Exemplary (Engineering-)Thesis Defense

If it is the first time presenting the hard work you did during your final thesis, it can seem daunting and you may wonder how to go about presenting your work. No need to be overly nervous, everyone at the event is usually on your side, wants you to succeed and your direct supervisor should be well aware of the work that you did. So if you did good work during the semester, no need to worry at all. And you did do good work, didn’t you? 🤨 I’m sure you did.

A common way to present the work is to first motivate the problem, then present the requirements you worked out (alone or with your supervisor), then describe your solution by describing your architecture and design, and then finally show the evaluation you did (at least some argumentation, better some measurements how your solution performs or a user test).

A different way of presenting your work is to focus more on the individual results (or workpackages) and structure your thesis defense by how you identified each item, your solution to the identified problem and measurements/evaluation about the success of your solution. In this style, the cycle is shorter and you go through it multiple times. Here is an example of a defense by Oscar Rosner, a skilled full-stack developer, on his highly valuable work for QDAcity, a web application for qualitative data analysis, developed here at the professorship by myself and my wonderful teammates Julia and Julian with a lot of help from people like Oscar.

Thesis defense on “Profiling and Optimizing Performance in the Cloud”

Which style of presenting you chose is 100% your choice. You are the expert on your work, and you know best what you want to convey. If in doubt about the style, talk to your supervisor. They will be happy to give you advice. A best practice is also to send your slides to your supervisor a few days before the presentation and ask whether the pacing seems fine or if parts should be dropped or elaborated upon.