TU Ilmenau: Three new professorships on digitization in research and teaching

TU Ilmenau University is establishing three new professorships in the field of digitalization:Mathematics of Data Science, Medical Informatics and Digital Materials Science. The three new professorships will conduct interdisciplinary research into digital aspects in the engineering sciences and the mathematical foundations of digitisation. Three new interdisciplinary degree programmes with a focus on Data Science are also planned. The digitization professorships are funded by the Free State of Thuringia as part of the "PROF-IT 25" program.

In order to help shape the digital transformation, intensive research on new digital content, applications and methods is needed. In addition, graduates should be prepared for an increasingly digital working world. Knowledge of data science and machine learning, among other things, is now expected in almost all fields of knowledge: from engineering, the natural sciences and medicine to the humanities and social sciences.

The three new professorships are intended to lay the scientific foundation in their respective fields, qualify junior researchers and contribute their knowledge to university teaching. On the one hand, aspects of data science will be incorporated as teaching content into existing courses of study, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering. On the other hand, new courses of study will be created, each closely linked to the three new subject areas:Data Science for Engineering, Medical Informatics and Digital Materials Science and Engineering.

The new professorship Mathematics of Data Science

Since mathematics and computer science are the foundations of data science, the professorship deals with the mathematical foundations of data science. The new group will develop methods and algorithms for solving data science problems, use mathematical methods to clarify whether, how and why certain tasks can be solved efficiently, and what the fundamental limits are to gaining knowledge on the basis of empirical data.

Such insights into the mathematical foundations of Data Science will in future expand all courses of study at TU Ilmenau to include topics of digitisation and data science. In addition, a new course of study is planned, which students can study at bachelor or master level: Data Science for Engineering. In the interdisciplinary study of data science, students also take an engineering or natural science as an application discipline, so that they can use their comprehensive know-how in digitization and data science after their studies, especially in industry.

The new professorship in medical informatics

Medical informatics is a key discipline for modern and high-quality healthcare. In the context of digitalization in healthcare, it combines computer science and engineering with medicine. In research, the Chair of Medical Informatics deals with intelligent and networked sensor technology for personalized digital medicine, with data-driven prevention, diagnostics, therapy and rehabilitation techniques and with bio-inspired information processing. To this end, it cooperates with the cross-faculty Institute for Life Science Technologies at TU Ilmenau and the Thuringian Innovation Center for Medical Technology Solutions.

The demand for medical informatics specialists is already greater than the supply, and it will increase significantly in the coming years due to digitization in the healthcare sector. The planned new bachelor's and master's degree courses in medical informatics will produce experts at the interface of informatics and biomedical technology. The medical informatics degree course with its broad theoretical basis and specialist specialisation will enable them to extend existing knowledge boundaries in theory and application with new methodological approaches. The focus is on information processing in biomedical device technology, covering medical informatics as well as medical information and communication systems and data science.

The new professorship Digital Materials Science

Materials from which components and constructions can be made are the basis for all engineering applications from mechanical engineering to electrical engineering, energy technology and electronics to computer technology and artificial intelligence. Research will focus on the development of so-called digital twins, i.e. one- to four-dimensional virtual images of real materials. These make data-based analysis methods such as pattern recognition, machine learning or simulations possible in the first place. Another focus is on linking digitized experimental results and ever-improving simulation tools in order to be able to compare empirically obtained material data and physical simulations.

The planned new english-language master's programme Digital Materials Science and Engineering builds the urgently needed bridge from materials science to data science and focuses on digital materials, the digital twin and Industry 4.0. Graduates with in-depth knowledge of the digitalisation of materials will be sought-after experts in industry, especially in digital manufacturing.

Based on excellent research and teaching, the new digitalization professorships will help to attract high-quality research projects in the field of digitalization and data-intensive sciences. Another important task will be to make the knowledge, content and methods developed usable for the Thuringian economy, in companies and institutions, and thus to accompany and support the digital transformation in Thuringia.

The professorships Mathematics of Data Science and Digital Materials Science are currently being advertised: www.tu-ilmenau.de/universitaet/karriere/stellenangebote



Prof. Kai-Uwe Sattler

+49 3677 69-5001