Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt

Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
Progress Report 2018
Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
18      Academic Affairs
                                                                      The new biomedical engineering degree course
                                                                      is very popular. TU Darmstadt has attracted
                                                                      Goethe University Frankfurt as a partner.
           4    Summary by Executive Board

          14    Academic Affairs
          17    Tricky tasks
          18    Run on biomedical engineering degree course
          20    Demanding from the very start
          22    Comprehensive protection
          23    Settling in quickly
          24    Generous opening hours
          25    Courses offered by TU Darmstadt
          26    Facts and figures

          30    Research
          33    Top positions in German Research Foundation ranking
          34    Major projects with a promising future
          35    Machine learning for agriculture
          36    From human to artificial intelligence
          38    Recipe against the power of quantum computers
          39    Pros and cons from noise
          40    Health data under lock and key
          41    Faster DNA synthesis
          42    The insect perfume trick
          43    Innovations for waterways and buildings
          44    Overcoming subject boundaries
          46    Top-Level Research                                                                                   43    Research
                                                                                                                     Environmental engineers design special lifts
          50    Why I study here
                                                                                                                     to make waterways passable for fish throughout.
          60    Cooperation and transfer
          63    50 years of partnership with Lyon
          64    Energy-efficient ETA factory
          65    Side by side with SMEs
          66    From the laboratory into practice
          68    Ground mission in the lecture hall
          69    Clean water
          70    The mobility of the future
          71    3D scanner for insects
          72    New tools
          73    Awakening inquiring minds with Merck                  77      Life on campus
                                                                      Open laboratories and exciting
          74    Life on campus                                        research were to be discovered
          77    Thousands were wide awake                             at the “hellwach!” (“wide awake!”)
          78    Urban quality                                         science day of TU Darmstadt.
          80    Climate-friendly energy centre
          81    Vespa swirl
          82    90 years university swimming pool
          83    New cultural business with tradition
          84    Facts and figures

          86    Awards
          89    Double peak power                                                                                             64

          90    Postdocs with Athene                                                                                          Cooperation
          92    Take-off in research                                                                                          and transfer
          94    Search for matter 2.0                                                                                         The ETA factory on
          95    Not always platinum
                                                                                                                              campus proves it:
          96    Instructive
          97    Outstanding
                                                                                                                              Industrial production         89    Awards
                                                                                                                              enterprises save up to        Highest-endowed international research
          98    Proximity to the Nobel Prize
          99    Concentrated inspirations                                                                                     40 percent of energy          award in Germany: The first Alexander
          100   Facts and figures                                                                                             if they cleverly network      von Humboldt professorship at
                                                                                                                              their plants and              TU Darmstadt is held by the physicist
          102 Campus impressions / Imprint                                                                                    industrial buildings.         Alexandre Obertelli.

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Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
    Summary by Executive Board
    TU Darmstadt
    Progress Report
Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
Summary by Executive Board

                             Federal Chancellor as guest                                                                                                                                                          Pillar of the National Research Centre
                             “A jewel in the crown of artificial intelligence” – this                                                                                                                             The Cyber Security Centre, which opened in Darmstadt
                             is how German Chancellor Angela Merkel described                                                                                                                                     in 2015, will receive long-term funding from 2019 as
                             TU Darmstadt when she visited the university in                                                                                                                                      the new Center for Research in Security and Privacy
                             October 2018 with Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker                                                                                                                                      (CRISP). Along with the Fraunhofer Institutes for
                             Bouffier and found out more about robotics and                                                                                                                                       Secure Information Technology and for Computer
                             artificial intelligence as well as the opportunities                                                                                                                                 Graphics and the Darmstadt University of Applied
                             that digitisation offers society. The Simulation,                                                                                                                                    Sciences, TU Darmstadt is a major partner in this pro-
                             System Optimisation and Robotics Group in the                                                                                                                                        ject. The research centre of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
                             Department of Computer Science presented its                                                                                                                                         is to be the largest in this field in Germany. Darmstadt
                             autonomous reconnaissance robot for search and                                                                                                                                       is also Europe’s most important hub for IT security
                             rescue missions in the event of catastrophes or                                                                                                                                      research. More than 450 scientists conduct research
                             accidents.                                                                                                                                                                           on current topics of cyber security in society, business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and administration. CRISP bundles these activities.
                             According to current rankings, computer science
                             at TU Darmstadt occupies a leading position in                                                                                                                                       Success in the Tenure Track Programme
                             Europe. It is the highest-performing in a nationwide                                                                                                                                 TU Darmstadt was successful with its concept in
                             comparison of universities and shapes the univer-                                                                                                                                    the first round of the federal and state programme
                             sity: Two of the six profile areas – Internet and                                                                                                                                    for the promotion of young scientists (Tenure Track
                             Digitisation as well as Cybersecurity (CYSEC) –                                                                                                                                      Programme). It successfully applied for funding for
                             are researching the technological foundations                                                                                                                                        twelve professorships, quickly advertised the positions
                             necessary for digitisation. A key to the success of                                                                                                                                  and completed several appointment procedures.
                             computer science at the TU are its excellent con-                                                                                                                                    In December 2018, Assistant Professor Vera Krewald
                             nections with application disciplines in engineering                                                                                                                                 began her research and teaching in the Department
                             and the humanities. It also provides important                                                                                                                                       of Chemistry as the first scientist of TU Darmstadt to
                             impetus for the new fields of cognitive science                                                                                                                                      be funded by the programme. The university wants
Summary by Executive Board

                             and digital humanities.                                                                                                                                                              to establish assistant professorships as an alternative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  career path to professorships. In 2030, it will recruit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  about half of its professors through assistant professor-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ships with tenure track.
                             “In intense international
                              competition, TU Darmstadt
                              proves that Germany
                              can be top of the league”.
                              Chancellor Angela Merkel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “TU Darmstadt gives its researchers
                             “This is where scientific                                                                                                                                                             the opportunity to work on
                              developments take place that                                                                                                                                                         questions with a long-term
                              are of the utmost importance                              Guiding hand: Chancellor Angela Merkel visited TU Darmstadt to learn   more about robotics and artificial intelligence.    relevance, without any guarantees
                              to the future”.                                                                                                                                                                      of short-term success”.
                              Prime Minister of Hesse Volker Bouffier                                                                                                                                              Vera Krewald, Assistant Professor for Theoretical Chemistry

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Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
Once again, the university presented its activities
                                                                                                                                                        at a parliamentary evening in the Hesse state
                                                                                                                                                        parliament, this time with a focus on spin-offs and
                                                                                                                                                        innovations. With their business ideas and previous
                                                                                                                                                        market successes, the two TU start-ups Alcan
                                                                                                                                                        Systems GmbH and IT-Seal GmbH were met with
                                                                                                                                                        great interest. IT-Seal specialises in combating
                                                                                                                                                        cybercrime and phishing attacks and uses simulated
                             Open for dialogue: Prime Minister Volker Bouffier was interested in technology scenarios in working environments.          e-mail attacks to train security awareness in
                                                                                                                                                        everyday working life. Alcan Systems is advancing
                             Excellence strategy                                              Close exchange with politicians                           the development of a fully electric, intelligent
                             In the “Excellence Strategy of the Federal Govern-               In 2018, the University continued to publicly repre-      antenna technology based on a liquid crystal
                             ment and the States”competition, TU Darmstadt                    sent its positions on current challenges in science       design for satellite and mobile communications.
                             was the most successful university in Hesse in the               and higher education policy. It invited leading politi-
                             preselection and was asked to submit two of its                  cians from the parliamentary groups represented in        The Hesse state government met for a cabinet
                             draft proposals as full proposals. Unfortunately,                the state parliament to a panel discussion with the       meeting in the “Leap in time Lab”, a spin-off of
                             TU Darmstadt was not successful in the final                     title “(Neu)gierig auf morgen? Wie Digitalisierung        TU Darmstadt, and found out more about concrete
                             selection. The projects “Centre for Predictive                   Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft verändert”(“Curious           technology scenarios of future working environ-
                             Thermofluids – Accelerating the Energy Revol-                    about tomorrow? How digitisation is changing              ments. In the Science Committee of the Hesse state      The University in the heart of the science city Darmstadt.
                             ution” and “Data Analysis for the Humanities”                    science and industry”).                                   parliament, TU President Professor Hans Jürgen
                             which had been nominated as Clusters of                                                                                    Prömel and the chairwoman of the University             intensified in order to facilitate more research stays
                             Excellence were not included in the list of funded                                                                         Council, Professor Heidi Wunderli-Allenspach,           for doctoral students of TU Darmstadt.
                             projects. Nevertheless, the university will continue           “The current technological trans-                           summed up the progress made by the university
                             on its path of promoting innovation on the basis                                                                           with a focus on the internationalisation strategy.      Responsibility in the science city
                             of strong interdisciplinarity. Both projects fit
                                                                                             formation is historically unique                                                                                   The “Science City Round Table”, established on
                             into the research profile of TU Darmstadt and                   in its speed and is driven by the                          European network                                        the initiative of the President of TU Darmstadt, the
Summary by Executive Board

