FISITA Members Support Students Worldwide During COVID-19

Member News


June 2020

FISITA is committed to supporting the next generation of mobility engineers worldwide, as well as lifelong learning for all mobility engineers. We're proud to share some highlights, below, from some of our international members on how they're supporting students and young engineers during the COVID-19 global pandemic:

Dr. Luděk Hynčík, FISITA VP Education, University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic (representing CAS)

"I hope you are all healthy and safe! The past weeks brought not only a completely different view on the education process, but they definitely brought new opportunities in teaching. The online teaching via different web platforms is running all around the world. Of course, there are many disadvantages not being face to face to the students, but on the other hand, there are also many advantages. Students can connect from everywhere, which sometimes increased their attendance. The presentation followed by chat discussion also encourages more shy students to ask questions. Very interesting experience! Please do share your experience and provide good practice for everyone".

Mr. Markku Ikonen, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland (representing SATL)

  • Teaching over Microsoft Teams works quite well, but requires
    plenty of extra work from the teacher beforehand to modify
    the teaching material suitable for online teaching
  • Interaction with the students is even harder than during normal classroom teaching. In an online session, hardly no one has been willing to comment or ask questions
  • Online exams do not work. It is far too easy for the students to share information with the many channels available. Online exams just make cheating too easy and tempting

Mr. Pasi Perhoniemi, Finland (reprenenting SATL)

SATL will arrange, on 28th October, the first National Automotive Final Thesis Gala, which offers to young engineers the possibility to show their professional skills. From six different universities (out of 8 universities giving automotive education) each will select two of their best graduates to present their Final Theses in the Gala.

The Gala will be broadcast via the internet to the public from universities around Finland. The best presentations will be awarded and the best will receive a monetary prize. The evaluation of the finalists will be 50% from automotive professionals and 50% from the audience by voting from the presentation they give. Presentations will be held in Finnish.

Mr. Renato Romio, Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, Brazil (representing AEA)

Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, where I teach here in Brazil, adopted remote classes 4 years ago for some especial purposes, such as short classes of introductory engineering topics to high school students who want to pursue engineering career. During the pandemic, when the face-to-face classes are suspended, wehave been teaching our undergraduate students remotely. I noticed that it is working very well,with a greater participation of students in relation to the face-to-face classes. We teach the theoretical on-line classes live, with real-time participation of students. The Institution has alsoprovided some equipmentto be operated remotely.

A good example of this is the engine and vehicle laboratory, in which groups of students operate an engine dynamometer via web to experimentally determine engine´s performance curves. Surprisingly, the students have demonstrated greater interaction among themselves and with the instructor when compared to the “face-to-face classes”. As the control of the test bench is transferred between them while there is only one technician monitoring the operation of the equipment in the laboratory, students feel “in control” as if they were present at the lab. The teacher can follow all the steps during the class and then students schedulemeetings for the group during the week.

Prof. Jin Kusaka, Waseda University, Japan (representing JSAE)

For students we are offering:

1. online lectures (on-demand content delivery or live lectures via interactive communication)

2. experimental subjects (creation and delivery of on-demand contents of virtual labo. for simulated experimental experience)

3. research guidance, career guidance, video conference

As for the research ativities, the research of the computational system is progressing without any problem, but the research of the experimental system has stopped.

Prof. Dr. Peter E Pfeffer, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany (representing VDI)

Student Competition with Autonomous Driving Model Cars - VDI-ADC:

We cordially invite you to participate in the second edition of the VDI Autonomous Driving Challenge (VDI ADC). This will take place on 9/10/2020 in Memmingen near Munich, Germany.

Within the VDI ADC, teams of students will develop an autonomous driving vehicle on a scale of 1:8. The challenge is to give the vehicle the ability to drive autonomously through components and software development. The disciplines combine the challenges of real road traffic with the dynamics, excitement and speed of motor sports, see our video

Parking tasks and entry and exit to the pit lane are analogies to real motorway traffic. The time trial, one-man pursuit and other disciplines, on the other hand, additionally require mastery of the vehicle at the limit, where finding the right braking point, the optimum curve speed and the ideal line can decide on victory or defeat.

The competition is divided into 2 classes, the VDI Cup and the VDI Super Cup. Both classes have to complete the same disciplines, however, in the VDI Cup the hardware board is also specified in order to be able to compare the software solutions more easily, whereas in the VDI Super Cup most components are freely selectable and the overall concept can be freely designed. To quicksstart your team, there are car kits available to start with. Please contact us or see see

For the competition it is important that the cars are very similar to the originals, in scale 1:8. Great importance is attached to the visual appearance, because not only the performance in the driving tasks is evaluated, but also the technical implementation, the installation of the components and the design of the vehicles. To this end, the vehicles are presented and evaluated before a jury from the fields of business and research. In these presentations the teams have to explain and justify their software implementation, present the selection and installation of the components and answer the questions of the jury. The concepts are evaluated by the jury with a point system.

Are you ready for the future? You can find all further information on our website at

Please send your questions to

Dr. Friedrich Wolf-Monheim, Ford Research & Innovation Center Aachen, Germany (representing VDI)

The digital semester at RWTH Aachen University

An ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Science has defined the 2020 summer semester as a digital semester. “We are doing everything possible to avoid extending the period of study for our students,” explains Professor Aloys Krieg, RWTH Vice-Rector of Teaching. In principle, as agreed by the universities in North Rhine-Westphalia, all courses that can be offered remotely will take place online for the entire summer semester.

At RWTH students should be able to access the recordings in the digital study room throughout the entire semester. In April the Center for Learning and Teaching Services (CLS) run 7.537 Videos on RWTHmoodle. Eight times more than in April 2019. RWTHmoodle is the central web-based teaching and learning platform of RWTH Aachen University.

Moodle offers virtual classrooms where lecturers provide material and many different activities for communication, collaboration and self-study. Students can use moodle courses at any time and place at their own learning requirements. Furthermore RWTH Aachen University acquired licenses for Zoom video conferences, being used very frequently. In addition a lower number of Camtasia licenses were aquired as well.

Oral exams will continue to be held by video conferencing only. A general decree of the NRW Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs allows RWTH to hold written exams as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed. Lab courses can also be held in compliance with these requirements.

Examinations that are not passed in the summer semester are not considered a failed attempt as long as the examination has been taken. This applies to both the regular examinations and the catch-up examinations. And very important: The standard period of study is increased by one semester for all students enrolled in the summer semester.

Meanwhile the coronavirus pandemic puts many students under financial strain. For this reason, the RWTHextern Citizens’ Forum, the AStA Students Committee, and the proRWTH association have launched the #RWTHhilft initiative. Scholarships of up to 600 € will be awarded, which should help students in this situation.