Innovative degree programme with excellent career prospects

Climate protection, energy efficiency, resource conservation and increasing requirements for noise and heat insulation lead to ever new challenges for building and urban district planning. In order to combine the complex subject areas of thermal comfort, energy efficiency, sound and heat insulation, as well as building and room acoustics, special engineers are required whose training has been offered by the Building Physics course since 1978 - the only one of its kind in Germany. This over 40-year continuity has certainly played a significant role in making this field an irreplaceable part of the building industry.

Due to the continuing positive labour market situation in this sector, graduates of building physics find adequate employment immediately after completion of their studies.

Application deadline

July 15 (winter semester)

Study time

7 Semester

Study title

Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)

Content

Building physics is the discipline that deals with the physical interactions between people and buildings and between buildings and the environment. In the field of thermal building physics, in addition to the protection of the building fabric, energy efficiency and sustainability, the guarantee of comfort plays a central role.

In building physics, the classical teaching of physics is combined with engineering aspects of civil engineering. Hygrothermal building physics deals with topics such as climate, heat and fire protection, energy efficiency, light and daylight technology and urban planning physics.

The field of acoustic building physics includes sound insulation in buildings, room acoustics and psychoacoustics as well as aspects of technical acoustics in the workplace and in industry. Noise immission control deals with the protection against external noise and, within the framework of urban planning, the design of the acoustic environment in the area of traffic routes.

For first-year students, the programme organises a preparatory week before the start of the first semester. The aim of the introductory week is to make the transition from school to university easier for students and to ensure a successful start to their studies. In the course of this, the future students receive information about the course of studies as well as about the university and are familiarized with it. The first small projects serve to get to know each other and to promote learning groups (teamwork). In addition, students have the opportunity to take a mathematics bridge course before the start of the semester.

During the course of studies, the basics from the natural sciences, such as mathematics and physics, are taught and the use of physical measuring techniques is learned in laboratory exercises. Further focal points are - as the name building physics suggests - in the building industry. They cover the areas of thermal, sound and moisture protection, room and psychoacoustics, building damage analysis, solar energy use, fire protection, building materials science, building construction as well as light and daylight technology. In addition, there are basic lectures on key qualifications such as business administration, industrial psychology and law.

We are a small course of study that helps and understands each other well over semesters! This year, we are planning a joint project again, in which we will fly to Nepal for almost a month and set up a PV island plant on site. For me personally, an absolutely important experience in life.

Andrea, 2018 Study course building physics

In small semester groups (20-30 students) the subject matter is presented in a very personal way. There is plenty of time for questions or discussions. The manageable number of students also leads to a quick getting to know each other or students from other semesters. At the annual Building Physicists' Day, students, former graduates and colleagues who have been associated with the course of study for many years meet to exchange ideas.

Small but nice. One can only feel comfortable in this course of studies and the university. There are always contact persons and there is a super familiar and friendly relationship between professors and students, as well as between the different semesters.

Steffi, 2017 Study course building physics

The study of building physics consists of a basic study period and a main study period. It contains 34 modules covering a total of 56 subjects. The study structure with the main focus of training is shown below. The course of study comprises a standard period of study of 7 semesters and has a total of 210 CP (ECTS) credits.

Semester
1234567
Basic studiesMain studies I

maintained

practical

Study project

Main studies II
General building physics (sound, heat, humidity, energy)Theoretical building physics
Mathematics and physicsAdvanced modules
Interdisciplinary competenceProfile subjects (optional compulsory modules)
Laboratory work
Key QualificationsBA thesis

 

Basic studies

The basic study period comprises semesters 1 and 2 and ends with the preliminary Bachelor examination. In addition to technical basics and competences, key qualifications are also taught here, which are necessary for a speedy and successful study.

Semester
1-2
eine Figur lehnt sich an ein Fragezeichen

Main course

In the first two semesters of the main study period, the focus of the training is on the expansion of mathematical and physical knowledge and its transfer to practical applications in building physics.

Semester
3-4
eine Figur trägt Papierrollen unter dem Arm

Betreutes Praktisches Studienprojekt

In the 5th semester, a supervised practical study project (BPS) is integrated into the main course of studies. This is supervised by the university in cooperation with partners from practice.

Semester
5
zwei Figuren vor einem Laptop

Main course

In the 6th and 7th semester, students will deepen their knowledge in the areas of hygrothermy, energy and acoustics through compulsory and optional courses.

Semester
6-7
eine Figur mit Baustellenequipement

Bachelor thesis

With the bachelor thesis in the 7th semester (optional in the 8th semester), students independently write a practice-oriented thesis on a problem from the field of building physics.

Semester
7
eine Figur trägt einen grünen Haken

In the first semesters, all practice-relevant topics are covered, mainly in the area of sound and heat. This prepares you very well for the internship semester. Later, the lecture contents go beyond the application of standards and solutions to specific problems are deepened. I find the structure of the study programme successful, the semester groups are usually very small (15-20 students), there is usually a strong cohesion and a good relationship with the professors and staff. All in all a challenging course of study, but also fun!

Stefan, 2015 Study course building physics

Key aspects

50%

Acoustics/Sound insulation

50%

Hygrothermal building physics

The training in building physics enables a specialisation in the fields of acoustics, hygrothermics, energy or environmental technology. The following diagram illustrates the individual focus of the students based on the number of diploma or bachelor theses completed since the beginning of the programme. According to this, approximately half of the focus is on the areas of acoustics/sound insulation and hygrothermal building physics with energy technology. The distribution of the main focus of the theses also reflects the professional fields of activity of the graduates.

Laboratory work

Building physics is an applied science. The thorough knowledge of measurement procedures and methods is therefore of particular importance. In the 2nd semester, a practical course in physics is to be completed, in which the basic knowledge of scientific measurement, including the presentation of measurement results and error analysis, is taught.

