The research group supervises qualification work and is responsible for various modules of psychology courses.

FAI is responsible for the following modules in the current orders of psychology courses:

Course Content:

In synergy with the modules on general and biological psychology as well as methodology, special procedures and principles of engineering psychology are presented. General and biopsychological findings on thinking, emotional experience, motivation and language are applied to the interaction of people with socio-technical systems. Typical fields of engineering psychology include human factors in process and product design, safety and security analyses, empirical research and evaluation methods, which will be presented and elaborated in this module. In the master modules project management, work and product design the application of these will be further deepened. Learned will be e.g.:

Human Factors e.g. in accident analysis models.

User-centered design of work, work equipment, workplace, products and production processes as well as entire socio-technical systems

Interdisciplinary project collaboration with engineering, natural and economic scientists

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to

Analyze and evaluate work processes, products and technology with regard to general, bio-, social- and environmental-psychologically oriented design.

To consider the socio-technical as well as the organizational system holistically and to take it into account when designing work, technology and products.

To use relevant standards (e.g. DIN EN ISO 9241 and 10075) in this process.

Winter semester 2022/23

In the winter semester 2022/23, the course will take place in the context of an international, interdisciplinary conference. For this, there will be participation in workshops, colloquia and research talks by international experts from 14-16.02.2023. The conference will take place on the Campus Stadtmitte of the TU Darmstadt.

Introduction to Biological Psychology

Course content:

The lecture “Introduction to Biological Psychology” conveys connections between biological processes and psychological functions. Students learn about different electrophysiological biosignals (e.g. electrodermal activity EDA, electrocardiography ECG, electroencephalogram EEG etc.) and understand their measurement principles. Respiratory, blood pressure and salivary analysis are also topics of the lecture. The importance of physiological mechanisms for work and technology, learning and behavior, as well as the development of mental disorders is exemplified in individual research and application areas. In the exercises on peripheral physiological measurement, the students answer questions of research and practice in psychology. In doing so, they also acquire knowledge of scientific theory, ethics, hygiene, experimental design, and safety for taking measurements. Thus, practical skills for performing psychophysiological measurements in natural science and engineering applications are taught.


Joachim Vogt & Sven Thönes (Hrsg.) (2015). Einführung in die biologische Psychologie und das peripher-physiologische Messen. Kröning: Asanger Verlag.

Course Description:

Introduction to Biological Psychology is part of the interdisciplinary module in Psychology with Biology. Psychology students must take two of three courses in the Biology Department: Human Biology, Physiology, and/or Development. Two other courses from the Department of Psychology are required: The lecture “Introduction to Biological Psychology” conveys connections between biological processes and psychological functions.

Project management, process analysis, and design project

Course content:

Students will learn relevant tools and methods of project management and process analysis and will be able to work on projects in a goal-oriented manner with measurable results. On the basis of a design project with, if possible, a client, what has been learned is to be put into practice and documented in a project report. In addition, students will be enabled to reflect on project management and teamwork and to generate ideas for future projects. To this end, students are primarily taught practical techniques for the successful management of projects from psychologically motivated work design and product development. They will gain insight into which project management techniques are common in research and development departments and how these techniques can also be used for interdisciplinary cooperation. Special emphasis is placed on the use of standardized tools for project planning and control. Group psychological processes such as motivating project team members, effective crisis management, and means of designing successful project meetings are also covered.

In the seminar Project Management and Process Analysis (2 SWS) the mastery of (EDP) tools for project planning with OpenOffice is practiced as well as the development of evaluation methods tailored to the respective case. Further contents are basics of project management, phases and processes of project management, formulation of goals, making decisions, project organization, and conflict/risk management.

Psychological design projects (3 SWS) from a wide variety of fields are to provide concrete tasks on which the techniques of project management are tested. In the design projects, the tasks and goals are first concretized. The students are supervised and accompanied. The choice and elaboration of the task is the first creative task for the students. In the supervision phase, current issues in the independent execution of the project task are discussed. In the follow-up phase, a project report is prepared and the experiences, including the interpersonal aspects of project management, are critically reflected on.