                             can strengthen the profile areas “Thermo-Fluids                                                                            TU Darmstadt chairs the CLUSTER network of lead-        Schader Foundation and the Lord Mayor of Darm-
                             and Interfaces” and “Energy Systems of the
                                                                                             digitisation of science, society and                       ing European technical universities (Consortium         stadt, regularly brings together top executives from
                             Future” as well as “Internet and Digitisation”.                 industry. The central topics of                            Linking Universities of Science and Technology          universities, politics, industry, cultural institutions
                                                                                             the future of particular importance                        for Education and Research). TU President Hans          and research institutes to discuss the potential of
                             The Executive Board of TU Darmstadt submitted                                                                              Jürgen Prömel assumed the office of chairman            the science city. In 2018, the heads of 37 institutions
                             concrete proposals to the Hesse state government                for Hesse include robotics, smart                          for two years. CLUSTER aims at excellent teaching       signed a joint memorandum. As part of this cooper-
                             to supplement the LOEWE research funding                        cities, digital medicine, space                            and promotes joint double degree programmes,            ation, which is unique in Germany, work is being
                             programme of the state of Hesse financially and                                                                            structured student exchanges, new ways to               done to publicly highlight the assets of Darmstadt
                             programmatically in order to prepare Hesse’s
                                                                                             technologies, Industry 4.0 and                             doctorates and the integration of research and          as a science city. The network with a scientific
                             universities specifically for the next Excellence               FinTech. TU Darmstadt is an                                entrepreneurship into teaching.                         focus covers all stages of value creation, from basic
                             Strategy round in 2026.                                                                                                                                                            research to technologically sophisticated production.
                                                                                             essential actor with an inter-                             Partners in Canada and the USA
                                                                                             nationally high reputation here,                           The international cooperation between researchers
                                                                                             especially also with regard                                and students at TU Darmstadt and partner univer-
                                                                                                                                                        sities overseas was further expanded: For instance,
                                                                                             to the decisive key technologies                           the university management visited the University of     “The Memorandum is a strong sign of
                                                                                             of artificial intelligence and                             Massachusetts at Amherst and its renowned College        networking, trust and joint responsibility
                                                                                                                                                        of Engineering, as well as the University of Toronto,
                                                                                             IT security”.                                              one of Canada’s strongest research universities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 in the science city of Darmstadt”.
                                                                                              Professor Hans Jürgen Prömel, President of TU Darmstadt   Contacts with the University of Princeton were also      TU President Professor Hans Jürgen Prömel

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Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt

                                                                                                                  Executive Board
                                                                                                                  University leadership team

                                                                                                                  President Prof. Dr. Hans Jürgen Prömel
                                                                                                                  University strategy and structure, appointment of new professors, quality management and international relations, external representation
                                                                                                                  Vice President Dr. Manfred Efinger
                                                                                                                  Administration and financial affairs
                                                                                                                  Vice President Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralph Bruder
                                                                                                                  Academic affairs
                                                                                                                  Vice President Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mira Mezini
                                                                                                                  Research and innovation
                                                                                                                  Vice President Prof. Dr. Andrea Rapp
                                                                                                                  Scientific infrastructure
                             President                      Vice President          Vice President                Vice President Prof. Dr. Matthias Rehahn
                             Prof. Dr. Hans Jürgen Prömel   Dr. Manfred Efinger     Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralph Bruder   Knowledge and technology transfer, alumni activities, fundraising

                                                                                                                  University Council                                    University Assembly                                    Senate
                                                                                                                  Initiatives on fundamental issues, esp.               Statements on fundamental questions                    Provision of advice on matters of structure,
                                                                                                                  university development, involvement in                of university development, teaching, studies           development planning and construction
                                                                                                                  management of resources and                           and early career researchers, election                 planning, budget, research, teaching
                                                                                                                  appointment of new professors, proposal               and dismissal of the Executive Board                   and studies, approval of university regulations,
                                                                                                                  of presidential candidates                                                                                   professorial appointments, honours
                                                                                                                  Members                                                                                                      Members
                                                                                                                                                                        31   professors
                                                                                                                  Dr. Horst J. Kayser                                   15   students                                          President
                                                                                                                  Chief Strategy Officer/Head of Corporate              10   research associates                               10 professors
                                                                                                                  Development Siemens                                   5    administrative/technical staff                    4    students
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               3    research associates
                                                                                                                  Prof. Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus                                                                              3    administrative/technical staff
                                                                                                                  University of Bielefeld, Department of
                                                                                                                  Chemistry/Physical Chemistry
Summary by Executive Board

                                                                                                                  Manfred Krupp
                                                                                                                  Director of Hessischer Rundfunk

                                                                                                                  Prof. Bernd Reckmann
                                                                                                                  Member of the Executive Board, Merck (until 2016)

                                                                                                                  Prof. Ernst Schmachtenberg
                                                                                                                  until 2018 Rector of RWTH Aachen University

                                                                                                                  Prof. Ferdi Schüth
                                                                                                                  Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für
                             Vice President                 Vice President          Vice President                Kohlenforschung, since 2014 Vice President
                             Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mira Mezini     Prof. Dr. Andrea Rapp   Prof. Dr. Matthias Rehahn     of the Max-Planck-Society

                                                                                                                  Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster
                                                                                                                  Saarland University, Department of Computer
                                                                                                                  Science, Director and CEO of the German
                                                                                                                  Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DKFI)

                                                                                                                  Prof. Margret Wintermantel
                                                                                                                  President of the German Academic
                                                                                                                  Exchange Service, Professor of Psychology

                                                                                                                  Dr. Marie-Luise Wolff
                                                                                                                  Chief Executive Officer ENTEGA AG Darmstadt

                                                                                                                  Dr. Holger Zinke
                                                                                                                  Deputy Chairman, Supervisory Board, Brain AG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     December 2018

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Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
People                                                                           Research profile
                             25,889 students (of which 7,972 female)                                           6 Profile Areas:
                             4,947 first-semester undergraduate students                                               Cybersecurity
                                                                                                                       Internet and Digitisation
                             2,688 first-semester Master’s students
                                                                                                                       From Material to Product Innovation
                             253 male professors (of which 13 assistant professors)                                    Thermo-Fluids & Interfaces
                             55 female professors (of which 5 assistant professors)                                    Future Energy Systems
                             2,593 academic employees (of which 661 female)                                            Matter and Radiation Science

                             1,909 non-academic employees (of which 1,154 female)
                                                                                                               2 Excellence Graduate Schools:
                             164 trainees (of which 54 female)
                                                                                                                       Computational Engineering
                             119 graduate assistants (of which 46 female)                                              Energy Science and Engineering
                             2,885 student assistants (of which 894 female)
                                                                                                               1 Participation in Cluster of Excellence
                                                                                                                       “The Formation of Normative Orders”
                             5 locations: City Centre, Lichtwiese, Botanical Gardens, University               6 LOEWE Clusters of Excellence
                                               Stadium, August-Euler Airfield (with wind tunnel)
                                                                                                               11 DFG Collaborative Research Centres/
                             250 hectares of property                                                                  Transfer Units
                             164 buildings (incl. 14 rented)
                             309,291 square metres of usable space (incl. 17,414 rented)

                             EUR 249.9 million basic funds from the State of Hesse (excl. LOEWE)
                             EUR 26.5 million from Bund-Länder-Hochschulpakt (Phase II)
                             EUR 8.8 million other funds
                             EUR 169.1 million third-party funds (incl. LOEWE)
Summary by Executive Board

                             Upgrowth of third-party funds                                                    Sources of third-party funds
                             (in mio EUR)                                                                     (in %)

Facts and figures

                                                    150.8   144.8


                                 Figures rounded

12                                                                                                                                                           13
Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
     Academic Affairs
     TU Darmstadt
     Progress Report
Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
Highlights 2018
                                                                                                                                    Tricky tasks
                   places to work and relax have
                                                                                                       Top 100:
                                                                                                       In the engineering
                                                                                                       sciences as a whole and
                   been created since 2011 by                                                          in mechanical engineering
                   the university in new student                                                       and physics in particular,   Team Hector is world champion
                   learning centres.                                                                   TU Darmstadt is one          The Hector Rescue Robot Team of the Computer
                                                                                                       of the most renowned         Science Department won first place in the Plant
                                                                                                       universities worldwide       Disaster Prevention Challenge at the World Robot
                                                                                                       according to the             Summit. The international competition is organised
                                                                                                       QS subject ranking.          by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade
                                                                                                                                    and Industry and the Japanese New Energy and
                                                                                                                                    Industrial Technology Development Organization to
                                                                                                                                    promote technological developments in robotics.

