Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award

The Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award honors up to three innovative and successful teaching projects implemented at TUM each round. The award thus recognizes the commitment of outstanding lecturers in university teaching.

The Award

The aim of the award is to recognize particularly successful projects for improving teaching at TUM in a way that attracts public attention. Therefore, each round the Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award is given to up to three instructors or instruction teams at TUM who have implemented a particularly innovative project for the improvement and further development of teaching.

The Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award is an honorary award that does not come with an endowment. The winners receive a certificate with the award of the Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award and are honored university-wide and with publicity by presenting the implemented teaching concepts on various platforms.

Both individuals and teaching teams can receive the Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award. The prerequisite for receiving the award is the successful implementation of an innovative teaching concept. In 2021, the annual selection will for the last time include all teaching projects that have received funding from the TUM Teaching Fund, implemented the project and produced a final report.

In addition, an application is possible from persons who have carried out an innovative teaching concept outside of the TUM Teaching Fund. These must submit a project description as well as an implementation and evaluation report of the teaching concept.

Applications can be submitted throughout the year through the TUM Center for Study and Teaching.

Ernst Otto Fischer

Ernst Otto Fischer (10.11.1918 to 23.07.2007) worked at the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry at TUM for twenty years as a full professor. For decades, the scientist founded modern organometallic chemistry as well as numerous fields of application and led the department to worldwide success.

For his pioneering work in the study of metal-organic sandwich complexes, Ernst Otto Fischer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1973 together with the Briton Geoffrey Wilkinson.

Ernst Otto Fischer demonstrated that excellent research and excellent teaching are two sides of the same coin: His students honor him as a great academic teacher who gave impulses, encouraged and made people think.

Awardees of 2021

Maximilian Trübswetter from the TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering  for the project “‘connecTUM’ – Networked Teaching in the
Basic Studies in Mechanical Engineering”: The focus of the teaching concept is a central mechanical engineering system that links the bachelor modules and accompanies the students through the basic studies in the sense of a common thread. At the end of a multi-stage selection process involving those involved and the student representatives, the choice fell on an urban ropeway system. The ropeway installation offers great potential for the systematic and overarching networking of teaching in the bachelor's program. The interaction of mechanical and electr(on)ic components, sensors, software, and control devices allows for a better interdisciplinary teaching of the fundamentals of mechanical engineering. The interdisciplinary interlacing enables the students to deal with topics at the interfaces of the disciplines.

Prof. Bernd Brügge, Dr. Stephan Krusche and Jan Philip Bernius from the TUM Department of Informatics  for the automatic correction of free-text assignments: Student numbers continue to rise, creating enormous workloads for instructors, especially when it comes to correcting assignments. While certain tasks (e.g. multiple choice) correct themselves automatically, this is not possible for the frequently used free-text tasks. We aim to develop a learning system that uses machine learning to automatically correct assignments. The system will learn which solutions are correct and which are incorrect during the first corrections and can correct further solutions automatically. Our vision is that the correction effort can be significantly reduced while the quality of the correction increases.

Prof. Gerhard Müller und Dr. Francesca Taddei from the TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering  for the project “Extended Brain - Curricula 2.0” to optimize teaching content while taking access to digital systems into account: In the course of adapting engineering education to new options resulting from digitalization as well as to requirements arising from it, categories for evaluating content have to be discussed and innovative didactic tools have to be developed. Current content will be evaluated with regard to the possibility of using an extended memory and ready-made tools, which are permanently available electronically. Obsolete content will be identified. At the same time, the focus is on interpreting and evaluating content and computational results retrieved via the Internet and black box programs. Instruments are being developed for this purpose.

Prof. Michael Suda und Prof. Hans Pretzsch from the School of Life Sciences for the project “Forest & Technology – VR2”: With this project, the Faculty of Forest Science and Resource Management is addressing a central and highly topical issue in forest sciences. Today, high-tech data acquisition and processing systems enable the mapping of natural structures in virtual systems. By modeling natural systems it is increasingly possible to simulate actions and to evaluate their effects on the ecosystem as well as with regard to social and economic aspects. In the context of the teaching project VR2 – virtual and real reality – teaching areas in the forest are defined, data relevant for decision-making are collected and linked to a virtual model. In this real laboratory, forestry measures are simulated and their effects on the overall system are recorded with the help of simulation models. In the virtual laboratory, this forest is also available for simulations. Here, too, appropriate measures can be planned and evaluated. The use of both laboratories in the training of students thus links different realities, which are indispensable for the targeted planning and use of forests.