German Institute for Standardization DIN 69901

For the short presentations:
Andler, N. (2015, 6. überarbeitete und erweiterte AUflage): Tools für Projektmanagement, Workshops und Consulting. Erlangen: Publicis.

Literature to be recommended in addition:
Hansel, J.; Lomnitz, G. (2003): Projektleiter-Praxis. Heidelberg: Springer.

The requirement is participation in the kick-off event on the first day of the event and entry in the project group lists distributed there.

Expected number of participants:
40 total, approx. 10 per group

Qualification Objectives / Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to

  • Understand the technical terms of project management and how project management is embedded in the organization.
  • To discuss practical case studies.
  • Apply appropriate (computer) tools to manage working time, manpower, and resources.
  • To set up a project, plan it over a longer period of time, organize it, show project progress continuously in a flow chart and evaluate, interpret, and summarize project results.
  • Identify and solve team building and leadership problems.
  • Document project management as a collaborative process.

Psychological Work and Product Design

Course content:

Building on the knowledge acquired in the bachelor's program, special procedures of work and product analysis, safety management, product design, occupational safety, health and environmental protection in design, production, and service processes are deepened.

Reference is made to research into individual procedures as well as their practical application in organizations.

As part of the project “User- and Environment-Oriented Work and Product Design” (“Nutzer- und umweltorientierte Arbeits- und Produktgestaltung”), two sub-projects on the main topics of work and product design are offered, of which students can choose one.

The requirement is participation in the kick-off event on the first day of the event and entry in the project group lists distributed there.

Qualification Objectives / Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to

  • Design work, technology and products on the basis of General, Biological, Social, Instructional, and Environmental Psychology.
  • Optimize human-machine interfaces.
  • Participate in work, technology and product design processes from a psychological perspective, i.e. to create initial lists of requirements, to evaluate design options in a criteria-oriented manner, to test prototypes.
  • Apply scientific methodological approaches to work, technology, and product design.
  • Profitably use psychological methods, concepts, and constructs in interdisciplinary projects.

Thesis supervision and topics

If you are interested in writing your bachelor's or master's these at FAI, you can find current information about the work areas of the different employees here (opens in new tab) . You can download the thesis topics of the information event of December 2020 here or look at further details in the tab “Research” (see left side) or on the individual employee pages.

Essentially, FAI has three major families of topics:

  • Techno-psychological projects (Tepsy) around the design of control rooms, vehicles and communal living spaces
  • IT Safety, Security, Privacy, Trust (SaSec)

Interdisciplinary Teaching

In this family of topics, FAI is actively working in the projects GPEK, ETiT as well as the evaluation of all KI²VA priority or cross-sectional topics.

Dipl.-Volksw. Christiane Kellner , graduate economist, is dedicated to the KIVA study offices, various study projects such as ETiT or GPEK, internationality and interdisciplinarity in teaching, gender and diversity issues as well as with the methodology of network analysis.

Engineering Psychology projects

In this family of topics FAI cooperated in the projects AktVis and WaReIp with Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Linke, in the automotive area with Prof. Dr. Stephan Rinderknecht, with the running laboratory of the department, and with Prof. Dr. Josef Wiemeyer (EEG measurement and flicker fusion frequency).

Otilia Pasnicu, M. Sc. is researching the perception of gear shifting in different powertrain configurations considering different user groups in cooperation with the Institute of Mechatronic Systems (IMS).

IT Security, Privacy, and Trust

In this family of topics, FAI is actively involved in CRISP as well as the graduate program “Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users”.

Dr. Nina Gerber is researching issues related to usable privacy and usable security within ATHENE, especially in the context of smart cities, smart homes, and autonomous vehicles.

Verena Zimmermann, M.Sc works in various ATHENE projects on Human Factors in Safety & Security and Usable IT Security (e.g. Smart Homes and Authentication).

Alina Stöver, M.Sc. is a member of the user privacy and trust awareness graduate program (Graduiertenkolleg der Nutzendensensibiliserung für Privacy und Trust). She is researching design options for a mobile privacy assistant.