                                                                                                                                    In the preliminary round, the robots had to measure
                                                                                                                                    gas concentrations, operate valves, inspect an
                                                                                                                                    industrial plant visually, thermally and acoustically,
                   Rank 78 worldwide:                                                                                               and initiate emergency response measures. The
                   The QS Graduate                   2 million euros:                                                               team from the Simulation, System Optimisation and
                                                     The Federal Ministry                                                           Robotics Group, which used two flight robots and
                   Employability Ranking                                                                                            one ground robot, went to the finals as a favourite.
                                                   of Education and Research
                   ranks TU Darmstadt                                                                                               There, the robot had to dodge debris and track
                                                    honours the university’s
                                                                                                                                    down accident victims, and succeeded in solving the
                   among the best                           concept                                                                 tasks with flying colours.
                   universities. Its                 for teacher training in
                                                         Mathematics,                                                               On the subject of winning: The team with its exten-
                   graduates are valued
                                                                                                                                    sive expertise in intelligent (semi-)autonomous
                                                    Information technology,
                   by employers                                                                                                     robot systems has become accustomed to victories:
                                                     Natural sciences and                                                           In the RoboCup Rescue Robot League, the “Best
                   internationally as
                                                         Technology.                                                                in Class Autonomy Award” was won four years in
                   particularly qualified.                                                                                          a row and in 2014 the entire competition was won         Celebrating success: TU team with rescue robot Hector.
                                                                                                                                    for the first time ever with an autonomous robot.
                                                                                                                                    In 2017, the TU won the ARGOS Challenge.                 Electromechanical boule players
                                                                                                                                                                                             During the winter semester, student teams at
                                                                                                                                                                                             the Department of Electrical Engineering and
                                                                                                                                                                                             Information Technology developed prototypes that
                                                                                                                                                                                             position a miniature boule ball as precisely as
                                                                                                                                                                                             possible. The robots competed against each other
Academic Affairs

                                                                                                                                                                                             in a tournament under the eyes of a jury of experts.
                                                                                                                                                                                             The specifications were strict: For example, the
                                                                                                                                                                                             devices could not weigh more than 2.5 kilograms
                                                                                                                                                                                             and the ball had to be ejected fully automatically
                                                                                                                                                                                             after a single adjustment. The budget was limited
                                                                                                                                                                                             to 75 euros. The seminar “Practical Development

                                                                               scholarship holders of the German Academic
                                                                                                                                                                                             Methodology” trains participants in independently
                                                                                                                                                                                             solving technical tasks in preparation for their
                                                                                                                                                                                             future professional life.

                                                                               Exchange Service from 82 countries debated
                                                                               the digital change at TU Darmstadt.

16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    17
Progress Report 2018 - TU Darmstadt
Run on biomedical engineering degree course

                   The new Bachelor’s course in biomedical engineering
                   jointly established by TU Darmstadt and Goethe Univer-
                                                                                                                                                                                           “The cooperation between
                   sity Frankfurt is very popular: Around 280 first-semester                                                                                                                TU Darmstadt and Goethe
                   students, roughly 40 percent of whom are women,                                                                                                                          University Frankfurt also opens
                   were the very first to enrol. Thanks to this cooperation,
                   which is unique in Hesse, students benefit equally from                                                                                                                  up a whole new dimension
                   the competences of the Goethe University’s Faculty of                                                                                                                    for Hesse as a business location,
                   Medicine and TU Darmstadt’s Department of Electrical
                   Engineering. About eighty percent of the courses impart
                                                                                                                                                                                            not only in teaching”.
                   engineering knowledge from mathematics, physics             “The profiles of TU Darmstadt                                                                               Professor Robert Sader,
                   and electrical engineering; about twenty percent are                                                                                                                    Dean of Studies Faculty of Medicine Goethe University
                   based on scientific-medical principles. The focus is on a
                                                                                and the Goethe University
                   close relationship between biomedical engineering and        complement each other
                   clinical issues. Internships and tutorials complement
                                                                                perfectly in the new bio-
                   the theory.
                                                                                medical engineering degree
                   In order to get to know both specialist cultures and make    course. Furthermore,                                                                                       “Studies show that more women
                   them tangible, teaching takes place at both locations:
                   four days a week in Darmstadt, one day a week at the         we are currently expanding                                                                                  are interested in engineering
                   Faculty of Medicine in Frankfurt.                            our biomedical engineering                                                                                  if it is interdisciplinary and
                                                                                research activities, including                                                                              involves socio-political issues”.
                   The TU considers the fact that about two fifths of the
                   first semester students in the new course are female         with the Johannes Gutenberg                                                                                Professor Andy Schürr, Dean of Student Affairs,
                                                                                                                                                                                           Department of Electrical Engineering and
                   to be an enormous success, because women are still in
                                                                                University Mainz. Four new                                                                                 Information Technology
                   the minority in MINT subjects nationwide. A Master’s
                   programme in biomedical engineering is to be intro-          professorships are being
                   duced in the winter semester 2021/2022, in time for          created for this purpose at
                   the first Bachelor’s graduates.
                                                                                TU Darmstadt alone”.
                   The TU and Goethe University developed the joint            Professor Hans Jürgen Prömel,
                   study programme over a period of one and a half years.      President of TU Darmstadt                                                                                   “Health is a huge topic and one
                   The interdisciplinary, inter-university cooperation is                                                                                                                   of the most central scientific
                   intended to help meet future challenges. Demand for
                   telemedicine, biotechnologies and intelligent biomedical                                                                                                                 challenges in the world”.
Academic Affairs

                   engineering solutions is increasing as a result of demo-                                                                                                                Professor Jutta Hanson, Department of Electrical
                   graphic change, higher life expectancy and age-related                                                                                                                  Engineering and Information Technology
                   diseases. The two universities want to address the
                   growing significance of these topics with the new

                   Since 2015, TU Darmstadt, the Goethe University
                   Frankfurt and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
                   form the strategic alliance “Rhine-Main-Universities”.

                                                                                                                 Attractive range of courses: Linking engineering sciences and medicine.

18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 19
Demanding from the very start

                   Keeping pace with energy
                   How can the human body become a charging
                   station for the smartphone? More than 300 students
                   of mechanical engineering and sports science
                   devoted themselves to this question during the
                   KI²VA week “Introduction to mechanical engin-
                   eering”. In the “Move & Use” project, 36 inter-
                   disciplinary and international teams searched
                   for ways to convert mechanical energy generated
                   by everyday movement into electricity and store
                   it in order to charge a mobile device.

                   The system should be able to be attached to the
                   body without interfering with movement and be                                                                                                                             This is KIVA
                   able to react to disruptions. The students also                                                                                                                           KIVA stands for compet-
                   had to create a business model. A jury of experts                                                                                                                         ence development
                   evaluated the degree of innovation. The teams                                                                                                                             through interdisciplin-
                   were accompanied by scientists from the depart-                                                                                                                           ary networking from
                   ment and by project tutors.                                                                                                                                               the very start. With
                                                                                                                                                                                             interdisciplinary and
                   A good solution was offered by the “Power2go”                                                                                                                             technical projects in
                   team, which combined a knee orthosis with an                                                                                                                              the starting phase of
                   efficient mechanism for using excess energy. The                                                                                                                          university studies, the
                   solution “Hike up your phone” can be retrofitted                                                                                                                          TU has set standards
                   to a hiking backpack. A rope system converts                                                                                                                              nationwide to improve
                   the excess energy when lowering the leg, and                                                                                                                              study conditions and
                   a magnetic mechanism provides additional safety.                                                                                                                          teaching quality.
                   “WonderSchuh” uses the rolling process and
                   the forward motion of the foot when walking to
                   accelerate a permanent magnet that induces
                   a current in a coil.

