How are products with high innovation potential developed? Product Generation Engineering as evolution

  • Subject:Innovation, product generation engineering, data analysis
  • Type:Bachelor-/ Masterarbeit
  • Date:ab sofort
  • Tutor:

    M.Sc. Felix Pfaff

  • Person in Charge:offen


As an engineer, you will develop technical systems for a constantly changing environment of markets, society, law and environment in order to enable progress and to survive in competition. But how are successful technical systems developed? Whether a product fails or becomes an innovation can ultimately only be determined after its market launch. For product development, however, it would be important to know which development activities promise a particularly high innovation potential for a specific environment. For example, is it better to react to strict legal regulations by varying the design of a subsystem or by developing a new solution principle? But how can research generate insights into such promising development activities?


Within the scientific work, you will select case studies of successful and failed products. For the analysis, technical literature, dissection reports, journalistic texts and - if possible - the products themselves will serve as sources. To analyse the product generations of the case studies in terms of environment and technical development, an existing descriptive model will be used, based on the PGE - Product Generation Engineering model and the analogy to biological evolution. The case studies modelled in this way are compared with data from other case studies (Toyota hybrid drives, iPhone 1-14, Google Glass, Thermomix, iRobot Roomba,...) in order to arrive at transferable statements about promising development activities as the end result. Possible case studies would be further smartphones in addition to the iPhone, hard drives, drive trains from other manufacturers in addition to Toyota...creativity is called for here!

Your Benefits

  • Insight into current research topics
  • Possibility for a joint scientific publication
  • Learning scientific working methods
  • Intensive supervision of work and support for own development


  • You are studying engineering or economics
  • Interest in product development and innovation management
  • Initiative and an agile way of working
  • Enjoy scientific work and analytical thinking

Are you interested in writing your thesis and do you perhaps already have suggestions for products as objects of study? Then apply with a current transcript of grades and a CV in table form to: felix pfaff does-not-exist.kit edu