Awardees of Previous Years

Lennart Moheit from the TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering was awarded for interactive acoustics apps: Through the development and use of acoustics apps, acoustic phenomena and engineering problems in acoustics are to be explained to students in a way they can understand and experience. The project is based on an e-learning platform that was made accessible to all students at TUM and beyond without any complex technical requirements. Through the apps, a professional understanding of acoustics and vibrations is to be developed and deepened. Furthermore, the interdisciplinarity of the field is to be illuminated. The platform is also used in teaching to illustrate technical content as well as to test and demonstrate elaborate practical experiments on the computer. Students will be involved in the expansion and further development of the e-learning format.

Dr. Annette Spiekermann and Dr. Andreas Fleischmann from ProLehre | Media and Didactics were recognized for their program for competence-oriented examinations in large-scale courses. The program developed aims to optimize the quality of written exams in three steps: The examination tasks are systematically adapted to the learning outcomes of the course. With the help of the statistical evaluation of the examination results, lecture concepts are then optimized. Furthermore, a multiplier system is implemented to pass on findings and good practice examples within the department. Especially due to the program's focus on large-scale events, the results benefit a broad student body. Lecturers revise their current exams and are trained and accompanied by ProLehre staff.

Dr. Daniela Schwarz and Elke Langbein from the TUM Department of Sport and Health Sciences were awarded for their approaches to inclusive teaching and learning: Student teachers work in an innovative seminar together with people who are impaired by an intellectual disability or learning difficulties. Teaching content is designed and tried out together. Parallel to the monitoring and evaluation of the teaching, the students attended seminars with further training to become inclusion speakers. This training, which was specially developed by the Langbein & Schwarz team, was regularly carried out with the involvement of people with an intellectual disability, and contributed to a further examination of the content of inclusive teaching.

Prof. Christoph Kaserer and Daniel Bias from the TUM School of Managment were honored for their business game "TUM Energy Challenge": Acting as a company manager of a power plant operator on the electricity market – that's what students can do in the business game "TUM Energy Challenge." The browser-based simulation game enables students to apply the knowledge they have acquired in lectures, to analyze developments on the electricity markets and business models of power plant operators, and to develop their own solutions in a changing corporate environment. The scenario "Germany's exit from nuclear energy" and a teaching concept were also developed for teaching purposes. For the future, the simulation offers the possibility to develop a variety of further scenarios. The technical implementation of the simulation allows it to be used live in the lecture hall with large groups of students or as an element of digital learning.

Johannes Feldmaier and Martin Rothbucher (TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering): Through the PraktiTum teaching concept, students of electrical engineering and information technology develop basic skills that are required for a variety of practical courses in the degree program.

Prof. Tobias Gulder (TUM Department of Chemistry): Modern concepts of natural product (bio)chemistry: Through an innovative teaching concept, modern natural product chemistry is taught to students of chemistry and biochemistry in an interdisciplinary way.

Claudia Strobl (TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering): Combining theory and practice: The Student Water Laboratory enables students to grasp physical relationships and thus convert learned knowledge into skills.

Dr. Andreas Bauer (TUM Department of Chemistry): Grading fairly – with a new system for evaluating student performance in chemistry practical courses.

Dr. Thomas Clavel, Dr. Daniel Mendez and Dr. Jochen Schmid (TUM Department of Informatics/TUM School of Life Sciences): Students learn to solve problems in an interdisciplinary way through the Interdisciplinary Research Network (InDisNet). The goal is the development of an app.

Dr. Friedrich Esch and Dr. Christoph Scheurer (TUM Department of Chemistry): Theory and experiments are linked in the newly designed seminar "Measure – Evaluate – Simulate".

Stefan Asam (TUM School of Life Sciences): The virtual laboratory: In a new media library, didactically prepared videos of practical laboratory experiments are made available to students and teachers for the first time.

Franziska Glasl, Susanne Hottner, Vanessa Scholz, Birgit Spielmann (TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering): Soft skills for master students: Learn, renew and deepen soft skills individually in a wide range of workshops according to personal knowledge and needs.

Christoph Hackl (TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering): Drive to active learning: In the "Project Study Drive Technology", students solve problems in intensive teamwork that optimally prepare them for later professional practice.

Rainer Haseneder (TUM School of Medicine): Managing emergencies together: Medical students, nursing staff, paramedics – they all learn in Rainer Haseneder's training how to communicate effectively in a team, how to distribute and manage tasks quickly, and how to assess situations realistically.

Sandra Hirsch (TUM Department of Architecture): Design processes require first and foremost an intensive examination of the innovation to be designed - ideally in an interdisciplinary team. Sandra Hirsch would like to offer this phase 0 to students of architecture and technical degree programs as a two-week workshop.

Marc Kleinknecht and Alexander Gröschner (TUM School of Management): Reflecting on video sequences together: With the e-learning tool "V-Reflect", prospective teachers record their lessons in order to reflect on them afterwards with fellow students and lecturers.