                   Business games for local transport
                   During their interdisciplinary KI²VA project week,
Academic Affairs

                   190 students of politics and industrial engineering
                   took on the role of a consulting company. The
                   aim was to develop a coherent and sustainable
                   transport concept for local public transport.
                   In 16 groups, the students designed a business
                   model including a financial plan. They had to deal
                   with existing structures in the city of Darmstadt     Starting studies with energy and fun: Project “Move and Use”.
                   and examine the interests of stakeholders and
                   their forms of organisation. The teams were           Professor Andreas Pfnür (Institute of Real Estate               First place went to the team “Darmstadts Multi-
                   supported by technical and team tutors as well        Management) and Professor Markus Lederer                        modale Zukunft”. Second and third place were
                   as internal and external experts.                     (Institute of Political Science) praised the                    secured by students with ideas for “sky capsules”
                                                                         “innovative mobility concepts” of their students.               and a suspension railway.

20                                                                                                                                                                                                              21
Comprehensive protection                                                                                      Settling in quickly

                                                                                                                                 Every winter semester, around 250 international
                                                                                                                                 students begin their Bachelor studies at the TU. The
                                                                                                                                 free preliminary course “PreCIS”, which is tailored
                                                                                                                                 to their needs and lasts several weeks, helps them
                                                                                                                                 to prepare for German university life as well as the
                                                                                                                                 new culture and language. The programme, which
                                                                                                                                 was launched as a pilot project, was developed in
                                                                                                                                 2017 by TU Darmstadt as part of the KI²VA project
                                                                                                                                 to improve quality in teaching. With growing
                                                                                                                                 success: In the winter semester 2018/19, the course
                                                                                                                                 was already attended by 26 first-semester Bachelor
                                                                                                                                 students. They had been selected from around one
                                                                                                                                 hundred applicants according to fixed quotas from                                                                  Good marks
                                                                                                                                 departments such as Computer Science, Business                                                                     in the ranking
                                                                                                                                 Administration/Industrial Engineering or Electrical                                                                The TU’s Bachelor
                                                                                                                                 Engineering and Information Technology with                                                                        students assess their
                                                                                                                                 the new biomedical engineering degree course.                                                                      degree programmes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    predominantly posi-
                                                                                                                                 One of the special features of “PreCIS” is the                                                                     tively. The subjects
                                                                                                                                 language course – the training concentrates on                                                                     biology, chemistry,
                                                                                                                                 German as a scientific language and the specialist                                                                 mathematics, physics
                   Good ideas for effective rescue operations.                                                                   terminology of mathematics. Additionally, there is                                                                 and computer science
                                                                                                                                 vocabulary from the “university realm” and study-                                                                  as well as political
                   Humanitarian mission                                  Better harvest                                          relevant key competence training. Another plus                                                                     science and geosciences
                   130 students from business administration/            Harvest yields are threatened worldwide by pests        are the Buddies: For the whole of the first semester,                                                              are consistently ranked
                   industrial engineering and sociology degree courses   and pathogens. Previous defence strategies aimed at     specialist assistants support the newcomers in                                                                     in the top and middle
                   have developed concepts for humanitarian missions     creating resistant strains and chemical or biological   matters about life inside and outside the university.        Benefits from intensive support: Mohammad Amin Ali.   group in the CHE
                   in an interdisciplinary project in the introductory   control. A new approach could be genome editing                                                                                                                            University Ranking
                   phase of their studies. In small groups, the          using the “gene scissors” CRISPR/Cas. This is a topic                                                                                                                      2018. One of the
                   participants designed technical aids, instructions    that 120 students from the Department of Biology                                                                                                                           biggest strengths is
                   for do-it-yourself products and app developments.     and the Institute for Sociology dealt with during the                                                                                                                      the support for new
                                                                         KI²VA project week. They presented their solutions                                                                                                                         students.
                   The students were supported by the aid organi-        to a jury that also included economic experts.
                   sation Cadus, which organises humanitarian aid
Academic Affairs

                   missions in Iraq and Syria and specialises in the     The winner was a group that wanted to introduce a
                   development of open source projects for self-help.    virus antibody into the manioc genome to protect
                   Special incentive and motivation of the project       the manioc from the Cassava mosaic virus in Ghana.
                   work: The best ideas of the TU groups were able       Second place went to a concept for improved maize
                   to be put into practice.                              cultivation in Ethiopia. Here, CRISPR/Cas should
                                                                         remove the immunity of the pest larvae of Spodop-       “I have already set up a WhatsApp group with
                   The award-winning concepts included a tripod with     tera frugiperda against a maize toxin. Third place
                   pulley mechanism that could be used to lift debris,   went to students who wanted to use the natural           my Buddy Alex, who is a 3rd semester computer
                   and an innovative tent concept that could be set up   resistance of Bolivian potatoes to potato blight.        science student. I can turn to him when I get stuck.
                   quickly as a mobile operating theatre in crisis       It is hoped that the use of CRISPR/Cas increases
                   regions.                                              the yield.
                                                                                                                                  That’s really a big help”.
                                                                                                                                  Mohammad Amin Ali, student of computer science from Syria

22                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    23
Generous opening hours                                                                                                                Courses offered by TU Darmstadt

                                                                                                                                                         Bachelor                                            Master
                                                                                                                                                         Applied Geosciences                                 Applied Geosciences
                                                                                                                                                         Applied Mechanics                                   Architecture
                                                                                                                                                         Architecture                                        Autonomous Systems
                                                                                                                                                         Building Technology                                 Biomolecular Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Biology                                             Business Administration/Industrial Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Biomedical Engineering                                • specialising in Civil Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Biomolecular Engineering                              • specialising in Electrical Engineering and
                                                                                                                                                         Business Administration/Industrial Engineering           Information Technology
                                                                                                                                                           • specialising in Civil Engineering                 • specialising in Mechanical Engineering
                                                                                                                                                           • specialising in Electrical Engineering and      Business Information Systems
                                                                                                                                                              Information Technology                         Chemistry

                                                                                                                                     degree programmes
                                                                                                                                                           • specialising in Mechanical Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Business Information Systems
                                                                                                                                                         Civil Engineering and Geodesy
                                                                                                                                                         Computational Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Computer Science
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Civil Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Computational Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Computer Science
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Distributed Software Systems
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Educational Sciences – Education in Processes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of Global Technologicalisation
                                                                                                                                                         Digital Philology                                   Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
                                                                                                                                                         Electrical Engineering and Information Technology   Energy Science and Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Environmental Engineering                           Environmental Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         History with a Focus on Modern History              German Linguistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Geodesy and Geoinformation

                                                                                                                                                         Information Systems Technology
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Governance and Public Policy
                                                                                                                                                         Materials Science
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Information and Communication Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Mechanical and Process Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Information Systems Technology
                                                                                                                                                                                                             International Cooperation in Urban Development
                                                                                                                                        departments      Pedagogy
                                                                                                                                                                                                             International Studies/Peace and Conflict Research
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Internet and Web-based Systems
                                                                                                                                                         Political Science                                   IT Security
                                                                                                                                                         Psychology                                          Linguistic and Literary Computing
                                                                                                                                                         Psychology in IT                                    Materials Science
                                                                                                                                                         Sociology                                           Mathematics

                   Learning centre in the old main building.                                                                                             Sports Science and Computer Science                 Mechanical and Process Engineering
                                                                                                                                                         Bachelor of Education (Teaching’s degree)           Mechanics
                                                                                                                                                         Building Technology                                 Mechatronics
                   Opened in early 2018, the learning centre in the           New learning centres have been established at a                            Body Care                                           Paper Science and Technology – Paper Technology
                   first basement floor of the old main building is           total of 16 locations on the campus in recent years.                       Chemical Engineering                                    and Biobased Fiber Materials
                                                                                                                                       fields of study   Computer Science                                    Philosophy
                   entirely to the students’ taste. At the central location   Another centre is already on the official opening                                                                              Physics
                                                                                                                                                         Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
                   on the city centre campus they can find around             list: When the Department of History and Social                            Metal Engineering                                   Political Theory
                   135 learning workstations on 420 square metres.            Sciences moves back into the city palace, it will be                       Joint Bachelor of Arts                              Psychology in IT
                   Several group work rooms make it possible to work          able to provide 200 learning workstations there.                           Business Administration and Economics               Sociology
                                                                                                                                                         Computer Science                                    Sports Management
                   with particular concentration. The centre is open                                                                                     Digital Philology                                   Sports Science and Computer Science
                   daily from 8 am to 10 pm.                                                                                                             German Studies                                      Technology and Philosophy
Academic Affairs

