Research Groups

Adapting to the everchanging Environment of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is changing constantly. It is therefore necessary to constantly reflect on whether research and teaching still meets the challenges of the future. Darmstadt's Mechanical Engineering Department takes on this challenge by establishing new subject areas and research groups on a constant basis and by evaluating the content being researched in the existing subject areas.

Currently, the TU Darmstadt's Department of Mechanical Engineering is made up of the following institutes and research teams:

  • Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors

    At the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (IAD), the focus is centred on the human being as an operator in the work process and as a user of equipment and products.

    The research focuses on the areas of Human & Organisation, Work Assessment & Workplace Design, Human-Machine Interaction & Mobility.

    A key feature of the IAD is its broad content orientation. Thanks to this approach, the IAD has always been in a position to react to new types of questions arising in operations practice and to influence business and social developments by working on relevant topics over the course of its 50-year history. The multidisciplinary staff is an essential quality mark for research and education at the IAD.

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  • Fachgebiet BioMedizinische Drucktechnologie

    Kern des im Sommer 2019 neu gegründeten Fachgebiets BioMedizinische Drucktechnologie ist die Erforschung und Entwicklung von 3D-Biodrucksystemen (3D-Bioprinting).

    Im Fokus stehen die Modellierung und experimentelle Untersuchung unterschiedlicher Mechanismen und Phänomene für den Transport von Biomaterialien und deren Interaktion mit lebenden Zellen. Eine besondere Herausforderung ergibt sich hierbei aus dem parallelen Drucken von multifunktionalen Materialkompositen mit unterschiedlichen physikalischen, chemischen und biologischen Eigenschaften. Ferner stellen die den Druckprozess begleitenden Vor- und Nachbearbeitungsschritte, 3D-Datenaufbereitung und Gewebereifung, wesentliche Forschungselemente des Fachbereichs dar.

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  • The Cyber-Physical Simulation group focuses on the development of advanced computational methods that integrate mechanical simulation and design optimization

    The Cyber-Physical Simulation group focuses on the development of advanced computational methods that integrate mechanical simulation and design optimization with multi-scale and multi-physics systems.

    We aim at facilitating a seamless thread or digital twin connecting the digital design, simulation and optimization process with physical manufacturing and utilization processes, thus enabling engineers to develop reliable, high-quality products with advanced functionality in short product design cycles.


  • Institute for Energy Systems and Energy Technology

    Energy conversion and power plant processes/flow, reaction and heat transfer processes/tests on test plants

    The provision of electric power and heat energy, eg Heating or process steam, is an important branch of power engineering and industry. Iin the last decades, in addition to the technical aspects of implementation and cost-effectiveness, issues of resource and environmental protection play an important role. Therefore, the improvement and development of individual equipment and plant processes is very important.

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  • Chair of Printing Science and Technology

    Research with mechanical engineering, process-engineering and business administration topics for company-spanning development in printing machine engineering and print media

    At the Institute of Printing Science and Technology (IDD), research focuses on mechanical and process engineering as well as on applied business administration, accompanying the rapid development in the fields of printing machine engineering and print media, across all types of companies. Some of our current research topics concentrate on colour flow in inking units, separation performance of colour, regardless of high circumferential roll speeds, the printability of glass surfaces as well as boundary physic influence factors during wetting processes. Further works include the transport of panels in rolling machines, optimisation of faster drying processes, isotropic light dispersion of paper as well as frequency-modelled image raster processes. As part of another cooperation, potential applications for printing processes are tried out and developed together with industrial partners as well as other research institutes. IDD also has a special know-how about construction and engineering of special printing machines, such as thick and even rigid components of print substrates (e.g. glass sheets).

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  • Institute of Automotive Engineering

    Use of possible potential that mechatronics offers for an improved performance of driver/vehicle unit

    Today's cars and motorcycles are of a highly developed technical status, due to a development of more than 100 years. Nevertheless, there is still potential, now and in the future, to improve the performance with regard to the inseparable driver/vehicle system with respect to vehicle technology.

