• the growing complexity of engineering tasks,
• the increasingly specialized and expensive equipment, software tools, and simulators required,
• the necessary use of expensive equipment and software tools/simulators in projects with short time frames,
• the application of high tech equipment required in SMEs,
• the need of highly qualified staff to control new equipment, and
• the demands of globalization and division of labor.
• expensive and complex instruments can be used from different locations within the same company or can be shared by different companies,
• complex experimental systems, including specific media additions for cooling an inert gas, can be maintained by special equipment and staff at a specific location and can be directly controlled from the scientist's or engineer's office,
• team members working at different locations can effectively cooperate and take advantage of the same test-run results without any extra traveling, and
• long-term trials (reliability, failure performance) can be conveniently supervised from home, e.g., on weekends.
• M.E. Auer is with the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Villach, Austria. E-mail: M.Auer@cti.ac.at.
• C. Gravier is with TELECOM Saint-Etienne, University of Lyon, Saint-Etienne, France. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Michael E. Auer received the Ing degree (1971) and the PhD degree (1975) with a thesis on "Design and Analysis of ECL Circuits" from Dresden University of Technology. From 1974-1991, he was an assistant professor in the faculties of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Dresden University. From 1991-1995, he was with F+O Electronic Systems GmbH, Heidelberg (as head of the Software Department). His research was related to high-speed digital circuits (ECL), real time and network programming, embedded systems, system and network administration of heterogeneous networks, tele-learning/tele-teaching, and remote working environments. In 1995, he was appointed as a professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electronics at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Villach, Austria, and he also has a teaching position at the University of Klagenfurt. He works as a visiting professor at the Universities of Amman (Jordan), Braşov (Romania), and Patras (Greece). He is the head of the Center of Competence in Online Laboratories and open Learning (CCOL) at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. In June 2006, he was elected as the president and CEO of the International Association of Online Engineering (IAOE). He is a senior member of the IEEE.
Christophe Gravier studied engineering, after which he received the MS degree from TELECOM Saint-Etienne and the Master of Research degree from INSA Lyon in computer science. He received the PhD degree from the University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne in the field of remote instrumentation. Currently, he is an assistant professor with TELECOM Saint-Etienne at the University of Saint-Etienne, which is a university within the University of Lyon, France. There, he teaches algorithmic, Java programming, C++, and Human-Computer Interactions. His ongoing research is focused on new approaches and models for online engineering, and especially adaptive and collaborative systems for remote laboratories. He is the head of the SATIN research team, which addresses issues in the field of adaptative systems at the DIOM laboratory. Since 2009, he has been the Vice-President of Academic Relations and Research of the International Association of Online Engineering.