Integrating Perspectives of Gender and Diversity into Research and Teaching in Civic Engineering at RWTH Aachen University – Two Case Studies


On the one hand, considering gender perspectives in mobility research means considering gender relationships. On the other hand, it requires a change of perspective and taking a closer look at different social circumstances, lifestyles and strategies for coping with everyday life that can no longer entirely be explained by biological sex or traditional gender roles. Widening our perspective not only regarding aspects of gender but also regarding aspects of diversity is therefore indispensable. This calls for continuous consideration of gender and additional categories of diversity in mobility research.

Aims of the project:

The project aims for the integration of perspectives of gender and diversity in research and teaching. It is meant to contribute to the development of criteria for mobility surveys sensitive to gender and diversity, and to provide information on how to modify and supplement traditionally designed surveys, their evaluation and interpretation. This goes hand in hand with the aim of eventually contributing to gender and diversity equality in mobility research. Additionally this project hopes to transfer perspectives of gender and diversity to academic teaching in order to create awareness of their necessity in the education of future skilled workers and executives.

Project contents and structure:

The project consists of two different components: Component A, “buildING|bridges@research”, seeks to expand project e-MoVe – a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure as part of the funding programme “Electric Mobility in Model Regions” – and the entire socio-scientific research accompanying electric mobility by systematically incorporating perspectives of gender and diversity. In a helix-like process, single steps of project e-MoVe will be reflected upon in an application-oriented way considering perspectives of gender and diversity, the results of which will then be reincorporated into the project. Component B, “buildING|bridges@teaching”, is concerned with the analysis and implementation of gender- and diversity-equal teaching. For this purpose classes of two subjects of RWTH Aachen’s Civic Engineering B.Sc. programme will be examined. This will result in an analysis of the current state of teaching, which will then be evaluated in order to identify gaps which call for action. The results will be the basis for a revision of current teaching concepts and for new approaches of gender- and diversity-equal contents and teaching methods.

The Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB) is cooperating with the research group “Gender and Diversity in Engineering” (GDI) on Component A of the project, “buildING|bridges@research”, which aims to systematically incorporate aspects of gender and diversity [into] project e-MoVe. It is also meant to broaden the view of residents’ varied and differing needs and perspectives as users of local electromobile offers. “buildING|bridges@research” is building on components A and B of project e-MoVe. Component A examines the legal framework and the basics of planning regarding transport development plans and land-use plans to see whether or not – and if so, to what extent – they take electric mobility and gender and diversity into account. Using the example of the City of Aachen, the project aims to incorporate electric mobility, gender, and diversity into current conceptual planning processes. Component B of project e-MoVe comprises the conception of an electromobile mobility network as well as an analysis of user acceptance of electric mobility. In this context, existing mobility surveys will be analysed regarding aspects of gender and diversity. This includes a comparison of user groups as is common in transport planning, and diversity categories. The goal is to develop criteria for gender- and diversity-sensitive mobility surveys and to provide information on how to modify and supplement traditionally designed surveys, their evaluation and interpretation.

Further project information


Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (

Duration of the project:

08/2013 – 07/2015

Project partners:

Research Group “Gender and Diversity in Engineering” (GDI)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Carmen Leicht-Scholten

Chair and Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB)
Univ-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Vallée