Computational Engineering in Darmstadt: Interdisciplinary Approach in Modeling, Simulation and Optimization

The core of ECMI, i.e. industrial and applied mathematics, comes in many flavors in teaching and research. It is easy to agree on that it contains modeling, analysis, simulation and optimization of scientific and engineering applications in various depth. The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) summarized all those activities under the name Computational Science and hosts a (surely incomplete) list of related graduate and undergraduate programs on their website. Particularly in Germany, the study program of Technomathematik has established itself which is then often translated with engineering mathematics or mathematical engineering. Technische Universität Darmstadt decided around 2001 to brand its activities in this field under the label of Computational Engineering (CE), disregarding the “S” (as in Science) to reflect the focus in engineering disciplines.

Different disciplines within CE

The Center for Computational Engineering (CCE) concentrates all related activities in research and teaching. It is organized orthogonally and in addition to existing departments covering the relevant topical disciplines in science and engineering. By defining relevant research areas it coordinates all CE research activities at TU Darmstadt. CCE offers a stable platform for inter, multi, and trans-disciplinary cooperation of its members and associated investigators, which initiates joint research projects directly, also on a large scale. Broadness and relevance of CE is well documented by many research projects at TU Darmstadt where CE is involved.

For students, the CE study program is truly interdisciplinary in its approach: it is not organized by a single department but by an independent committee consisting of representatives from Mathematics, Mechanics, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, and Computer Science. In the first four semesters, the students acquire the fundamentals of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering. In view of the concluding years of study, i.e. semesters five and six, the students can focus on one major disciplinary topic.

Markus Lazanowksi and Sebastian Schöps
Technische Universität Darmstadt

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