Laboratories

Excellent research conditions for engineering and computer science

Excellent research conditions enjoy a high priority at NORDAKADEMIE, so that students and teachers alike can test theoretical content in practice and evaluate it systematically. For this reason, two new buildings were erected on the campus in 2014, in which space was created not only for new learning rooms but also for various laboratories: Since then, the industrial engineers have been trying out new things in the Technology Laboratory on the topic of Industry 4.0 while the business informatics specialists can work on the topics of usability and modern forms of collaboration in their respective laboratories.

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The lab exercises are closely coordinated in terms of content with the lecturers' lecture content and serve to illustrate theoretical relationships in a practical manner. The laboratories are also available for exercises or self-study outside of the laboratory lecture times by arrangement with Mr. Netzler or Mr. Wagner (Engineering) and Mr. Guttenberg (Computer Science)

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Engineering

This laboratory was refurbished in 2018 and equipped with six new mobile production system (MPS) stations, some with industrial robots. Since 2019, these have also been supplemented by an autonomous robot. Furthermore, two state-of-the-art collaborative robots are also located here which, due to their design and control, can work directly with a human at a workstation without any further safety measures. A wide range of issues relating to Industry 4.0, automation and the "Internet of Things" are examined and researched here.

A plug-in desk, various switching elements and assemblies, oscilloscopes and various measuring devices offer every student a modern and safe way of preparing the subject matter in this laboratory. Here, the content of the lecture can be experienced directly in the experiment and understood in the long term.

Space, flexibility and modern tools are the key features of this laboratory. In a modern workshop with spacious workstations and a range of tools that is second to none, students can realise and assemble their own projects in courses and in the form of homework. A modern shelf storage system provides the necessary storage space, and a welding workstation is set up in an adjacent room.

Impressions from the laboratory are provided by the short film of a practical project from the Master's degree Industrial Engineering and Management.

In addition to various engine models that are disassembled and reassembled in seminars, the laboratory offers various cutaway models of engines and transmissions that provide a deeper understanding of common engine technology. A transmission test bench as well as various other test and experimental benches round off this laboratory.

In the MSR laboratory, complex interrelationships from electrical engineering, pneumatics and digital technology are dealt with. Similar to mechatronics, control chains and control circuits are developed and examined in experiments. The equipment consists of didactic teaching models and modern industrial components.

The materials science laboratory with its equipment offers the possibility to gain a deeper understanding of the various properties of materials. A modern tensile testing machine, professional microscopes and testing machines complement various didactically prepared experiments for materials testing. All important technical material tests can be carried out and experienced.

Computer Science

Collaboration in (distributed) working groups is of great importance both in business practice and in studies. For this reason, a laboratory for modern forms of collaboration was also built in the new NORDAKADEMIE building in 2015.

A conference area has been set up with SMART LCD panels, a professional video conferencing system and flexible wall design to provide multifunctional support for interactive collaboration - even across locations and devices. A suitable counterpart is installed in a meeting room at the NORDAKADEMIE Graduate School in Hamburg. In addition, a workspace for group work and pair programming is available in the collaboration lab in Elmshorn, which is equipped with high-performance PCs and functional work desks.

In addition, devices in the areas of "virtual reality" and "wearables" give students the opportunity to test and develop applications in this area. These devices include: 

  • Virtual reality glasses:

    • Oculus Rift
    • Google Cardboard (including matching smart phones)
    • Google Glass (as soon as available in Germany)
  • Microsoft Kinect
  • Various wearables (e.g. activity bracelets, heart rate monitors, smart-watches)

NORDAKADEMIE is providing a laboratory for the construction of network infrastructures in the new Weizenbaum building.

Equipped with workstations, switches and routers of the latest generation as well as network cabinets, the functions of network hardware and software in their various protocol levels can be examined there. At the workstations  the connectivity of the network components can first be tested in a simulation program and later configured and checked on the real hardware. Through NORDAKADEMIE's participation in the Cisco Networking Academy, students can use the knowledge acquired here to obtain certification as a CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician). As the laboratory infrastructure is isolated from the campus network in terms of network technology, experiments in the field of network security can be carried out without endangering the security of the campus network. 

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The lab also provides the opportunity to conduct experimental projects using distributed processing, cluster and cloud techniques. 

The laboratory contains an observation room and a test room connected by a semi-transparent mirror and can be completely separated into two measuring stations so that different experiments can be worked on simultaneously.

It is possible to observe the whole room in parallel as well as independently with the help of 2 HD PTZ cameras and two ceiling microphones, to conduct usability studies at a desktop workstation and to conduct usability studies at a measuring station for mobile devices.

In such multimodal research, data synchronization is critical. Using The Observer XT software, there is the ability to synchronously record and playback a variety of modalities including video, screen capture, eye tracking video and data, FaceReader™ data, and of course behavioral data. All PCs communicate with each other on a local area network. The data and videos are collected on a PC and controlled, synchronized together, and analyzed using The Observer XT software.

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Three computers are installed in the observation room, equipped with software applications developed for usability research, for efficient and automated measurement of various behavioral parameters.