                                                                                                                                                         History                                             Technical Biology
                                                                                                                                                         Musical Culture                                     Traffic and Transport
                   The space had become vacant after the relocation                                                                                      Philosophy                                          Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering (TropHEE)
                   of various operational workshops to the Ernst-                                                                                        Political Science                                   Visual Computing
                   Neufert-Halle. Construction workers gutted the                                                                                                                                            Master of Education (Teaching’s degree)
                                                                                                                                                         Sports Science
                   rooms and renovated them from the ground up.                                                                                                                                              Catholic Religion
                   In addition to the learning centre on the basement                                                                                    Lehramt an Gymnasien (Teaching’s degree)            Computer Science
                                                                                                                                                         Biology                                             Ethics
                   level, modern seminar rooms as well as office                                                                                         Chemistry                                           German
                   and laboratory space were created.                                                                                                    Computer Science                                    History
                                                                                                                                                         German                                              Mathematics
                                                                                                                                                         History                                             Physics
                                                                                                                                                         Mathematics                                         Politics and Economics
                                                                                                                                                         Philosophy/Ethics                                   Protestant Religion
                                                                                                                                                         Physics                                             Sports Science
                                                                                                                                                         Sports                                                                                        winter semester 2018/19

24                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        25
                          25,889      Students
                                                                                      Students in
                                                                                                                                             Master’s students                          and State Library
                                                                            first subject-related semester
                                                                                        in 2018                                                                                         2018

                      Departments                                                                                     Foreigners *
                                                                           Total                 Women
                                                                                                 in %                 in %
                                                                                                                                            of which
                                                                                                                                            Master’s **
                                                                                                                                                                  of which
                                                                                                                                                                  Master’s in %         1.37 million visitors
                      Law and Economics                                    3,612                 22 %                 14 %                  930                   26 %
                      History and Social Sciences                          2,949                 53 %                 9%                    950                   32 %                  616,000 users of the
                      Human Sciences                                       1,355                 62 %                 9%                    453                   33 %                           reading room
                      Mathematics                                          793                   34 %                 9%                    242                   31 %
                      Physics                                              1,119                 24 %                 8%                    208                   19 %
                      Chemistry                                            1,017                 39 %                 8%                    267                   26 %
                                                                                                                                                                                        532,031 items borrowed
                      Biology                                              831                   64 %                 8%                    182                   22 %
                      Materials and Earth Sciences                         1,142                 31 %                 31 %                  466                   41 %                  26,609 requests for information
                      Civil and Environmental Engineering                  2,167                 38 %                 18 %                  746                   34 %
                      Architecture                                         1,347                 57 %                 27 %                  625                   46 %                  Around 5.05 million: the number
                      Mechanical Engineering                               2,801                 12 %                 21 %                  1,131                 40 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                of individual pages
                      Electrical Engineering and Inf. Technology           2,087                 18 %                 39 %                  655                   31 %
                      Computer Science                                     3,681                 14 %                 22 %                  1,241                 34 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                of the digital collection accessed
                      Fields of Study
                      Mechanics                                            188                   15%                  22 %                  79                    42 %                  Around 1 million: the number
                      Computational Engineering                            282                   18 %                 17 %                  96                    34 %                          of times the library's publication
                      Information Systems Engineering                      246                   14 %                 16 %                  71                    29 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                service (TUprints) was accessed
                      Mechatronics                                         154                   6%                   27 %                  154                   100 %
                      Energy Science and Engineering                       118                   23 %                 28 %                  118                   100 %
                      Total                                                25,889                31 %                 18 %                  8,614                 33 %
                    Source: Data Warehouse / Excludes individuals with leave of absence, includes doctoral students, excludes those on second degree courses. Assignment based
                    on first subject, winter semester 2018/19. / * Foreigners refer here to all individuals with foreign citizenship, even if they obtained their university entrance
                    qualifications in Germany./ ** Master’s = all except Master of Education, preparation for Master’s included

                      Students in first subject-related semester
                                                                              Undergraduate degree courses*                       Master’s degree courses **                            4.6 million printed works,
                      Departments                                             Total            Women
                                                                                               in %
                                                                                                                 *** in %
                                                                                                                                  Total             Women
                                                                                                                                                    in %
                                                                                                                                                                     *** in %                   of which 2.3 million
                      Law and Economics                                       935              23 %              15 %             305               25 %             15 %                        are books and journals
                      History and Social Sciences                             510              56 %              6%               301               59 %             11 %
                      Human Sciences                                          197              70 %              12 %             160               58 %             4%                 510,822 electronic media
                      Mathematics                                             140              39 %              6%               79                41 %             9%
                      Physics                                                 376              40 %              17 %             66                23 %             5%
                                                                                                                                                                                                 (excluding magazines)
                      Chemistry                                               173              41 %              7%               86                44 %             6%
                      Biology                                                 175              72 %              10 %             49                59 %             4%                 28,257 continuously published
                      Materials and Earth Sciences                            163              37 %              7%               154               25 %             55 %                        journals,
                      Civil and Environmental Engineering                     343              40 %              15 %             231               42 %             22 %
                      Architecture                                            150              62 %              11 %             181               61 %             29 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                 of which 25,759 are electronic
Academic Affairs
Facts and figures

                      Mechanical Engineering                                  306              12 %              19 %             369               12 %             29 %
                      Electrical Engineering and Inf. Technology              626              26 %              32 %             204               19 %             65 %               13,695 manuscripts
                      Computer Science                                        705              19 %              17 %             339               13 %             15 %
                      Fields of Study
                      Mechanics                                               37               22 %              8%               17                12 %             59 %
                                                                                                                                                                                        3.47 million Euro of expenditure
                      Computational Engineering                               61               16 %              8%               29                21 %             45 %                        on acquisitions, of which
                      Information Systems Engineering                         50               28 %              22 %             19                5%               11 %                        almost 2.4 million Euro
                      Mechatronics                                                                                                64                6%               16 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                 on electronic media
                      Energy Science and Engineering                                                                              35                17 %             29 %
                      Total                                                   4,947            34 %              15 %             2,688             32 %             23 %
                    Source: Data Warehouse / Excludes individuals with leave of absence, doctoral students, and those on second degree courses. Assignment based on first
                                                                                                                                                                                        223 books and
                    subject. Summer semester 2018 + winter semester 2018/19. / * Bachelor’s at university, Bachelor of Education, Joint Bachelor, Lehramt an Gymnasien-
                    supplementary teacher’s training **Master’s at university, Master of Education, preparation for Master’s ***Foreigners refer here to all individuals with
                                                                                                                                                                                                427 graphics restored
                    foreign citizenship, even if they obtained their university entrance qualifications in Germany

26                                                                                                                                                                                                                             27
International students* at TU Darmstadt                                                                                                                                                                                 Doctorates

                                          Total of 3,568 from 116 countries in winter semester 2018/19, including ...
                                                                                                                                                                                   graduates in 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 447 / Women: 26 % / Foreigners:* 19 %

                                  India                                         270                                                                                                                                                                               Law and Economics
                              Pakistan                           164                                                                                                                                                                                              total: 23 / Women: 26 % / Foreigners: 4 %
                                   Iran                        144
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  History and Social Sciences
                                  Syria                       138
                             Vietnam                  82
                                                                                                                                                                                   14%          of students
                                                                                                                                                                                   studying for Bachelor degrees are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 19 / Women: 42 % / Foreigners: 0 %

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Human Sciences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 10 / Women: 60 % / Foreigners: 10 %
                                 Egypt               76                                                                                                                            foreign nationals.                                                             Mathematics
                              Bulgaria               70                                                                                                                                                                                                           total: 13 / Women: 15 % / Foreigners: 0 %
                           Cameroon                  70
                          Russian Fed.              67                                                                                                                                                                                                            Physics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 41 / Women: 22 % / Foreigners: 20 %
                                 Spain              64
                                                                                                                                                                                   With     3,681
                                                                                                                                                                                   students, Computer Science
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 41 / Women: 24 % / Foreigners: 17 %

