The Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science (AICES) is a graduate school established in 2006 in the frame of the German Excellence Initiative. In 2012, the German Research Foundation has re-evaluated AICES’ scientific concepts and has funded the Graduate School for a second time. AICES offers a doctoral program for Bachelor and Master students enabling a shortened and attractive path to the doctorate. It conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface between mathematics, computer science and engineering, which is reflected by a collaborative effort of more than 25 institutes from 8 academic departments.


Computational engineering science (CES) has its roots in the modeling and simulation of technical systems and phenomena occurring in nature. Today, there is a trend toward an increasing intricacy of the systems being analyzed (complexity), a growing range of interacting scales which must be considered at once (multiscale), and larger numbers of interacting physical phenomena that are inseparable (multiphysics). Furthermore, there is increased demand for best-design identification of engineered systems with reduced input from human intuition (optimization). Therefore, in addition to pursue research in the classical CES research fields, AICES sets out to advance computational engineering science in three critical areas of synthesis:

  • model identification and discovery supported by model-based experimentation (MEXA),
  • understanding scale interaction and scale integration,
  • and optimal design and operation of engineered systems, including both the products and manufacturing processes.

These diverse objectives share a common trait, in that they are examples of broadly-defined inverse problems.

Doctoral Projects

The graduate school provides stipends for about 20 AICES funded doctoral projects, which are jointly advised by an AICES Junior Research group leader and a senior advisor. Topics include specialized research in one of the areas of computational engineering, as well as on the integrative level of broadly defined inverse problems. Experimental support facilities of AICES are accessible also to ascociated doctoral candidates projects, strengthening the interdisciplinarity of AICES research. Furthermore, AICES provides hosting for externally funded doctoral projects and young researchers. Interaction with externally funded projects is supported by ascociating doctoral candidates and externally funded young researchers, and thus providing access to experimental funds.

Doctoral fellows work on a variety of research projects , including, but not limited to, the following topics:

• automatic differentiation
• bioinformatics
• biomedical engineering
• computational fluid dynamics
• computational mechanics
• energy systems
• geoscience
• global optimization
• high-performance computing
• inverse problems
• materials science
• model identification
• model order reduction
• multi-scale modeling & simulations
• numerical linear algebra
• numerical methods for PDEs,
• optimal control, design & operation
• process systems engineering

One of the core elements of the doctoral training program is the mentoring team which is comprised of an advisor (selected from the AICES Junior Research Group Leaders), a co-advisor (selected from the AICES senior faculty), a senior doctoral candidate mentor, and a member of the AICES service team. An adjunct professor from industry may also join the mentoring team as an additional member, or even as a co-advisor, provided he or she has an appointment at the RWTH Aachen.