It started in 1999 with a single degree program. 20 years of academic training and research activities later, the balance sheet in the Department Engineering looks like this: approximately 1,000 students in 12 degree programs, approximately 1,700 graduates and R&D projects with a cumulative volume of 11.2 million euros. So many successes that had to be recognized at the 20th anniversary celebration on November 27th, 2019 in the FH Campus Wien Festival Hall.
The guests of honor, first and foremost Peter Hanke, Executive City Councillor of Finance, Business, Labour, International Affairs and Vienna Public Utilities, who also gave the keynote address, and Marcus Franz, District Chairman of Favoriten, congratulated the hosts Wilhelm Behensky, Chief Executive Officer, Rector Barbara Bittner and Department Head Andreas Posch as well as the many other colleagues involved.
"I am proud of how the Department Engineering has developed since 1999 and am grateful for your contribution to making Vienna the largest German-speaking university city. As the City Councilor for Economic Affairs, I appreciate your engagement and the impulses that your university of applied sciences provides. Ultimately, all of this benefits Vienna as a business location and as a whole. The knowledge and numerous talents of the Vienna universities are a very important part of our economic and innovation strategy."
Wilhelm Behensky, who is also founder of FH Campus Wien, outlined the path to success: "We have always focused on what business and society need and will need from us. We have evolved more and more from a mere recipient of funding to a think tank. I would like to thank everyone who has walked this path with me, which has led us to success together."
In addition to the classic engineering degree programs in electronics, computer science, software engineering and production technology, developments in degree programs that are unique in Austria in this form are attracting attention. "Together with the trade, industry and public sectors, we have developed degree programs such as Clinical Engineering, Green Mobility, Safety and Systems Engineering and Health Assisting Engineering, the last of which is an interdisciplinary program between Engineering, Applied Nursing Science and Health Sciences," explains Andreas Posch about the exemplary development of his department.
The qualification as a university of applied sciences in 2004 required corresponding structures, for which Heinz Schmidt, long-time companion and first Rector of FH Campus Wien, was largely responsible. Wilhelm Behensky and Barbara Bittner presented him with the Badge of Honor of FH Campus Wien for his special contribution to the establishment and further development of the departments and the university of applied sciences.
Which solutions will be decisive? Do we need a different way of thinking? If so, which one? And what is engineering missing? In the subsequent expert discussion, moderator and ORF science journalist Franz Zeller invited the participants to present their views on the future of engineering.
"The future will be dominated by radical solutions," confidently declared Ines Nechi, a graduate of the degree programs in Clinical Engineering and Health Assisting Engineering and CEO of the start-up helpsole, during the discussion. That is why a degree program such as Health Assisting Engineering offers so many advantages, because it is already designed as an interdisciplinary program combining Engineering and Health Sciences, and this was decisive for the development of her idea. Ines Nechi developed a smart shoe insert that uses the gait pattern of Parkinson’s patients to recognize when an impulse has to be released so that there is no undesired "freezing".
Harald Leitenmüller, CTO of Microsoft Austria: "In the future, it will be crucial to make concepts from one discipline usable in another domain. This transformation, generalization and abstraction is a very decisive competence and fits well with the ability to think outside the box."
Johanna Hummelbrunner, Director of Strategic Project Management at the Bosch Group Austria, introduced the need to promote women in technology into the discussion: "Society as a whole has to make a much greater effort to increase the number of women in technology and above all, to promote more enthusiasm for technology at an earlier age."
"Engineers have to think politically," demanded Hannes Swoboda, Chairman of the Management Board of FH Campus Wien. That means thinking about the social context and recognizing where technology can help to solve social problems or contribute to their improvement. "A university of applied sciences like this cannot rest, and from what I know of the Department Engineering, it doesn’t either. They will continue to find outstanding and accurate solutions in the future," said President Swoboda confidently.
For clear conditions - Autonomous driving must be reliable and safe.