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Biology                                              Source: Data Warehouse /data:
                                                                                                                                                                                   is the most popular department                                                 total: 32 / Women: 72 % / Foreigners: 9 %            graduation in 2017
                                                                                                                              Asia                                                                                                                                                                                     calendar year; “heads”,
                                                                                                                                                                                   at TU Darmstadt.                                                               Materials and Earth Sciences                         i.e. first subject only
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 33 / Women: 33 % / Foreigners: 42 %           (individuals assigned to
                    266                                                                 392                                                                                                                                                                       Civil and Environmental Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       departments and fields
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of study based on first subject).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 35 / Women: 26 % / Foreigners: 23 %

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       * Foreigners refer here to all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         individuals with foreign
                                                                             Africa                                                                                                                                                                               Architecture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         citizenship, even if they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 9 / Women: 56 % / Foreigners: 67 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         obtained their university
                                                                                                                                                                                   of students in the department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mechanical Engineering                                 entrance qualifications in
                                                                                                                                                                                   of Electrical Engineering and Information                                      total: 100 / Women: 11 % / Foreigners: 10 %            Germany.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Technology are foreign nationals.                                                                                                   **Excluding PhD graduates. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Electrical Engineering and Inf. Technology              diagram still contains Diploma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 53 / Women: 19 % / Foreigners: 36 %              and Magister qualifications so
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that the number may be larger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Computer Science                                        than the sum of the Bachelor,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  total: 38 / Women: 11 % / Foreigners: 18 %              Masters and teaching qualifi-
                                                                                                                                                       Australia         3

                                                                                                                                                                                   25%            of students
                                                                                                                                                                                   studying for Master's degrees are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       *** includes Joint Bachelor,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             except Bachelor of Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       **** except Master of Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ***** Lehramt an Gymnasien,
                                                                                                                                                                                   foreign nationals.                                                                                                                          Bachelor of Education,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Master of Education
                                       * Foreign students who obtained their university entrance qualifications outside of Germany.

                          Degree courses in highest demand

                          Top 5 Bachelor’s degree courses                                                           Top 5 Bachelor’s degree courses for international students*
                                                                                Number                                                                               Number                                                   Graduates (total)**         Graduates (Bachelor)***         Graduates (Master)****       Graduates (teaching
                          Subject                                                                                   Subject                                                                                                                                                                                            degrees)*****
                                                                                of students                                                                          of students
                          Computer Science                                      2,218                               Computer Science                                 183            Departments                               total   Women Foreigners*   total     Women Foreigners*     total    Women Foreigners*   total      Women Foreign.*
                          Mechanical and Process Engineering                    1,427                               Mechanical and Process Engineering               175                                                              in %  in %                    in %  in %                     in %  in %                     in %  in %

                          Business Administration/Industrial                                                        Electrical Engineering and Information                          Law and Economics                         542     20 %     7%         276       23 %     7%           265      16 %        6%
                          Engineering – specialising in Mechanical              1,255                               Technology                                       138            History and Social Sciences               424     55 %     7%         135       47 %     9%           169      60 %        6%      74         57 %       1%
                                                                                                                                                                                    Human Sciences                            206     70 %     8%         95        77 %     9%           82       68 %        7%      26         54 %       0%
                          Civil Engineering and Geodesy                         880                                 Business Administration/Industrial
                                                                                                                    Engineering – specialising in Mechanical         78             Mathematics                               181     39 %     6%         83        31 %     5%           83       42 %        7%      15         60 %       0%
                          Electrical Engineering and Information                                                    Engineering
                                                                                659                                                                                                 Physics                                   160     14 %     3%         91        13 %     2%           65       14 %        3%      4          25 %       0%
                          Technology                                                                                Mechatronics                                     61
                                                                                                                                                                                    Chemistry                                 162     38 %     3%         85        34 %     2%           67       37 %        1%      9          67 %       22 %
                                                                                                                                                                                    Biology                                   149     68 %     5%         80        69 %     5%           45       64 %        2%      22         77 %       14 %
Academic Affairs
Facts and figures

                          Top 5 Master’s degree courses                                                             Top 5 Master’s degree courses for international students*       Materials and Earth Sciences              184     32 %     27 %       50        34 %     0%           134      31 %        37 %
                                                                                Number                                                                               Number         Civil and Environmental Engineering       449     38 %     12 %       191       43 %     4%           241      34 %        18 %
                          Subject                                                                                   Subject
                                                                                of students                                                                          of students    Architecture                              287     53 %     24 %       158       55 %     13 %         125      53 %        38 %    4          0%         0%
                          Mechanical and Process Engineering                    1,117                               Distributed Software Systems                     296            Mechanical Engineering                    613     10 %     14 %       267       12 %     9%           343      8%          17 %    1          0%         0%
                          Architecture                                          586                                 Mechanical and Process Engineering               234            Electrical Engineering and Inf. Technology 321    12 %     37 %       140       9%       16 %         171      14 %        57 %
                          Computer Science                                      554                                 Electrical Engineering and Information                          Computer Science                          429     10 %     31 %       167       7%       7%           261      12 %        46 %
                                                                                                                                                                     206            Fields of Study
                          Business Administration/Industrial                                                        Technology
                          Engineering – specialising in Mechanical              498                                                                                                 Mechanics                                 34      24 %     12 %       9         22%      0%           24       25 %        17 %
                          Engineering                                                                               Information and
                                                                                                                    Communication Engineering                        144            Computational Engineering                 22      9%       5%         3         0%       0%           19       11 %        5%
                          Electrical Engineering and Information
                                                                                444                                                                                  130            Information Systems Engineering           47      4%       19 %       30        0%       23 %         17       12 %        12 %
                          Technology                                                                                Materials Science
                                                                                                                                                                                    Mechatronics                              30      13 %     33 %                                       30       13 %        33 %
                                                                                                                                                                                    Energy Science and Engineering            17      41 %     12 %                                       17       41 %        12 %
                          Source: Data Warehouse; excludes individuals with leave of absence and those on second degree courses, winter semester 2018/19.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Total                                     4,257   30 %     15 %       1,860     30 %     8%           2,158    27 %        22 %    155        57 %       4%

28                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   29
     TU Darmstadt
     Progress Report
Highlights 2018
                                                     Installation of
                                                                                                  The first                        Top positions in German Research Foundation ranking
                                                     update 12.1.                                 DFG collaborative
                                                                                                  research centre in which
                                                     was urgently required: The Secure            all three Rhine-Main
                                                     Mobile Networking Labs Research              Universities (TU Darm-           The engineering sciences at TU Darmstadt are
                                                     Team at TU Darmstadt laid bare
                                                                                                  stadt, Goethe University         outstanding. This is underlined by the Funding
                                                                                                  Frankfurt and Johannes           Atlas 2018 of the German Research Foundation:
                                                     a security vulnerability in the
                                                                                                  Gutenberg University             When it comes to attracting German Research
                                                     iPhone operating system iOS, which           Mainz) are significantly         Foundation funding in the engineering sciences,
                                                     affected more than half a billion            involved was approved            TU Darmstadt ranks fourth in a nationwide
                                                     Apple devices. Attackers were able           in 2018: The title is            comparison. In computer science it even moved
                                                                                                  “Regulation of DNA Repair        from seventh to first place. This leap is closely
                                                     to trigger system crashes using
                                                                                                  and Genome Stability”.           linked to the performance of the two profile areas
                                                     commercially available hardware                                               cyber-security and internet and digitisation.
                                                     and without physical access.
                                                                                                                                   The top ten places of German Research Foundation
                                                                                                                                   awards by subject also include other disciplines of
                                                                                                                                   TU Darmstadt: Heating technology ranks second,
                                                                                                                                   mechanical engineering and production technology
                                                                                                                                   fourth. TU Darmstadt also ranks among the top

           students from a vocational school
                                                                                                                                   ten in electrical engineering, materials engineering,
                                                                                                                                   materials science, systems engineering and mathe-
           in Baden-Württemberg benefit from
           TU Darmstadt: Technology education                                                                                      Together with the Goethe University Frankfurt
           experts develop teaching concepts                                                                                       and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz,
           for digitised working environments                                                                                      TU Darmstadt is one of the strongest scientific
           in the Industry 4.0 age.                                                                                                regions in Germany. The three universities joined
                                                                                                                                   forces to form the Rhine-Main Universities alliance
                                                                                                                                   and have raised a total of 457 million euros from
                                                                                                                                   the German Research Foundation in the funding           Strong funding: Profile area Thermo-Fluids & Interfaces.
                                                                                                                                   period 2014 to 2016. This is more than 6 percent
                                                                                                                                   of German Research Foundation funding, which
                  years of successful research in the DFG Priority Programme “Fuels Produced

                                                                                                                                   went to a total of 216 universities. Compared to the
                  Regeneratively Through Light-Driven Water Splitting”: Teams from TU Darmstadt
                                                                                                                                   period 2011 to 2013, the Rhine-Main Universities
                  are working on technological foundations for the energy revolution.
                                                                                                                                   increased their German Research Foundation
                                                                                                                                   funding by almost ten percent.
                                                                                                  materials scientists from all
                                                                                                  over Europe came together

                                                                                                  at the Materials Science and
                                                                                                  Engineering Congress (MSE)
                                                                                                  at TU Darmstadt. Many TU
                                                                                                  researchers participated in
                                                                                                  the 50 symposia, 150 sessions
                                                                                                  and numerous plenary lectures.