    First of all, the basis of driving has to be developed, which is usually the chassis. The chassis is to ensure that drivers of all kind are in control of directing their vehicle in any way as easy and comfortable as possible – even in critical situations. Potential for an improvement of the chassis lies in an improved interaction of individual modules in an integrated complete system. Here, one still has to consider that there are still many knowledge gaps of everyday used components, such as tyres or tread brakes. However, the right kind of knowledge of these passive components is indispensable, so that an even higher potential of active parts and the complete system can be tapped. In order to achieve this optimisation for passive as well as active mechatronic components, it is necessary to break new ground in testing and measurement technology. This quality has been a strength of the FZD – in the past and will continue to be so in the future. The research results are used to implement improvements regarding driving safety, with a specific inclusion of the motorcycle.

    Another way to get a higher performance regarding the driver/vehicle unity is the extension of the ability of a vehicle with regard to an assisting vehicle. Driver assisting systems of the last decade offer a comprehensive function of scope and degree of assistance. The functional potential of systems already introduced, and especially of new systems, has not yet been fully utilised. However, these new systems in their existing type of vehicle guidance hit a limit with respect to integration. Therefore, one can anticipate that the automobile of the future will be guided in a totally different way. In close cooperation with other subject areas of ergonomics and automation engineering, the FZD accepts this interdisciplinary, holistic challenge so that vehicles are developed even further so they carry out the driver's intentions intuitively and execute the movements appropriately to the traffic situation and road conditions.

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  • Institute of Flight Systems and Automatic Control

    ATM - Air Traffic Management, SVS - Synthetic Vision Systems, UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    The Institute of Flight Systems and Automatic Control (FSR) performs application oriented research in the area of aeronautical systems engineering. Main goal is the development of innovative technologies to enhance flight safety. Recently, also the efficiency of aviation as well as environmental aspects came into our focus.

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  • Institute for Fluid Systems

    Methods and phenomena in fluid systems, energy efficiency of fluid systems, adaptronic fluid systems.

    Main areas of research:

    • Methods and phenomena in fluid systems
    • Energy efficiency of fluid systems
    • Adaptronic fluid systems.

    The following physical methods are used:

    • Similitude theory
    • Network theory
    • Quasi one-dimensional transient fluid mechanics
    • Rheology, tribology, cavitation
    • Major applications are to be found in the following areas:
    • Automotive engineering
    • Process technology
    • Fluid drive systems
    • Life Science

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  • Institute of Gas Turbines and Aerospace Propulsion

    Cooling of turbine blades, turbine, mixing chamber test rig, exhaust turbocharger, compressors, numerical simulation

    The Institute of Gas Turbines and Aerospace Propulsion is specialised in the development and testing of turbomachine components. Detailed parameter studies are carried out at the institute’s test rigs and the observations are transferred to the real engine using similarity laws. This way the research at the institute has an academic character and is application-oriented at the same time.

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  • Institute for Lightweight Engineering and Structural Mechanics

    Lightweight construction with fibre composite materials: Construction methods, power flow, multifunctional structures

    The focus of the research and development work of the Lightweight Engineering and Structural Mechanics department (LSM) is lightweight construction together with fibre composite materials.

    The general topic of constructive lightweight construction with fibre composite materials is separated into the following sub-areas:

    Construction methods

    Power flow

    Multifunctional structures

    Fibre composite materials such as glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFK) and carbon fibre reinforced plastics are ideal types of lightweight construction materials. Their characteristics are better than conventional metal materials. Due to the anisotropy of fibre composite materials, their mechanical-mathematic treatment is significantly more complex but they also offer especially constructive possibilities. The aim of the research focus “Construction methods” is to prepare and supplement the fibre composite design methods by special concepts so that their anisotropy can be specifically used.

    Lightweight constructions are typically designed thin-walled. Therefore, a concentrated introduction of heavy forces poses a particular problem. The goal of research efforts on the “Power flow” sub-area is a development for different application purposes, to analyse them mechanically, try them out experimentally and to forward this knowledge of optimised solutions to constructing engineers.