In the 3rd and 4th semester, the two building physics laboratories Heat and Sound will be connected, in which the common building physics measurement methods will be taught (e.g. air and impact sound measurements in building acoustics, measurement of the total energy transmittance of glass in thermal building physics). In the 6th and 7th semester, these skills can be intensified by selecting specialisation subjects.

Laboratory equipment

The Building Physics course has its own laboratory building with various test facilities and experimental setups, some of whose concepts and acoustic designs were developed during the course itself. The acoustic test facilities are state-of-the-art and are among the most modern in Europe. Thus, the Research Field Building Acoustics has unique testing and research facilities for building acoustics (see also Facilities >>> Centre for Building Physics).

Practical relevance

Through constant contact with the building physics offices and the involvement of lecturers (who usually run their own building physics office, or are active in a managerial capacity), the course content is aligned with the requirements of practice.

Integrated exercise / laboratory work

The module "Integrated Exercise" has a strong practical relevance. Here, students have to prepare the architectural design for a building project of their own design in a two-semester course and provide all relevant evidence of sound, moisture, fire and thermal insulation from a building physics point of view. This also corresponds to the later professional part activities in engineering offices for building physics.

In the laboratory exercises, students are taught not only the measurement and testing procedures in building physics but also how to handle the usually very complex measurement technology. Here it is important not only to be able to operate the special devices, but also to understand their mathematical-physical functioning in order to recognize the limits of their application in practical use.

Practical Study Project

The "Supervised Practical Study Project" (BPS) is integrated into the main study programme in the 5th semester. Here, the skills acquired so far are applied, extended and deepened in building physics offices, authorities or in industrial companies. Through international contacts of the course and the university, there is the possibility to complete the practical project abroad.

The study project is conceived, processed and supervised under the guidance of a supervising professor of the university and in coordination with the practical department. Students are instructed to recognize problems from their professional environment, develop solution strategies and implement them. Within the framework of the BPS, students should also be given the opportunity to get to know the internal tasks of the organisation.

Key qualifications are also deepened in connection with the BPS. After the study project, a written report on the project work and a presentation to fellow students and supervising professors must be given. In addition to the technical subject matter, the appearance and style of presentation are also assessed.

Analysis of building damage

Through the module Building Damage Analysis in the 6th and 7th semester, students gain insight into another important area of building physics. Assistant lecturers with many years of experience in this field present practical cases of problems and damage in building physics, the causes of which are to be recognised and solved by the students.

Research reference

The researchers in the Building Physics course usually work on an interdisciplinary basis in the main area of building research. Thus, the Centre for Acoustic and Thermal Building Physics deals with research projects in building acoustics and sound insulation as well as projects focusing on innovative building materials. With the Centre for Building Physics (ZFB) in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, the research focus of building acoustics and noise control has unique building acoustic testing and under-testing facilities at its disposal, which enable an expansion and intensification of the current fields of work.

The intensive research activity of the course in all areas of building physics allows a feedback with the teaching and guarantees a permanently high topicality of the taught specialist knowledge. Thus, in the special subjects of the 6th and 7th semester, there is a direct exchange between lecture contents and research activities. A large part of the bachelor's theses are carried out in the above-mentioned research areas.

Requirements

According to § 58 LHG, the admission requirements are the general higher education entrance qualification or the subject-related higher education entrance qualification or the entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences or equivalent foreign educational qualifications. Further details are regulated by the approval statutes.

Internships and work experience A preliminary internship is not planned.

Knowledge of German and foreign languages Foreign applicants must provide evidence of sufficient knowledge of German. The verification of the proof is done centrally at the University of Applied Sciences in Constance.

Aptitude tests Aptitude tests are not currently planned

Prospects

!!! Best career prospects !!!

The general conditions of the job market for graduates of building physics can be characterized as extremely positive. Not least because of the political determination of national and international climate protection requirements, there is a considerable need for action and advice on energy policy issues on the part of the public sector, the construction industry, industry, energy suppliers, the skilled trades (chambers of commerce and industry) and end consumers.

With regard to building and room acoustics as well as noise immission control, increasing protection and comfort objectives combined with growing settlement concentration lead to a growing demand for specialist planning services and consulting. It is to be assumed that the political framework conditions will intensify this development in the future. Here, building physicists are positioned almost without competition.

The current labour market situation makes it possible for our graduates to find adequate employment often before the end of their studies. They work as planning and consulting engineers in engineering offices, in the construction and energy sector, in urban planning and building authorities of cities and municipalities, as well as development engineers in industry. For special fields of activity in technical acoustics and energy supply engineering, research activities at universities and institutes are also suitable.

The course of studies is very practice-oriented. However, due to mathematics it is not one of the easiest courses of study. After graduation you have many opportunities to find a job and the possibility to go into different areas. The demand for building physicists is always there and will become even greater in the coming years. Building physicists are like one big family.

Nathalie, 2018 Study course building physics

Further qualifications

For scientifically interested graduates of building physics, further studies at domestic and foreign universities are possible. For example, the new Master's programme in building physics offers a more in-depth study of building physics topics. Through the cooperation of the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences, expertise is combined here, especially in the field of acoustics.

In the field of renewable energies, the HFT Stuttgart offers the Master's degree course "Sustainable Energy Competence" (SENCE). This course of studies is carried out in cooperation with the universities of Rottenburg and Ulm.

Further qualifications such as a Master's (M.Sc.) or Doctorate (Ph.D.) degree are possible in England, for example, at the University of Southampton (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research), at De Montfort University Leicester or at the University of Liverpool (School of the Built Environment).

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