19. June 2023 | Press releases:

Inaugural lectures by Prof. Dr. Ralf Jänicke, Prof. Dr. Henning Wessels and Prof. Dr. Roland Wüchner Areas of application for Computational Engineering

“Computational Engineering” refers to the application of computer modelling, simulation and analysis to solve technical problems in various engineering disciplines. On 21 June, professors from Technische Universität Braunschweig – Ralf Jänicke, Henning Wessels and Roland Wüchner – will present three such areas of application for computer-based methods.

Wednesday, 21 June 2023, 15:00 hrs
Aula, Pockelsstr. 11
Haus der Wissenschaft, 38106 Braunschweig

Inaugural lecture “Computational Engineering – Potenziale der modernen Festkörpermechanik“ (Potentials of Modern Solid Mechanics) by Prof. Dr. Ralf Jänicke

When does a reinforced concrete beam need to be replaced or refurbished? When does the material become brittle? These questions are addressed by solid mechanics, a branch of classical mechanics that examines different classes of materials. The challenge here is that one first has to describe complex electrochemical and hydromechanical processes on the micrometre scale, link different length scales with each other until one finally arrives at the component scale. The goal is to predict the damage before it occurs.

In his research, Ralf Jänicke uses a combination of three different methods to predict the behaviour and wear of certain materials: physical modelling and mathematical description, experimental investigation and Computational Engineering. With the help of digital twins, i.e. virtual images of processes, it is possible to predict within short computing times what will happen to a reinforced concrete beam in ten years.

In this lecture, all three methodological approaches of solid mechanics will be made “tangible” by means of current research projects.

About the person:

Professor Ralf Jänicke studied Materials Science at Saarland University, where he also received his doctorate. In his doctorate at the Chair of Engineering Mechanics, he investigated the cross-scale formulation of micromorph continuum theories. After his habilitation (“venia legendi”) at the Ruhr University Bochum, he moved to Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, as Associate Professor in Solid and Structural Mechanics. On 15 February 2021, Professor Jänicke took over as head of the Institute of Applied Mechanics at TU Braunschweig. He researches numerically efficient simulation methods for coupled multi-scale problems with applications in Civil Engineering and Materials Science as well as Geotechnics and Geophysics.

Inaugural lecture “Computational Engineering – Potenziale der datengetriebenen Modellierung“ (Potentials of Data-Driven Modelling) by Prof. Dr. Henning Wessels

Big Data is on everyone’s lips. In the engineering sector, too. Engineers have more and more precise data about the systems they develop and monitor. Whether it’s a half-timbered house, a bridge or a wind turbine: in order to plan buildings safely, they are modelled using data-driven methods and according to the rules of physics. In his inaugural lecture, Prof. Dr. Henning Wessels explains how physical and data-driven modelling are combined to improve simulations and models for constructions.

About the person:

Henning Wessels studied Mechanical Engineering at Leibniz University Hannover and completed his doctorate there in 2019 on the topic of “Thermo-Mechanical Modelling for Selective Laser Melting”. A research stay funded by the Fulbright Commission’s doctoral programme took him to the University of California, Berkeley (USA) in 2017. Until February 2021, he worked as a research associate (PostDoc) at the Institute of Continuum Mechanics at Leibniz University Hannover (IKM).

Inaugural lecture “Computational Engineering – Potenziale der modernen Baustatik“ (Potentials of Modern Structural Analysis) by Prof. Dr Roland Wüchner

Structural analysis is primarily concerned with the further development and establishment of methods that are used for the reliable analysis, synthesis and assessment of load-bearing structures under a wide range of load scenarios. This is done in the design phase as well as during the service life.

The main focus of the research and teaching activities of the Institute of Structural Analysis is therefore on these topics. Building-specific aspects represent special boundary conditions for methodological developments in structural analysis research: Buildings are usually very large and they are unique. Therefore, prototypes on a real scale cannot be used in planning. The structures are also exposed to complex loading situations, e.g. from the environment and various natural hazards, where interaction phenomena (such as fluid-structure interactions) can also occur. This requires calculation methods with predictive result quality that can also solve multi-physical, coupled problems if required. In the context of sustainable building, for example, structures with optimal use of resources and suitable concepts for further use or re-use are of great importance. In addition to the optimised structural design, it should also be possible to track and evaluate the structural condition over its lifetime. Through the (further) development of suitable numerical methods, modern structural analysis also supports the establishment of digital twins of the structures.
The availability of fast computers in combination with the powerful numerical methods developed by structural analysis, among others, allows complex modelling and simulation of a wide range of problems – both in civil engineering and beyond.

Structural analysis is the link between the basic disciplines and above all the constructive subjects and architecture. Therefore, research and teaching are always designed with a view to networking with the “neighbouring disciplines” and interdisciplinary understanding is indispensable. In this lecture, the potentials and challenges of computer-aided calculation methods from current structural analysis research will be shown using selected examples and their performance demonstrated.

About the person:

Roland Wüchner studied Civil Engineering at the TU Munich, where he received his doctorate in 2006 for his thesis on “Mechanik und Numerik der Formfindung und Fluid-Struktur-Interaktion von Membrantragwerken“ (Mechanics and Numerics of Form Finding and Fluid-Structure Interaction of Membrane Structures). He was then Academic Councillor and Deputy Head of the Chair of Statics, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai-Uwe Bletzinger, and from 2011 Academic Senior Councillor. From 2016 to 2021, Roland Wüchner was “Full Research Professor” at the renowned International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) in Barcelona, Spain. In March 2017, he habilitated at the Faculty of Engineering Bau Geo Umwelt, TU Munich. In June, he was appointed as a private lecturer at TU Munich. Since the beginning of 2021, he is “Visiting Research Professor” at CIMNE, where he was also elected to the “Advisory Scientific Committee”. Since September 2021, he heads the Institute of Structural Analysis at TU Braunschweig.