32                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    33
Major projects with a promising future                                                                            Machine learning for agriculture

           The state research programme LOEWE enhances the profile of TU Darmstadt.                                          Professor Kristian Kersting.

           Two new LOEWE research clusters                              Ten million euros for CROSSING                       In 2018, the number of people suffering from          This knowledge would make it possible to grow
           In June 2018, scientists at TU Darmstadt were again          Since 2014, the collaborative research centre        malnutrition rose to 821 million – one in nine        more resistant plants and combat diseases more
           awarded funds from the State Offensive for the               CROSSING at TU Darmstadt has been focusing on        people is affected. At the same time, demand for      efficiently – the basis for precision farming,
           Development of Scientific and Economic Excellence            cryptography-based security solutions. The German    food is rising and climate change is leaving more     which would enable higher yields to be achieved
           (LOEWE). Starting in 2019, the State of Hesse                Research Foundation has extended its funding         and more soil infertile.                              on existing farmland. The project is funded by the
           supports two new LOEWE research clusters with                and is supporting CROSSING from 2018 to 2022                                                               Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Partners
           4.65 million euros each over a period of four years:         with a further ten million euros. The SFB/Trans-     Kristian Kersting, professor of machine learning,     are the University of Bonn and the Aachen-based
           The International Centre for Nuclear Photonics,              regio projects on soft matter and on gas networks,   and his team see an opportunity to improve            company Lemnatec.
           coordinated by the physics professors Markus Roth            in which TU Darmstadt is involved, are also          nutritional conditions with artificial intelligence
           and Joachim Enders, uses the laser technology to             continuing.                                          (AI). “First of all we want to understand what
           develop new radiation sources that are suitable to                                                                physiological processes in plants look like when
           investigate the composition of matter as well as for         Simulation in the centre                             they suffer stress”, says Kersting. “Stress occurs
           many technical applications. In the second LOEWE             Computational engineering combines engineering,      when they do not absorb enough water or are
           research clusters, the project FLAME, twelve TU              mathematics and computer science with computer       infected with pathogens”. The researchers teach

           research groups from the fields of materials science         simulations. Since May 2018, the Centre for          a software to recognise stress patterns by means
           and geosciences, chemistry as well as electrical             Computational Engineering, which is integrated       of a mechanical learning process. As the AI can
           engineering and information technology are                   into the TU structure as a cross-sectional area      consider more data than a human, it may discover
           working on functional materials for energy storage           orthogonally to the departments, has been bundling   stress indicators unknown to researchers.
           under the leadership of Professor Andreas Klein.             all activities of the young discipline.

34                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      35
From human to artificial intelligence

           Three questions for ...                                                                                                                                                                A robot learns to help
                                                                                                                                                                                                  In the KoBo34 project, researchers from the fields
           Professors Constantin Rothkopf and Frank Jäkel,                                                                                                                                        of intelligent autonomous systems (Department of
           Centre for Cognitive Science.                                                                                                                                                          Computer Science) and psychology of information
                                                                                                                                                                                                  processing (Department of Human Sciences) teach
           How does cognitive science differ from                                                                                                                                                 a humanoid, two-armed robot how to intuitively
           the emerging field of artificial intelligence?                                                                                                                                         interact with a human being. The robot should learn
           Cognitive science investigates perception, thinking                                                                                                                                    to help older people in their everyday lives so they
           and action and understands these processes as                                                                                                                                          can maintain their independence for as long as
           information processing. Artificial intelligence,                                                                                                                                       possible. For the harmonious interaction of man
           on the other hand, develops intelligent computer                                                                                                                                       and machine, it is crucial that both the actions of
           programs. Although cognitive science is concerned                                                                                                                                      the robot and those of the human are predictable
           with similar methods, it wants to understand                                                                                                                                           for the respective partner.
           natural intelligence in the first place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The machine should recognise human intentions
           What role does this understanding play                                                                                                                                                 through movement patterns, viewing directions,
           for future technologies?                                                                                                                                                               gestures or verbal expressions. For humans, on
           A classic example are human “mistakes”: Are we                                                                                                                                         the other hand, the machine acts predictably when
           simply dealing with “errors” here or rather with                                                                                                                                       it executes familiar, seemingly natural movement
           the effects of human information processing?                                                                                                                                           patterns and provides clues to its intentions
           The answer has fundamental consequences for the                                                                                                                                        and also if there are uncertainties, such as with
           development of technical systems. For instance,                                                                                                                                        regard to the action desired by humans. Building
           if we understand human abilities more precisely,                                                                                                                                       on basic skills, a technical layperson, for example
           we can transfer them better to intelligent systems                                                                                                                                     a geriatric nurse, teaches the robot new skills
           and also improve the interaction between man                                                                                                                                           through imitation learning.
           and machine.
                                                                 Professors’ dialogue: Frank Jäkel (left), Constantin Rothkopf.
           How does the profile of cognitive science at
           TU Darmstadt differ from that of other research
           The Centre for Cognitive Science brings together
           experts whose research focuses on computer
           modelling of adaptive behaviour in both technical
           systems and humans. This simultaneous focus
           on models of human and artificial intelligence is
           a specific strength.

                                                                                                                                  Cooperative assistance: Robotics in the domestic environment.

36                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       37
Recipe against the power of quantum computers                                                                        Pros and cons from noise

                                                                                                                                The project “ArgumenText” at the Ubiquitous
                                                                                                                                Knowledge Processing Lab of the Department
                                                                                                                                of Computer Science develops methods for the
                                                                                                                                automatic recognition of arguments in large
                                                                                                                                heterogeneous text sources. This allows the pros
                                                                                                                                and cons of any topic to be filtered from the noise
                                                                                                                                of the internet. A demonstrator of the bilingual
                                                                                                                                search system is publicly accessible at www.
                                                                                                                       If you enter the keyword
                                                                                                                                nuclear energy, for example, you will receive almost
                                                                                                                                one hundred arguments for and against nuclear
                                                                                                                                power from a wide variety of websites after just
                                                                                                                                a few seconds. The respective sources are linked.

                                                                                                                                Using neural networks, the system first examines
                                                                                                                                which online texts are relevant for the respective
                                                                                                                                topic and then scans them for arguments. In order
                                                                                                                                to decide whether a statement is an argument at
                                                                                                                                all and whether it is on the pro or contra side, the
                                                                                                                                search engine considers not only individual words,
                                                                                                                                but also grammatical structures, contexts and
                                                                                                                                semantics. The algorithms required for this are
                                                                                                                                developed by the team of the lab. “The challenge
                                                                                                                                was to make a system trained for one type of text
                                                                                                                                transferable to any text form”, says Dr. Christian
                                                                                                                                Stab, who manages the project together with Dr.
           In the quantum cryptography lab in the Physics Department.                                                           Johannes Daxenberger. Scientific texts, for example,   Experts in Argument Mining: Johannes Daxenberger,
                                                                                                                                raise arguments completely differently from social     Christian Stab and Tristan Miller (from left to right).
           Due to rapid progress in the development of super-           stressing the importance of these proofs of author-     media. Argument Mining, the recognition of
           fast quantum computers, common encryption and                ship. XMSS is safe and sustainable, says Buchmann.      linguistic arguments by means of computer science,
           digital signatures could become insecure within just         This is because it does not use complex mathemat-       is becoming increasingly important in the digital
           a few years. Researchers are therefore developing            ical problems as security hurdles, which are only       humanities.
           new methods that are supposed to be immune                   ever assumed to be uncrackable. XMSS relies solely
           to an attack by a quantum computer, so-called post-          on hash functions, which are digital fingerprints
           quantum cryptography.                                        of files that use current cryptographic methods as
                                                                        a second hurdle in addition to the mathematical
           A method for securing digital signatures, developed          problems. However, that is not a weakness: “We
           at TU Darmstadt, is now ready for online use.                were able to mathematically prove that our method
           The international body IETF, which develops                  is safe as long as it is the hash function”, Buchmann

           standards for data traffic in the network, has               emphasizes.
           officially recognised the XMSS (eXtended Merkle
           Signature Scheme) procedure.                                 The method guarantees that no two files have the
                                                                        same fingerprint. If the function used is cracked
           “Without secure digital signatures, the internet             by hackers, which does happen, it can be quickly
           would have to be switched off”, says Professor               replaced. XMSS is thus part of the armour against
           Johannes Buchmann, head of the developers,                   the quantum computer.

