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Quicklinks to Courses in VVZ

Description of Courses

Compulsory Courses


Machine Elements (2 Credits | Autumn | BSc)
Introduction to machine elements and mechanical systems as the basics of product development. Case studies on their application in products and systems. Selected examples demonstrate how these can be assembled into functional parts and complete systems, such as machinery, tools or actuators. Link to VVZ


Innovation Process (2 Credits | Spring | BSc)
The lecture considers the basic steps of the innovation process – from the idea to the finished product – with a special focus on the corresponding elements of the design and development methodology. The practical methods and tools are applied in the accompanying Innovation Project. Link to VVZ

Innovation Project (2 Credits | Spring | BSc)

The Innovation Project is a project based engineering design course where the students conceive, design, manufacture, test and operate a technical system. The students learn about dependencies between design and production, the importance of testing and validation and to deal with limited resources. Link to VVZ or Read more

Focus Specialization

Basecamp (1 Credit | Autumn | BSc)

Basecamp is an intensive introductory course for Focus Project students and coaches. The students perform a highly iterative process in three days. In a continuous cycle of short input lectures, prototyping and feedback, they create a common understanding of their development task and identify critical aspects of the product idea. Link to VVZ or Read more

Focus Project (14 Credits + 6 Credits for related courses | Autumn + Spring | BSc)

In twenty-eight weeks, student teams develop a product from an initial idea to a robust, working prototype. The teams of typically five to eight students are often interdisciplinary, with students from D-MAVT, D-ITET and ZHdK. Link to VVZ or Read More

Tools Courses


Programming with LabVIEW for Innovation Project Tutors (0.4 Credits | Spring | BSc)

The Tool Course introduces dataflow programming with NI LabVIEW. It focuses on the myRIO module and the mechatronics kit specifically designed for the innovation project. The students learn how to control motors. This course is for Innovation Project tutors only. Link to VVZ


Sketching course (0.4 Credits | Autumn | BSc)
The ability to draw ideas for technical systems in order to discuss them with other people is extremely relevant in the field of interdisciplinary product development. In the Sketching Course, mechanical engineering students learn how to draw three-dimensional views of technical systems by hand. Link to VVZ

Interdisciplinary Courses


Interdisciplinary product development (4 Credits | Spring | BSc + MSc)
This course deals with methods used in industrial design and mechanical engineering in the early stages of product development processes. In groups of four - two mechanical engineers (ETH Zurich) and two industrial designers (ZHdK) - the students learn and apply methods directly during the development of a specific product concept. Link to VVZ


Cross-Disciplinary Research and Development in Medicine and Engineering (4 Credits | Autumn | BSc + MSc)
The main goal of this course is to demonstrate the differences in communication between the fields of medicine and engineering. Since such differences become the most evident during actual collaborative work, the course is based on a current project in physiology research that combines both subjects. Link to VVZ

Coaching Courses

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Leading and Coaching Focus Project Teams (Basic + Advanced Course) (4 Credits | Autumn/Spring | MSc/PhD)
This course prepares Focus Project coaches (Master’s and doctoral students) and helps them to support their teams. Topics are an overview of the role and mind set of a coach, introduction to coaching methodology and intensive supervision of individual cases, building skills by doing and exchanging good practices from former focus projects. Part 1 in VVZ   Part 2 in VVZ

Leading Engineering Projects and Coaching Design Teams (4 Credits | Spring | BSc + MSc)
This course prepares and supports tutors of the innovation project. Topics are: Overview of the role and mindset of a coach, coaching methodologies and supervision of individual cases, building competencies by exchanging good practices as well as interventions to foster team spirit. Individual coaching sessions complement the competency development. Link to VVZ

General Courses


Skills for Creativity and Innovation (4 Credits | Autumn | MSc)
Students learn about theories on creative behaviour in teams, experience and reflect their own behaviour in exercises, analyse and apply methods (e.g. communication, creativity methods, workshop facilitation), and transfer their knowledge to facilitate creativity sessions and skill trainings. The focus of this lecture is on building skills – not just acquiring knowledge. Link to VVZ


Grand Challenges in Engineering Design (1 Credit | Autumn | BSc + MSc)
The aim of the course is to introduce students to engineering design research and practice in a large number of mechanical engineering disciplines and convey knowledge about state of the art methods, tools and processes from both academia and industry. Link to VVZ

Methods in the Innovation Process

Methods in the Innovation Process (4 Credits | Spring | MSc)
The students adapt and apply a series of innovation methods in teams and have the opportunity to develop an inventive product idea step by step. The overall learning goal is to develop the ability to choose, adapt and apply innovation methods and match them with specific innovation projects and situations. Link to VVZ

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