The study of industrial engineering equally covers topics from economics and engineering courses of study. By selecting the specialization in materials and process engineering, students spend the engineering part of their studies on materials development, manufacture, and processing.

Materials research has an important meaning in Germany. About 70 percent of all technical innovations, as estimated by the federal government, originate in newly developed materials. Grounded knowledge about the properties of certain materials and material groups is necessary for the development of new materials. For example, super alloys have great potential. Because of their high temperature resistence, they are attractive for use in gas turbines and airplane engines. Furthermore, knowledge of how the properties of such alloys can be positively influenced, is extremely important. Just a small addition to alloy elements can lead to big changes in the properties of a material. This field also deals with the improvement of existing processes and the development of new ones. This is made possible by an understanding of the process operations and the analysis of critical points along the process operation. Improvements concern both cost efficiency, the reduction of environmentally damaging emissions, and the improvement of product quality. The safety of the processes increases within the proposed improvement measures as well.

However, innovations allow do not make a company! Raw materials must be obtained, products have to be driven out, and the processes in both the entire company and specifically in production, must be coordinated and optimized when possible. Accounting and controlling are also important components of every company. Studying industrial engineering enalbes students to gather knowledge in both fields and assume an important position in today's businesses.

Characteristics of the RWTH Course of Study

Materials science and research have a long and successful tradition at RWTH Aachen. Materials science are part of the central innovation and future areas within RWTH Aachen. Good industry contacts ensure application-oriented studies with teachers from industry. The Master's course of study in Industrial Engineering with a Materials and Process Engineering Specialization at RWTH Aachen is unique throughout Germany. A particular characteristic of this course of study is that students specialize in a material or material group and/or a process during the technical portion. As part of this specialization, students attend courses throughout their Master's studies, so that they can exhibit their vast knowledge about their selected specialization at the end of their studies. Additionally, class sizes are small compared to those during the Bachelor course of study. This positively affects learning success. Courses contain internship, in which students independent prepare and implement trials, and complete a report of the trial afterwards. These teaches student to conduct research independently.

Aside from founded technical knowledge, the course of study also teaches students comprehensive business know how. Students have the possibility of advancing their knowledge during the business portion as well. The technical and business subjects are congruent to the subjects in the industrial engineering and business administration courses of study. However the Master's course of study is less comprehensive compared to the pure courses of study.

Graduates from this program are optimally education for the cross-section between technical and business processes. Because this course of study is also research-oriented, graduates can complete doctoral studies on either a technical or business topic.

Programme Structure

The Master's studies consist of modules, meaning that curriculum content is bundled together into different units or modules. Students will cover varous modules during their studies in order to attain the required number of credit points and successfull complete their studies. The layout below is the recommended schedule for the course of study. Individual adjustments are possible:

Semester Engineering Specialization Section General Engineering Section Business
1. 1st partial course for main specialization Introductory Lecture (General Process Engineering or General Materials Engineering) 3 Business Administration Subjects
2. 2nd partial course for main specialization Fundamental Subject 1 3 Business Administration Subjects
3. Minor Specialization Introduction to Systems Technology, Fundamental Subject 2 2 Business Administration Subjects

Engineering Specialization

During the advanced engineering portion of their studies, students select a main specialization and a minor specialization. There are nine possible main specializations offered by the different institutes in the Division of Materials Science and Engineering:

  • Metallurgy and Metal Physics
  • Plastic Shaping
  • Iron Metallurgy
  • Iron Casty
  • Glass and Ceramic Composite Materials
  • High Temperature Technology
  • Ceramics and Fireproof Materials
  • Metallurgy of Iron and Stell
  • Metallurgical Process Technology and Metal Recycling

Each specialization is reflected by the respective specialization of the chair and is oriented towards individual materials and material groups and/or processes. Each of the nine main specialization modules in the engineering component consists of two courses. In order to successfully complete the main specialization module, students must complete three partial units: the first partial course (exam), the second partial course (exam), and an oral exam on both partial classes. By selecting the main specialization, the catalogue is determined, from which students choose a minor specialization. Both the major and minor specialization build on courses from the Bachelor course of study and advance knowledge gained at that time.

Foundational Subjects

Students select two engineering subjects from a catalogue. They can choose from materials engineering (glass, ceramics, or metal), materials processing (casting or molding), metallurgy and recycling (non-iron or iron and steel) for example. Students will have already had a portion of these subjects during their Bachelor studies.

Business Administration Subjects

Business Administrative Concentrations:

Students complete a total of 40 CP in business administration. 0 to 10 CP can be earned from the general electives and 30 to 40 CP from one of the following concentrations:

  • Sustainability and Corporations
  • Operations Research and Management
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Marketing
  • Corporate Development and Strategy
  • General Business & Economics

Career Prospects


Industrial engineers are qualified both in practice and research in two disciplines.They are well suited for tasks in the cross-section of technology and business and primarily work at this cross-section – for example in production planning and scheduling, in controlling, in purchasing, and in technical marketing and sales. Employment exclusively as a business person or engineering is also possible and is not rare.

Industrial engineers have a broad career field due to their double qualifying studies. Traditionally, they primarily work in production operations, but are increasingly working in service fields - such as consulting and software production - as well as in trade and for the state. Employment fields in business and other organizations are also diverse. Industrial engineers work in a variety of management positions, above all in production branches, but also in controlling and computer fields, logistics and materials administration, management and human resources, research and development departments, and in accounting and sales.

Compared to Bachelor graduates, Master graduates have more advanced technical knowledge, more indepedence, and more trust in themselves when it comes to the application and transfer of their technical and social abilities. This makes them particularly suited for leadership positions and positions with a high level of responsibility in both research and business. They also have the ability to conduct research, qualifying them for doctoral studies.

The career prospects are outstanding for graduates of Industrial Engineering with a Materials and Process Engineering Specialization, since the development of new materials is internationally regarded as a key trendsetting technology for many industrial fields. Great advances, for example in telecommunications and data processing, but also in energy, medical, and environmental technology are primarily based on new materials with tailormade property profiles. Graduates are expected to have mastered the ability to produce, process, and apply high-performance materials. This is a prerequisite for new, competitive products and processes and is a crucial foundation for the better use of resources and more environmental protection.

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