Florian Kraus (TUM Department of Chemistry): Caution, explosive! Lecturers, students and invited experts explain and illustrate the properties and effects of pyrotechnics and explosives to a heterogeneous student body.

Ira Neitzel (TUM Department of Mathematics): Current mathematics: In a newly designed course, knowledge from the field of numerical analysis is imparted and the reference to current research questions is established in exercise parts.

Carolina Olufemi and Kathrin Lehmann (TUM Department of Sport and Healt Sciences): Sports education = fun and games? Students design children's sports play camps, run them twice a year and at the same time are trained as coaches for the next round.

Marc-Oliver Pahl (TUM Department of Informatics): iLab reloaded: The practical courses iLab and iLab2 introduce students to the world of the Internet and selected network architectures and network services.

Carsten Rohr (TUM Department of Physics): In open tutorials on experimental physics, students are motivated and supported by mentors to repeat, practice and internalize lecture content in a timely manner.

Annette Spengler (TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering): Videos, self-tests, exchange forums and a practical course book – by using various eLearning elements, the theoretical lecture "Materials in Civil Engineering" is closely interlinked with the associated practical course.

Tobias Weinzierl (TUM Department of Informatics):In Tobias Weinzierl's immersive programming lab, students can individually refine and improve their dexterity in programming.

Sven Asmus and Dominik Doll (TUM School of Management): Blended Learning – Negotiation Strategies: Students learn to negotiate through the right combination of in-person sessions and e-learning.

Martin Buchschmid (TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering): Review process for sustainable competence development and optimization of module interfaces.

Sonja Gillen and Reinhold Klein (TUM School of Medicine): Famulatur with structure - TUM physicians develop the first concept in Germany for structuring the content of the Famulatur period.

Stefan Huber (TUM Department of Chemistry): Quantum mechanical calculations made easy – in the computational chemistry workshop for master's students.

Marco Kuhrmann (TUM Department of Informatics): Win-Win: Research through teaching.

Philipp H. v. Loewenfeld (TUM Department of Physics): Make lectures dynamic – mathematical content is taught interactively using elements from improvisational theater, TED systems, and regular feedback.

Miriam Mann, Martin Fischer and Peter Härter (TUM School of Life Sciences): Interdisciplinary energy project within the studium naturale.

Andreas Mühling and Marc Berges (TUM School of Education): Earning Activity Points: Geodesists create a portfolio of activities and thus learn actively, creatively, and objectively.

Philipp Neumann, Christoph Kowitz, Felix Schranner and Dmitrii Azarnykh (TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering): Teamwork across Disciplines: Students work together in interdisciplinary teams to solve project tasks and improve their team skills.

Wolfgang Blank (TUM School of Medicine): General Medicine Intensive – students learn all important examination techniques in small groups. In the course of the course, they become teachers themselves.

Roxana Codita (TUM School of Management): Business management viewed holistically: Case studies, quizzes and forums motivate students to actively engage with the subject matter.

Edda Fiebig (TUM School of Education): Interculturality experienced and exemplified – Edda Fiebig prepares future teachers for working with young people with a migration background.

Vanessa Krummeck and Michael Ritter (TUM Department of Mathematics): Teaching math in an exciting way – students learn how to get pupils excited about math.

Lena Lämmle (TUM Department of Sport and Health Sciences): “Deliberate Practice” – in this way, learning and attention performance as well as the general engagement of students can be increased.

Waleska Defne Leifeld (TUM Department of Architecture): In cooperation with the University of Television and Film Munich, new perspectives are opened up to students of both disciplines.

Maik Maurer (TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering): Individual curricula for every student? Maik Maurer's teaching concept ensures that no one loses out.

Tobias Neckel and Florian Rupp (TUM Department of Informatics): One-to-one supervision, exercises, workshops – in this course taught by Tobias Neckel and Florian Rupp, students are the focus.

Christoph Rapp (TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering): Hands on! In the "Open Hydromechanics Lab", the students get to do it themselves.

Christina Scharnagl (TUM Department of Physics): "By students, for students!" – Students in higher semesters design physics experiments for first-year students.

Michael Schermann (TUM Department of Informatics): Understanding white-collar crime – in Michael Schermann's seminar, students in the hacking contest learn to understand IT systems and their environment from an attacker's perspective as well.

Korinna Thielen (TUM Department of Architecture): Water, energy, waste, mobility – Korinna Thielen's students learn to integrate these resources into their designs in a meaningful wa

Stefan Weigel (TUM School of Life Sciences): Inspired by learning research – Stefan Weigel specifically involves students in his courses, thanks to "Student Response System".

Michael Zwick (TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering): Reduce inhibitions – "InstantFeedback" allows students to ask questions live and anyonymously during the lecture.