Alcohol distillery elective

The HFU distillery is a special elective offered on the Bio and Process Engineering programme. Apples from a local apple orchard are used to make HFU's own house brand of apple brandy, "HFU Spirit". In doing so students learn about the whole distillation process, from raw materials to product. The apples are harvested, chopped, mashed, distilled, diluted, filled into bottles and of course, taste-tested. In learning by doing, fun is guaranteed.

The HFU distillery project involves several local partners: the HFU Business School, the town of Villingen-Schwenningen, Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and the Schwarzwald-Baar-Neckar Environmental Centre.

Besides the Apple brandy, other products such as apple vinegar, liquors and gummi bears are now in planning.

The distillation process of the apple brandy is suitable for many different scientific experiments which are currently being carried out in study projects and bachelor work. Topics include "Valuable slop - what can be won from it", "Molecular biological determination of apple varieties" and "Automation and simulation of distilling".

Project supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Salat

Teaching with training simulators

The operation of a biotechnology process has an enormous influence on the consumption of energy, water and raw materials. At the same time the operation of bioreactors on an industrial scale is complex and requires a great deal of experience. A group of students is developing training simulators which will enable students to gain this knowledge and experience while they are still at university. With these user-friendly simulators the students will learn about the operation of bioreactors or biorefineries for the manufacture of bioethanol.

Project supervisor: Professor Dr. Volker C. Hass

School meets university

Practical project work is an important part of an application-oriented study programme. In the "Bio and Process Engineering project“ students work on a first semester natural sciences project. The students are divided into small project teams which meet regularly to organize workshops for school pupils in the 10th grade of local high schools.

The spectrum of project topics reflects the wide-ranging content of the degree programme and ranges from biology and physics, to biochemistry and foodstuffs technology and bioprocess engineering and biochemical engineering.  The topics in the 4 workshops in summer semester 2017 were: "Settling Rate of Particles in Liquids", "Definition of the Activity of protein-degrading Enzymes", "Photometry and Definition of Water Content", and "Production and Analysis of lactose-free Milk".

In the "School meets University"  Lab Day, pupils from the Fürstenberg Gymnasium in Donaueschingen and the Hoptbühl Gymnasium in Villingen take part in workshops on the Schwenningen Campus. The pupils present their results at the end of the day.

During the project, the students learn to plan a project from beginning to end, to define goals, assign tasks, fix dates and to implement and meet project requirements. In addition, in their role as teachers during the workshops, they learn to make complex interrelationships understandable for the pupils.

Project supervisor: Prof. Dr. S. Hellstern