German Research Foundation Approves Funding for Collaborative Research Centers at RWTH


Two Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) at RWTH are set to receive funding in the amount of 18 million euros.


CRCs allow university researchers to work collaboratively with external partners on innovative, challenging, complex and long-term research projects. The newly approved CRCs will initially receive a total of 111 million euros in funding for four years. RWTH’s proposal for a CRC entitled Sparsity and Singular Structures is among the projects approved by the DFG grants committee. Furterhmore, the DFG decided to continue to provide funding for 19 CRCs, including the Precision Melt Engineering CRC, established in 2014 at RWTH. The University will receive a total of 18 million euros from the DFG to finance the research centers’ activities.

Collaborative Research Center: Sparsity and Singular Structures

The Sparsity and Singular Structures CRC, headed by Professor Holger Rauhut, will investigate the mathematical foundations of modern algorithms for data processing and machine learning as well as for the simulation of scientific and technical phenomena. The DFG will finance the CRC with around seven million euros over the next four years. 26 employees will be working in 19 subprojects.

The flood of data and the complexity of models describing scientific and technical phenomena leads to challenges that cannot be solved with the help of computing power alone. The CRC’s research focus is on two areas: signal processing and machine learning with huge amounts of data, in particular deep learning, and differential equations that arise from modeling scientific and technical phenomena. So-called singularities often prevent accurate and fast computer-based solution methods. To significantly go beyond existing limits, we need new insights into the mathematical structures underlying these problems. The fundamental idea of sparsity plays a central role here, in particular. Structures of low complexity, which can be described with comparatively few parameters, need to be identified. Based on the findings, faster and more accurate algorithms for machine learning, signal processing, and simulation will be developed.


Chair for Mathematics of Information Processing
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Collaborative Research Center: Precision Melt Engineering

Melt-based manufacturing processes such as welding, casting, injection molding, cutting, soldering, coating, and generative processes are characterized by a high degree of flexibility. On the one hand, due to their versatility and flexibility, these processes have great cost-saving potential compared to other production processes. On the other hand, due to process-related warpage, surface roughness, or internal and external discontinuities, the components often do not have the desired properties and have to be reworked. If the accuracy of melt-based processes can be significantly increased, the cost of reworking can be reduced or even avoided.

The aim of the CRC is increase the precision of the above named generative processes. The entire process sequence will be investigated, from the generation of the molten phase and its dynamics during the entire process to its solidification. On this basis, methods and procedures will be developed to precisely shape these individual steps and increase prediction accuracy. This creates the basis for producing high-precision components. The aim is to increase the prediction accuracy of simulation models and to increase the manufacturing accuracy of melt-based manufacturing processes by at least a factor of 10.

In the first project phase, the researchers focused on the analysis of the various effects leading to the formation, dynamics, and the temporal and local processes of melt formation and solidification, including the internal effects after solidification. In the second phase, an in-depth understanding of the precision-determining factors in melt-based manufacturing processes was developed. In the third phase, which has now been approved, the focus will be on the development of optimal strategies and systems to avoid – or compensate for – quality-reducing thermomechanical effects and uncontrolled solidification processes.

Under the direction of Professor Uwe Reisgen from the Institute of Welding and Joining Technology, 35 members of staff in ten institutes are conducting research in 19 subprojects and three transfer projects. The DFG is funding this interdisciplinary collaboration of three faculties with around eleven million euros in funding.


Welding and Joining Institute