Powerful Engineering, brilliant Computer Science

TU Darmstadt in the vanguard of German Research Foundation’s Funding Atlas


Across the Federal Republic, TU Darmstadt is one of the highest-performing universities when it comes to acquiring funding for Engineering Sciences from the German Research Foundation (DFG): in the rankings for income in absolute figures it comes in fourth place behind leader RWTH Aachen University, which is followed by the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and TU Dresden. In Computer Science TU Darmstadt achieves first place. These are the findings contained in the Funding Atlas 2018, in which the DFG, Germany’s largest funding organisation, has published performance indicators for publicly-funded research in the period 2014 to 2016.

The results confirm TU Darmstadt’s strategy of developing a distinctive research profile based on a high level of interdisciplinarity and concentrating it in six profile areas. The profile area on “Thermo-Fluids and Interfaces”, for instance, focuses on fluid dynamics, combustion as well as heat and mass transfer. This is the scientific field in which the university is applying for a cluster of excellence entitled “Predictive Thermofluids” in the current round of the Excellence Initiative. And just a few days ago, two of TU Darmstadt’s closely-related research projects were awarded ERC Starting Grants by the European Research Council (ERC) for their excellent, innovative fundamental and pioneering research.

The fact that Computer Science has leapt up from seventh position to first position in the new DFG Funding Atlas has a lot to do with the performance of the profile areas on “Cybersecurity” and “Internet and Digitisation”. This is also the second area in which TU Darmstadt is currently striving for a further cluster of excellence, to be called “Data Analytics for the Humanities”, in the Excellence Initiative.

Several of TU Darmstadt’s other scientific disciplines, moreover, achieve places in the DFG Funding Atlas’s top ten for absolute DFG approvals: Heat Engineering comes in second place, Mechanical Engineering and Production Technology in fourth, Electrical Engineering in sixth, Materials Technology and Engineering in seventh and System Technology in ninth place. Finally, Mathematics ranks sixth. This raft of subjects is covered by TU Darmstadt’s profile areas on “Future Energy Systems”, “From Material to Product Innovation” and the “Centre for Computational Engineering”.

Brilliant computer science: research group at profile area “Cybersecurity”. Picture: Chris Hartung