MINTchallenge 2020 - Top 10 best-practice projects

HsKA granted Stifterverband’s “MINTdigital” award for digital teaching and learning formats in the STEM fields

August 17, 2020

How can students in the STEM fields continue with their studies during the Coronavirus pandemic? With its MINTchallenge (MINT being German for STEM), the Stifterverband  initiative awards prizes for digital teaching and learning formats that enable university students to proceed with their studies despite physical distancing. Out of more than 150 projects submitted the selection panel chose a project submitted by Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA), “Digitally connected international projects and laboratory experiments”, as one of ten best-practice projects of the MINTchallenge.

“Digitally connected international projects and laboratory experiments” in cooperation with Universiti Malaysia Pahang

The projects and lab experiments judged to be best-practice examples by the Stifterverband are conducted in the scope of the “MYiTOPS” project in cooperation with Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) that is funded through the “Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus” program. In this project, German and Malaysian Automotive Engineering and Mechatronics students work and study together online and digitally across national boundaries, with, for instance, a team in Malaysia developing cyber-physical system for vehicle testing cycles on a chassis dynamometer that is controlled remotely by a team working in Karlsruhe. The data for systems control are transmitted via a computer-to-computer link, which enables the joint usage of lab equipment between HsKA and UMP. In another lab experiment, calleed “lab@home”, students are equipped with a 3D printer and a single-board computer (Raspberry PI) for some of their work so that they can carry out practical tasks in small groups from home or in their dormitories.

Project supervision and teamwork is conducted through regular web meetings and chats. For the exchange of data, knowledge, literature and experience students use the “GitHub” online platform.

The project was initiated by the research group for engine technology and block-type thermal power stations (GenLab) at HsKA’s Institute of Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning, and Environmental Engineering (IKKU) and the Institute of Energy Efficient Mobility (IEEM), with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Maurice Kettner as project leader. “From the outset of the project a well-functioning digital infrastructure has been available both to the students and their supervisors”, Prof. Kettner says. “Therefore there was no real need for any major adjustment during the Corona pandemic, and we were able to carry on with our projects as before.”

Thanks to the “MINTdigital” award the project is now included in the “MINTkompass” of the MINT club, which presents best-practice examples in the field of STEM education. 

On the Stifterverband’s Club MINT
Club MINT – an initiative of the Stifterverband – connects people and ideas aiming at developing STEM education in Germany further and making it more innovative. Through the MINTchallenges various different best-practice examples are collected and presented in order to inspire STEM practitioners.

The Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of students and vocationally qualified people. Since 2001, it has enabled more than 20,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg to gain experience abroad and allowed scholarship holders from other countries to visit Baden-Württemberg. Approximately 1,500 young people receive a Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM each year.

Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus
With the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung supports innovative joint projects between universities from Baden-Württemberg and their international partners. The programme, which is endowed with approximately 1.2 million euros annually, was announced for the first time in 2011. Since then, more than 70 BWS plus projects have been supported at universities in Baden-Württemberg.

Baden-Württemberg Stiftung
The foundation Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is committed to creating a vibrant Baden-Württemberg worth living in. It paves the way for cutting-edge research, diverse educational activities and responsible interactions with our fellow human beings. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is one of the major operational foundations in Germany. It is the only one that invests exclusively and non-partisanly in the future of Baden-Württemberg – and thus in the future of its citizens.

"Project Studies" in the field of cyber-physical systems in Mechatronics and Automotive Engineering with German-Malaysian teams working in Germany and Malysia

"MYiTOPS" is a joint bilateral research project of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), with students from both countries working together in mixed teams in projects in the field of cyber-physical systems in Mechatronics and Automotive Engineering

"MYiTOPS" is a project funded with 110,000 EUR over three years through the "Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus" program of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung. 


Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics
Cäcilia Schallwig M.A.

Building M, Room 005
Moltkestr. 30, 76133 Karlsruhe
Phone +49(0)721 925-1819
Fax +49(0)721 925-1839
Email caecilia.schallwigspam

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