Learning from nature: Innovative Master’s degree program focuses on biomimetics
The world’s most comprehensive and widely known process of optimization has taken place ever since our planet was formed. It is quite logical that we draw inspiration from evolution – from the countless examples of this unique modification and selection process – and apply them to the challenges of our time. This form of applied science is called biomimetics. The fields of application for biomimetics range from the first attempts to fly imitating birds, the hook-and-loop fastener which finds its origins in the world of plants, to self-cleaning surfaces resembling the leaf structure of the lotus flower, and artificial intelligence in all its forms.
Innovative edge for businesses
While evolution has resulted in natural selection and mutations for ages, biomimetics is a rather young research discipline. The CEO Managing Director of the FH Kufstein Tirol, Prof. (FH) Dr. Thomas Madritsch, explains, “With its Bio Inspired Engineering program, the FH Kufstein Tirol Business School makes a significant contribution to the exploration of this wealth of innovative ideas. The new Master’s degree program offers comprehensive training in this exciting, future-oriented and sustainable field.”
The Center for Rapid Innovation, the Fablab of the Werkstätte Wattens business and creativity center, provides the infrastructure required for Rapid Prototyping, which is essential for product development, innovation and conducting feasibility studies. The best equipment, however, is useless if the people who operate it are unable to translate and apply natural processes to technical issues. The part-time Master's program provides key personnel with the skills and knowledge they need for relevant fields, ranging from biology and engineering to simulation and production processes.
"Our graduates will give businesses and their clients an innovative edge in research, product development, process optimization, business consulting, and many other areas," says Prof. (FH) Dr. Christian Teissl, MBA. The research director developed the program together with one of the founding fathers of bionics, Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Werner Nachtigall, and the nano physicists and bionic scientist Asc. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Ille Gebeshuber.
Certificates for specialized areas
The modular structure of the Master's program, which will be in English language, allows students to choose individual focus areas. They have to gain three module certificates and write a Master's thesis to collect the 120 ECTS points needed for graduation. There are five certificates for different areas of biomimetics. Topics covered include medicine, architecture and product design, IT, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and materials science. These fields of application draw inspiration from botany, zoology, biology, and chemistry.
Online classes from Harvard and MIT
The Fab Academy gives students the opportunity to participate in real time online classes taking place at the elite universities of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). All relevant exercises will be carried out at the Center for Rapid Innovation, the Fablab of the Werkstätte Wattens business and creativity center. Courses will be held in a block format and as online classes, making it easy to combine work and family life. The number of participants is limited to 15, which allows for an in-depth exchange between students and renowned teachers and lecturers.
Registration open – early bird scholarship
Registration for the Bio Inspired Engineering Master's degree program is now open. The first module will start on November 15, 2017 (subject to change). The first ten students who sign up by October 15, 2017, will receive a 2,000 euro scholarship.
The Master's program is open for graduates of a related BSc program with at least three years of work experience and English at C1 level according to the European Reference Framework.
Bio Inspired Engineering
School: FH Kufstein Tirol Business School
Degree: Master of Science (MSc), 120 ECTS points (out of 16 modules)
Duration: 4 semesters (5 attendance blocks per semester)
Registration by: October 31, 2017
Start (subject to change): November 15, 2017