Three good reasons for doing research at the University of Stuttgart
1. Interdisciplinarity as basic principle
Interdisciplinary integration of the engineering, natural, and social sciences with the humanities on a foundation of top level research disciplines has always been among the greatest strengths of the University of Stuttgart. Anchored as the “Stuttgart Way” in the University’s mission statement, it is expressed in a multiplicity of discipline- and department-spanning specialty research areas, research projects and research centers. Complementary disciplines working together unlock unique potentials for asking new questions and cooperatively develop answers that contribute to solving society’s most pressing problems.
2. Research at one of the Germany’s best externally funded universities
With external funding of close to 190 million euro in the year 2015 alone, the University of Stuttgart is among Germany’s most successful universities at raising external funds – a top ranking it has maintained for many years already. Thanks to robust funding, in Stuttgart researchers encounter optimal conditions for research and teaching: the funds allow employing many research assistants as well as investing heavily in research institutes, facilities, and laboratories.
3. Outstanding research facilities
Whether it is the supercomputing center, the SOFIA stratosphere observatory, the ZaQuant quantum research center or the Stuttgart wind tunnel: predicates like “fastest,” “largest,” and “unique” attach to many University of Stuttgart research facilities. But beyond the flagship projects, the University makes available the most modern and variegated facilities to its researchers.
The three good reasons in detail
Technology meets mind
At the University of Stuttgart, interdisciplinary thinking has a long tradition that is intertwined with prominent figures like the science philosopher Max Bense, the physicist and synergetics pioneer Hermann Haken or the architect and leading light of ecological construction Frei Otto.
Today, interdisciplinary integration of the engineering, natural, and social sciences with the humanities on a foundation of top level research disciplines is enshrined in the University’s mission statement as the “Stuttgart Way.” The spirit of interdisciplinarity is reflected in diverse department and discipline-spanning research projects and cooperatives. An outstanding example is the Simulation Technologies Excellence Cluster (SimTech), where scientists in seven project networks are developing methods and applications in all areas of the modeling and simulation sciences, from stand-alone numerical approaches to an integrated systems science. The International Center for Culture and Technology Research (IZKT) links research at the intersection of culture and technology. The projects here pursue questions that result especially from the interaction of cultural formations and technological innovations and that resist being solved from a discipline-specific perspective alone. In the construction area, Transregio SFB-TRR 141 exemplifies this interdisciplinary approach to research by bringing together competencies in the areas of lightweight construction, simulation technology, biology, physics, and the geosciences. .
The background to this commitment to interdisciplinarity is formed by a singular vision: to research the entire genesis and life cycle as well as the engineering implementation of a product or technology, but also to value their societal effects and sustainability as technological innovations. In addition, consistent interdisciplinarity opens up innovative research areas such as the Digital Humanities.
Record sums for research
Annual external funding totalling between 180 and 200 million euros makes it clear: The University is a sought-after partner for national and international foundations as well as for industry. Success in raising external funds is also reflected in important rankings, such as funding per professor: according to the latest statistics of the Federal Statistical Office published in 2013, the University of Stuttgart with 744,000 euro per professor raised the highest amount of external funds among German universities. This meant that Stuttgart professors on average brought in three times the external funds raised by their colleagues at other universities.
At the same time, the University also acts a powerful engine for business and society in the Stuttgart region. We maintain close contacts with numerous large and mid-sized industrial and business enterprises. With nearly 50 million euro of external funding from industry, the University of Stuttgart handles a material share of the contract research conducted by universities in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Where top level research thrives
Superlative research institutes and a very good, broad-based research infrastructure let researchers find a research environment at the University where nothing keeps top level research from thriving. Here are just a few examples of this infrastructure:
Stuttgart Supercomputing Center
185,088 calculation kernels, 7.42 petaflops: capabilities like these make the Stuttgart High Performance Computing Center’s (HLRS) “Hazel Hen” supercomputer inaugurated in the fall of 2015 currently Germany’s most powerful computer system. Added to this is the HLRS three-story 3D Visualization Center (CAVE) for complete three-dimensional displays of complex calculation results. Together with the high performance computing centers at Munich and Jülich, HLRS has formed the Gauss Center for Supercomputing, Europe’s most powerful supercomputing consortium.
Center for Applied Quantum Technologies (ZaQuant)
The new research building, currently in the planning stage, will have precision laboratories and offices to provide space for developing novel nano-optical quantum sensors and achieving pioneering advances in sensitivity, specificity, and energy efficiency in sensor technology.
SOFIA Stratosphere Observatory
Another globally known facility is SOFIA, the Stratosphere Observatory for Infrared Astronomy operated jointly by NASA, the American space agency, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). SOFIA’s scientific leadership team is based on the University of Stuttgart campus. The German SOFIA Institute’s headquarters and other Stuttgart aerospace facilities are housed in the Baden Wuerttemberg Aerospace Center. Here, scientists collaborate with Baden-Wurttemberg industry in carrying out cutting edge research and development.
Powerwall at the Visualization Center
An extremely high resolution back projection wall in the VISUS visualization center of the University of Stuttgart offers a new dimension in virtual worlds. Six meters wide and 2.2 meters high, the “powerwall” lets scientists visualize extremely large masses of data and analyze them collaboratively as well as interactively.
The Stuttgart Wind Tunnel is among the world’s most powerful installations of its kind. It makes possible the investigation of aerodynamic and aeroacoustical characteristics of vehicles at speeds of up to 265 km/h.