    The primary task of construction is product development, in the case of fibre composite materials, the focus is on heavy-duty lightweight structures. The goal here is not only the use of advantages of lower density, meaning light material construction, but to integrate several functions at the same time in a single component. The solution concepts for multifunctional structures differ from component to component and do not have to be developed specifically. Specific advantages of the LSM department are excellent manufacturing and testing options, which means that all steps, starting with the calculation and construction, to prototype construction up to experimental verification of a component construction can be carried out.

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  • Institute for Mechatronic Systems in Mechanical Engineering

    The introduction of digital products in mechanical engineering has its origin in mechatronics, which is an interdisciplinary fusion of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science.

    The development of mechatronics is unbroken and highly dynamic, starting from programmable and connected to smart mechatronic systems. System integration and system understanding are keys to technological progress and form the core of our expertise. Openness, responsibility and team spirit are particularly important to us in our actions.

    Teaching at IMS includes basic courses in the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree as well as internships, team projects and theses. By means of imparting basic technical knowledge and early practical relevance, our focus is on developing a holistic understanding of the system.

    Research at IMS focuses on mechatronic system development and integration. The focus is on vehicle systems, energy systems, robotics systems and actuated systems. A large number of cross-sectional topics, from sector integration to artificial intelligence and human-mechatronic interaction, link these areas both in the virtual and the real world.

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  • Institute for Nano- and Microfluidics

    Experimental and theoretical analyses of nano and microfluidic transport processes, research and design of novel nano, micro and optofluidic components.

    We are concerned with transport phenomena in fluids on the nano- and micrometer scale. In that context we are especially interested in studying fundamentals, with the intention to pave the way for novel applications. Our research extends over a broad thematic spectrum and combines experimental, theoretical and numerical approaches. Nanoscale gas kinetics, electrokinetics, interfacial flows, wetting phenomena and biomolecular separation belong to our areas of work.

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  • Institute of Numerical Methods in Mechanical Engineering

    Development, analysis, and application of numerical methods for differing tasks in mechanical engineering as well as other engineering disciplines

    The department focuses on development, analysis, and application of numerical methods for a wide range of tasks in mechanical engineering as well as related engineering disciplines. Of particular interest is problem solving in the fluid dynamics and solid mechanics as well as specialised work in heat transfer and realistic modelling. Special emphasis is on solving coupled tasks and problems.

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  • Chair of Paper Technology and Mechanical Process Engineering

    Recycling of used paper, optical analysis of pulp and paper, chemical analyses and treatment of wastewater and residual materials

    The research of the institute focuses on the following topics:

    • Recycling and processes of pulping
    • Paper physics with structure analyses of paper
    • Picture analyses of papers and printing products
    • Chemical analyses and treatment of wastewater and rejects
    • Sustainability of pulp and paper processes

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  • The integration of information technology as integral part of modern mechanical engineering and the linkage of research and education to industrial needs are our fundamental targets.

    The integration of information technology as integral part of modern mechanical engineering and the linkage of research and education to industrial needs are our fundamental targets. Moreover the DiK is positioned as the competence center of information technology affairs within the faculty.

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  • Institute for Product Development and Machine Elements

    Development methodology, knowledge management, empirical study of design, method transfer, research into anti-friction bearing technology

    Integral product development and sustainable transfer

    Our vision is that of integral product development aimed at contributing towards the welfare of society on a sustainable basis, thereby reconciling economic, technical and ecological aspects.

    We define ourselves as a scientific organisation with its core competences as its capital:

    • Development methodology
    • Knowledge management
    • Empirical study of design
    • Method transfer

    We offer our customers in the scientific market services in the form of:

    • Research,
    • Cooperation, and
    • Training and staff development

    Staff in the pmd scientific organisation jointly work to create marketable and sustainable services in line with our vision.

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  • Institute for Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools

    High-speed machining, design and dimensioning of machine tools and components, concept development and implementation of lean production systems

    The research focus of PTW is in the area of high-speed drilling and milling, design and construction of machine tools systems and the optimisation and implementation of an efficient production organisation.


