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Junior Professor Sebastian Lang stands in front of an industrial machine in a workshop (c) Jana Dünnhaupt University of Magdeburg
08.07.2024 from 
Study + Teaching
This degree program only exists once in Germany

Since the winter semester 2023, students at the University of Magdeburg have been able to study the Bachelor's degree programme "AI Engineering - Artificial Intelligence in Engineering Sciences", which is unique in Germany. The special thing is that the impetus for the new degree programme came from a former student at the University of Magdeburg himself.

Today, Sebastian Lang is a junior professor for AI applications in production and logistics and was recently honoured with the University of Magdeburg's dissertation prize for his excellent research achievements. However, his academic career also began as a student at the University of Magdeburg: in the Industrial Engineering and Logistics department. The call for funding "Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education" from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research led to the idea of dedicating a separate Bachelor's degree programme in Magdeburg to AI and its application. During his research, Sebastian Lang realised that the topic of AI is usually only offered to students at German universities at Master's level and is largely only concerned with its methods and models, but not with its concrete application and embedding for industrial problems. This is set to change in the new Bachelor's programme: "With AI Engineering, we wanted to create a degree programme that focuses on the interface between AI and engineering".

Study program in cooperation with 4 universities

However, developing a completely new degree programme also requires perseverance. Not only did a study programme concept and study and examination regulations have to be developed, but the project also first had to assert itself in numerous committees. Only then could the actual creation of courses and materials begin. Nevertheless, AI Engineering made it from the idea to the first enrolment in just under two years. "I think that was record time," says Sebastian Lang. What's more, AI Engineering was planned as a collaborative project with four other universities in Saxony-Anhalt. An ambitious plan that has come to fruition: "When the project came about, it was clear relatively quickly that we wanted to give the cooperative degree programme a try, simply because there was nothing like it yet and because it had incredible potential," says Jun-Prof. Lang.

When planning the content of the programme, it was not easy to narrow down the many promising ideas. The programme is designed to teach basic concepts of AI while also incorporating aspects of electrical engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering. After two semesters, the positive feedback from students suggests that the concept is working. Junior Professor Lang reports: "I'm extremely proud that the whole thing has got off to such a good start and is working so well after such a short time. We were able to quickly identify and resolve initial problems with the help of the students".

Sebastian Lang's main wish for the future of AI Engineering is for satisfied students: "First and foremost, I hope that the students who graduate in two years' time are happy, have many career prospects and can approach AI challenges in industry with confidence."