Optimizing the Digital Description and Analysis of Components




Sven Klinkel



+49 241 80-24189



The German Research Foundation provides funding for a new Research Unit led by RWTH professor Sven Klinkel.


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved a new Research Unit at RWTH Aachen University: Professor Sven Klinkel, head of the Chair of Structural Analysis and Dynamics, and his Unit “Polytopic Mesh Generation and Finite Element Analysis Methods for Problems in Solid Mechanics” will develop methods to optimize the exchange of 3D models and numerical analysis.

The advancing digitalization of 3D solids and the increasing complexity of components in digital manufacturing require innovative approaches in structural analysis. Component design is not a purely geometric task; it must also take into account the desired functionality and usability of the finished component. This typically involves converting the digital 3D models of the individual work steps, a process which is time-consuming and error-prone. In order to model the geometry of a component, so-called polytopic meshes can be used – geometric figures that can be used to represent curved surfaces in 3D computer graphics. One difficulty is that the polytopic meshes, as a general reference model, must meet the different requirements of the respective work step.

This is where the Research Unit comes in: Using innovative methods, the Unit aims to design polytopic meshes in a flexible way and thus to be able to tailor them specifically to the requirements of the analysis. The aim is to create an end-to-end mesh model for the entire production route, thus replacing insular solutions. To this end, the Unit aims to combine approaches from numerical mathematics, geometry processing, and computational mechanics to develop novel methods that allow general polytopic networks to be used simultaneously for design and analysis. RWTH is responsible for four of the seven sub-projects within the Research Unit. In addition to Sven Klinkel, Professor Stefanie Reese, Professor Leif Kobbelt, and Dr. Margarita Chasapi will be involved in the Unit’s activities.

Four New Research Units

The DFG is setting up a total of four new Research Units. The new units will receive a total of around 19.4 million euros. Three of the newly established Research Units are funded as part of the D-A-CH cooperation, which also includes the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). The Unit of Professor Sven Klinkel is jointly funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the DFG.

The alliances enable scientists to devote themselves to pressing issues in their fields and to explore new avenues for research. They are funded for up to eight years. The DFG currently funds a total of 189 Research Units, twelve Clinical Research Units, and 16 Centres for Advanced Studies.