  • We deal with the constant new and further development of industrial forming methods and processes in order to be able to ensure economic and ecologically compatible production in the future.

    In research and teaching, we deal intensively with issues relating to new flexible forming processes, process digitalisation using artificial intelligence methods in the context of Industry 4.0, the creation of complex components with integrated sensors and actuators, but also with fundamental research issues relating to microscopic phenomena and functional materials. Thereby, we combine experimental, theoretical and numerical approaches.


  • Institute of Reactive Flows and Diagnostics

    The main objective of the institute is the representation of chemically reactive flows concerning questions of energy and process engineering in research and teaching at the department of mechanical engineering of the Technische Universität Darmstadt.

    Using advanced laser diagnostics, we measure the physical and chemical properties of reactive flows in carefully designed experiments. Our data sets provide a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of complex interactions between flow and chemistry.

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  • Institute of Simulation of reactive Thermo-Fluid Systems

    The central aim of the Institute is the modeling and simulation of thermofluiddynamic processes in mechanical and chemical process engineering.

    The central aim of the Institute is the modeling and simulation (CFD = Computational Fluid Dynamics) of thermofluiddynamic processes in mechanical and chemical process engineering. Typical applications are internal combustion, reactors in process engineering, gas turbines or catalysts.

    The work at the Institute is characterized by a close connection between basic and application-oriented research. Fundamental research questions for relevant sub-processes often arise from technical applications, typical examples are turbulence-chemistry interaction, population balance dynamics, high pressure sprays or fluid-wall interactions. We develop mathematical models and apply them in simulations of chemical engineering processes as well as combustion of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. This allows a transfer of methods and results from fundamental research directly to the technical application. We develop a suite of in-house software tools, but we also use packages such as OpenFOAM, CFX and Fluent, which we extend with our methods. Simulations are carried out on our own cluster as well as large-scale computing facilities at national computing centers. Our interdisciplinary research is mostly conducted as part of national and international collaborations.

    In addition to the close connection of research and teaching, our aim is the intense supervision both the teaching and student work such as a Master thesis. There are always opportunities for interested students interested to contribute in our research projects. We have a number of international contacts, students interested in studies abroad can contact us for further information.

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  • Chair of Fluid Dynamics

    Hydromechanic, flow and turbulence research using analytical i.e. primarily group-theoretical and asymptotic as well as numerical methods

    The focus of research activities is on hydromechanics, flow, and turbulence research using analytical, meaning primarily group-theoretical and asymptotic as well as numerical methods. Using these techniques, global fluid-mechanical problems as well as general predictions about flows are gathered.
    The goal is to get a deeper understanding of flow physics, and especially the development and improvement of mathematical models to describe dynamic processes of turbulent and turbulent-reactive flows.
    Numerical implementation of new model equations and their application on foundation and application-based issues are the ultimate object of research activities.
    Besides our own project, we have several cooperations with partners on a TU university-wide, national, and international level, all with the goal of closing knowledge gaps in fluid mechanics.

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  • Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics

    Aerodynamics, Interfacial phenomena (Spray research group), Measurement technology

    The research portfolio at the Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics can be divided into three main topical groups:

    • Dynamics of drops and sprays
    • Flow control and unsteady aerodynamics
    • Modelling and simulation of turbulent flows

    whereby a strong interaction among experimental, theoretical and numerical investigative methods is present in almost all individual projects. In all research projects, whether fundamental or applied in nature, a strong emphasis is placed on a solid understanding of the underlying flow physics involved. Where necessary and appropriate, new methodologies are developed, be it measurement technologies, turbulence modelling, or analytical methods.


    The Institute has two locations: Lichtwiese Campus (L2|06) and the wind tunnel premises in close proximity to the August-Euler-Airfield in Griesheim.

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  • Research Group of System Reliability, Adaptive Structures, and Machine Acoustics

    Interaction between individual components and their influence on the reliability of a system as a whole.

