AICES Graduate School

  Researchers working together © Peter Winandy

The graduate school "Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science" (AICES) conducts interdisciplinary research at the crossroads between mathematics, computer science, and mechanical engineering, and its particular scientific focus is on the analysis and synthesis of technical systems. 25 university institutions from several disciplines contribute to the school's research and educational activities.


Charlemagne Distinguished Lecture Series with Professor Michele Parrinello

Twice a year, the fellows of the AICES Graduate School organize the Charlemagne Distinguished Lecture, which gives national and international high-profile scientists the opportunity to present their research activities.



Today's industry requires modern simulation technologies. An increasing number of industry branches - such as the automotive and aviation industries, for example - draw on such simulation tools to implement planning and optimization measures of increasing complexity.

In order to be able to deal with the increasing complexity of these simulation tasks, more is needed than the availability of ever more powerful computers: the challenge lies in the mathematical representation - the modeling - of technical questions and problems and their implementation on computer systems using information technology methodologies.

Traditional engineering degree programs as a rule do not provide the skills and expertise needed to meet these requirements. AICES however sets out to train a new generation of experts who master the required simulation methodologies and are capable of applying them to technically and academically challgenging questions and problems.

An Excellent Doctoral Education

AICES aims to reduce time-to-degree by following an innovative, interdisciplinary approach and providing intensive support from academic supervisors.

via intense advising and a coordination of pre-doctoral (MS) and doctoral research stages, and to increase international exposure of doctoral candidates.

In AICES, each doctoral student is advised by a junior and a senior faculty co-advisor. Through a competitive funding allocation process, AICES faculty are motivated to

(i) form interdisciplinary mentoring teams, and to
(ii) provide doctoral project plans,

thus guaranteeing careful project preparation early on. By involving existing and hiring new young faculty, the student-to-faculty ratio is improved, allowing for more intensive mentoring. As a desired side-effect, senior faculty members not only provide guidance to doctoral candidates, but also to junior faculty.

AICES will therefore have an impact on several stages of education: the M.Sc., the doctoral, and the postdoctoral stages.

Further, AICES complements recent university-wide improvements in doctoral education, including the Centre for Doctoral Studies (CDS), which provides soft skills training and many other student services, and the institutional efforts to assure gender equality.

Key Research Areas

The Graduate School is supported by the existing RWTH Aachen activities in computational engineering science (CES). This includes an established B.S./M.S. study programme in CES, and the Center for Computational Engineering Science (CCES). AICES gathers the expertise of a diverse group of RWTH institutes with a strong history of collaboration in research and teaching.

The scientific focus is placed on emerging synthesis and challenging analysis topics with a common emphasis on the multiscale nature of most problems in the considered application areas: materials science, chemical engineering, transportation systems, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and geoscience.

This broad spectrum of applications provides fertile ground for targeted research on topics of synthesis, concentrating on broadly-defined inverse problems. This concept, coming to life only in the context of computational engineering science, involves model discovery and identification, model interaction on multiple scales, as well as optimal design, control and operations of complex engineered systems. Another unique element of the Graduate School is a dedicated seed funding for experimental projects to be performed by on-campus partners, jumpstarting required collaborations with experimental laboratories.