or more comprehensively the Product Emergence Process (PEP) [2]. Hence, the pilot course was titled “integrative Product Emergence Process“ (i-PEP).

This paper illustrates how the potential of problem-based and action oriented learning can be transferred to higher education in industrial engineering by means of an immersive learning environment that was dubbed “Learning Factory”. In this context, the case study deals with competence development for industrial engineers and presents the current approach of the VUT-Learning Factory and of its intended future direction.


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