    The Research Group of System Reliability, Adaptive Structures, and Machine Acoustics SAM was founded at TU Darmstadt in 2001 under the name “System Reliability in Mechanical Engineering” by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka. Its goals are to develop principles, methods, and processes for the evaluation of the reliability of complex systems. These themes are also a relatively new area of research on a global scale. In particular, active systems designed especially for the control of vibrations are developed and assessed. The expertise of the Research Group SAM regarding quieter products was further increased in the year 2005 with the integration of the traditional “Machine Acoustics” research group, which is now reflected in the name of the Research Group itself.

    The Research Group SAM works closely with the Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF (English: Structural Durability and System Reliability) LBF in Darmstadt-Kranichstein.


  • Institute for Technical Thermodynamics

    Experimental and theoretical-numeric research of complex heat and mass transfer processes and the research of transport phenomena in the nano and micro area up to applications in the macro and engineering area

    Research at the TTD focuses on experimental and theoretical-numeric research of complex heat and mass transfer processes. Our expertise is on the exploration of transport phenomena in the nano and micro area up to applications in the macro and engineering area. The following areas are covered in particular:

    • Boiling, vaporization, evaporation and condensation
    • Spray and film cooling
    • Heat pipe technology
    • Drying and freezing processes
    • Heat and mass transfer at interfaces
    • Heat and mass transfer in weightlessness

    During our experiments, modern high resolution and high speed measurement techniques are used and enhanced. Examples are measurements using high speed infrared and black-and-white photography techniques, Particle-Image-Velocimetry (PIV), Liquid Crystal Thermography (TLC), and Micro-thermo elements.
    On the one hand, we use commercial software for theoretical-numerical research, on the other hand, our own mathematical models are developed and implemented. For example, a numerical model was developed to simulate the evaporation at the three-phase contact line, for phenomena concerning blends (Marangoni convection), dynamic and stability of wavy films or movements of interfaces.
    Applications for these research fields can be found in the aerospace engineering, in energy-technology and in process-engineering.

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  • Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Powertrain Systems

    Process analysis, Competence Centre development methods, measuring techniques, tested techniques, exhaust aftertreatment, simulation

    The main research areas of VKM are:

    • ICE Optimisation and Fuels
    • Emission Control
    • Methodology and Simulation
    • Real Driving Emissions
    • Electrification

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  • Chair for Process Engineering of Electrochemical Systems

    VES focuses on research into functional materials and systems as well as sustainable processes in energy and process engineering with the aim of transferring basic electrochemical research to the system level.

    For this we rely on modern methods such as additive manufacturing to develop thermo-fluid-dynamically optimized components for electrochemical processes. By using these advanced techniques, we are able to develop hierarchically structured materials that allow precise control of functionality and material usage. We also focus on researching the scale-up of these materials and components to successfully integrate them into sustainable processes. In these developments, we are supported by multiphase simulations that provide insight into the fundamental relationships and allow for targeted component design.

    With this innovative approach, we strive to meet the challenges of the modern electrochemical industry and create sustainable solutions for the future.

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  • Center for Engineering Materials, State Materials Testing Institute Darmstadt (MPA) Chair and Institute for Materials Technology (IfW)

    Research, development, testing, failure analysis, and holistic assessment of component properties in plant engineering and construction, traffic engineering and building industry as well as medical technology

    The Centre for Construction Materials, the Material Research Laboratory Darmstadt (MPA), and the Institute and Department for Material Science (IfW) at the Technical University of Darmstadt form a strong technical and academic union in research, teaching, development, testing and consultation in the form of an independent competence centre for the whole area of material science in plant engineering and construction, traffic engineering, medical technology, and the building industry.
    There are currently 143 employees (56 academic collaborators and 29 test engineers) from the areas of mechanical engineering, building engineering, metallurgy, and material science. In our competence areas of informatics, material science, plastics engineering, mechanics, chemistry, physics, electronic and information technology, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering we focus on research, development and teaching in our seven competence areas of material and component testing, monitoring, certification, calibration, failure analysis, evaluation and consultation.
    In those areas where a confirmation is needed for certain competences or skills, the MPA and IfW hold many certifications and accreditations.

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