38                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               39
Health data under lock and key                                                                                             Faster DNA synthesis

                                                                                                                                      Together with researchers from Lawrence Berkeley
                                                                                                                                      National Laboratory, TU Darmstadt biology students
                                                                                                                                      Sebastian Barthel and Sebastian Palluk have devel-
                                                                                                                                      oped an enzymatic process for the rapid synthesis
                                                                                                                                      of DNA sequences. They published their method in
                                                                                                                                      June 2018 in the journal “Nature Biotechnology”.
                                                                                                                                      The enzymatic process is intended to replace the
                                                                                                                                      chemical method for DNA synthesis in the long
                                                                                                                                      term. The established technique works well for
                                                                                                                                      short DNA strands of up to 150 building blocks,
                                                                                                                                      but errors multiply as the length increases.

                                                                                                                                      The new DNA synthesis is based on an enzyme from
                                                                                                                                      our immune system that sequences DNA building
                                                                                                                                      blocks extremely quickly and without a template.
                                                                                                                                      Because of this ability, the enzyme has been
                                                                                                                                      discussed for decades in connection with DNA
                                                                                                                                      synthesis. However, in order to generate defined
                                                                                                                                      sequences, it had to be coaxed to add only one DNA
                                                                                                                                      building block per reaction. The German-American
                                                                                                                                      team succeeded. The simplified DNA synthesis
                                                                                                                                      could facilitate the biotechnological production of
                                                                                                                                      numerous products, from food to fuel, and drive
                                                                                                                                      pharmaceutical research.

           Security ensured for decades is indispensable for the storage of health data.                                                                                                    Sebastian Palluk (left) and Sebastian Barthel in the laboratory.

           The electronic patient file has been discussed for                 back and forth between clinics and server operators
           a long time. But what about the long-term security                 with quantum computer-resistant encryption. In
           of the data? Since the computing capacities of                     the future, the researchers want to add another level
           attackers are becoming ever greater and their                      of security: quantum key exchange. The scientists
           attacks better, it can be assumed that all previously              involved in CROSSING are working on this in their
           encrypted data will be exposed in 20 years at                      own quantum laboratory at TU Darmstadt.
           the latest. Together with Japanese and Canadian
           partners, the employees of the collaborative
           research centre CROSSING at TU Darmstadt have
           developed a prototype that securely stores sensitive                                                                                                                             “The ability to artificially produce DNA has
           health data for the long term. The encryption                                                                                                                                     remained almost static over the past decade.

           is based on a division of the original data set to
           different servers, so that individual parts do not                 “All encryption methods used                                                                                   This promising first demonstration of an
           make sense on their own. The division is renewed                    today will become insecure in                                                                                 enzymatic process for DNA synthesis finally
           regularly. The integrity of the data is secured
           through signatures that even future quantum
                                                                               the coming years and decades”.                                                                                brings movement into this field”.
           computers cannot crack. In addition, the Canadian                    Professor Johannes Buchmann, Spokesperson of the                                                             Professor Beatrix Süß, Synthetic Genetic Circuits Research Group
           industrial partner, ISARA, protects the data sent                    collaborative research centre CROSSING                                                                       at the Department of Biology

40                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              41
The insect perfume trick                                                                                                 Innovations for waterways and buildings

                                                                             Agriculture needs more environmentally friendly
                                                                             solutions for crop protection. Pesticides are not
                                                                             a good choice because they also harm beneficial
                                                                             insects, reduce biodiversity and pollute soils and                                                                                                                                  “When the
                                                                             groundwater. Our planet is already suffering as a                                                                                                                                    elevator goes
                                                                             result of these pollutants. The European SUSPHIRE
                                                                             project, in which the three TU Darmstadt professors                                                                                                                                  into operation,
                                                                             Heribert Warzecha, Professor of Botany, Andreas                                                                                                                                      thousands of
                                                                             Jürgens, Professor of Chemical Ecology and Alfred
                                                                             Nordmann, Professor of Philosophy, are involved,                                                                                                                                     fish can be
                                                                             pursues a completely different concept: Plant                                                                                                                                        transported
                                                                             protection through confusion. The pests are to be
                                                                             irritated by the unorthodox use of sex pheromones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  daily to the
                                                                             to such an extent that they miss the tight                                                                                                                                           upper reaches
                                                                             time window for mating and no longer produce                                                                                                                                         of the Ruhr
                                                                             offspring. Female insects normally use sex
                                                                             pheromones to invite males to mate.                                                                                                                                                  during
                                                                             Warzecha and his colleagues will use gene transfer
                                                                             to modify plants in such a way that they will also                                                                                                                                   season”.
                                                                             produce pheromones. They want to use the plants                                                                                                                                     Professor Boris Lehmann,
                                                                             as bio-factories for the production of pheromones                                                                                                                                   Institute for Hydraulic
                                                                             for sprays or traps. However, the long-term goal of                                                                                                                                 and Water Resources
                                                                             the consortium is to bring the pheromone-producing     Experiment in the university’s hydraulic engineering laboratory.
                                                                             plants into the field together with the crop plants.
                                                                             The sexual attractants would then no longer have       An elevator for fish                                               Bricks and façades from the 3D printer
           Andreas Jürgens, Janine Gondolf, Heribert Warzecha (from left).   to be isolated, but could be released directly into    An EU Directive specifies that rivers must be pass-                TU Darmstadt is the first German university to
                                                                             the environment by the plants. However, such           able for fish from the estuary to the source from                  investigate the entire range of applications of 3D
                                                                             applications with genetically modified plants are      2027 onwards. Professor Boris Lehmann from the                     printing in the construction industry. Professor Jörg
                                                                             currently subject to strict regulation.                Institute for Hydraulic and Water Resources wants                  Lange, head of the Institute for Steel Construction
                                                                                                                                    to control the Ruhr barrage of Lake Baldeney with                  and Mechanics of Materials, sees applications
                                                                                                                                    an elevator that is to be installed in a disused pump-             particularly in façade and connecting elements. For
                                                                                                                                    ing station. The difference in height between the                  instance, two steel girders are currently connected
                                                                                                                                    upper and lower water is almost nine metres, and at                by welding on steel brackets; in future, these could
                                                                                                                                    the same time there is no space for a conventional                 be printed directly onto the girders. Another oppor-
                                                                                                                                    fish ladder by the riverbank. But do fish find their               tunity lies in the freedom of form. This makes it
                                                                                                                                    way into the elevator? The researchers led by                      easy to print curved or delicately shaped bricks.
                                                                                                                                    Lehmann, who initially still worked at the Karlsruhe               Initial tests with glass were also successful. In order
                                                                                                                                    Institute of Technology, simulated the flow con-                   to establish 3D printing in the construction industry,

           “Because each insect species synthesizes its own perfume                                                                 ditions and estimated the migration corridors of                   TU researchers are also investigating whether
                                                                                                                                    the fish. The investigations resulted in an elevator               printed components are just as durable and resilient
            to prepare for mating, pheromones can be used very                                                                      model with two adjacent elevators. While one is                    as conventional ones.
            specifically to create confusion and to lure away individual                                                            in operation, the fish gather in the other. Laboratory
                                                                                                                                    tests with fish showed that the system works well.
            species, and thus for plant protection”.
            Professor Heribert Warzecha, Department of Biology

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