Hochschule Düsseldorf
University of Applied Sciences
Zentrum für Innovative Energiesysteme
Centre of Innovative Energy Systems

Engineering conferences
& scientific communication

  • How can engineering students be encouraged to improve their professional communication skills?
  • How can engineering research become a more visible and integral part of the curriculum?
  • How can undergraduate research become more visible outside the lab and outside the classroom?

As an answer to these questions, we have designed a Master course called “Engineering Conferences”, which simulates the publication process of a “real” engineering conference. The students take their Bachelor thesis as a starting point and extract a paper and a poster presentation from their existing research experience. In addition to some faculty institutes, which can provide a professional research environment in terms of a research community on their own, we try to establish a platform for scientific communication for all Master students (approx. 60/year)

The course concept and outline is best described by the working instruction for the full semester:

  1. take your bachelor thesis as a starting point
  2. re-visit your thesis as research and relate it to research in the relevant scientific community
  3. condense, compress and compile the main arguments of the thesis , consider related work, and produce a paper
  4. walk through a simulated publication process from abstract over paper submission and peer review to poster presentation in the form of a mock-up conference
  5. go public: present your work at the poster presentation day held in public on campus

Distinctive features of the course compared to other approaches to teach scientific communication:

  1. It has a storyline (conference preparation) with a public finish (presentation day).
  2. It engages the students as researchers, turning the publication of their thesis into a project.
  3. It is mandatory for all master students of the faculty.
  4. It is delivered by teachers/researchers from within the faculty, i.e. from “engineering native speakers”.
  5. It can easily be copied and integrated into any STEM curriculum (please refer to the original course).

If you are interested or have any questions,
please contact us on engconf@hs-duesseldorf.de​.


Additional Ressources



T. Zielke, M. Neef, C. Fussenecker: Teaching Engineering Conferences. Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference (CEEA17). Toronto/Canada, June 2017 
(click here for full text on ResearchGate)

M. Neef, T. Zielke, C. Fussenecker: Engineering Conferences - An Innovative Course for Master Students in Engineering. Exploring Teaching for Active Learning in Engineering Education (ETALEE 2017). Odense/DK, May 2017
(click here for full text on ReserachGate)

M. Neef, C. Fussenecker, J. Niemann, T. Zielke: Publish Your Undergraduate Research! A Mandatory Course for Master Students in Engineering. 46th SEFI Annual Conference, Copenhagen/DK, September 2018
(click her for full text on ResearchGate)


​Module Name

​Engineering Conferences

​Master Courses​Mechanical Engineering
(3 semester)
Simulation and Experimental Technology
(3 semester)
International Business Engineering
(3 semester)
​Module Type​mandatory
​Credits​6 ECTS
​Language​EMI (English as a means of instruction)
​Exam Elements​paper, two paper reviews,
poster presentation
​Semester​first, second or third
Number of participants30 per semester