Profile: Teaching and Research at the University
Any attempt at finding an ´ivory tower` at the TU Darmstadt will turn out to be a vain attempt because the focus of teaching and research at this university has always been on subjects of the real world being by nature the province of the academic staff of the natural sciences and engineering disciplines.
The close cooperation between science and economy is an indispensable prerequisite for success. For that reason students are encouraged to learn how to put scientific ideas and principles into effect and to demonstrate in their essays and dissertations how to tackle, analyse and solve problems, e.g. in the areas of industrial processes and practices. Experience thus gained is doubtless a great asset for them when it comes to getting access to the labour market once they have graduated from the TU Darmstadt.
Research projects at the University are initiated and financed to a large extent by industrial and commercial concerns. Moreover, the University´s successful collaboration with local companies is also based on a twofold strategy: the appointment of distinguished scientists and engineers to the post of professor at the University and the University´s commitment to management development in companies.
The University offers a wide range of subjects, not only in the traditional fields of natural and engineering sciences, but also in those of social sciences and the humanities, which was one of the main reasons for renaming the TH Darmstadt ´Technische Universität Darmstadt` in the autumn of 1997. The subjects of these major areas of human knowledge add to the teacher training for the teaching profession both at secondary schools and vocational schools and furthermore make Industrial Engineering as taught in Darmstadt an attractive course of study. The combination of engineering and economic study contents, including foreign languages and stays abroad, offers graduates good chances on the labour market. The creation of new degree courses leading to bachelor´s and master´s degrees is also based on these academic standards and will enable the TU Darmstadt to bear comparison with similar degree programmes offered by other universities in Germany and abroad.
The principle of the indivisibility of teaching and research is common to all German universities. Mention must be made, however, that research at the TU Darmstadt has had a long and particularly successful tradition to date. Thus research is being carried out at more than two hundred institutes as well as at the Zentrum für Wissenschaftliches Rechnen - DZWR - (Centre of Scientific Computing), where the focus is on interdisciplinary work, and at the Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Technikforschung - ZIT - (Centre of Interdisciplinary Studies of Technology). Moreover, at the TU Darmstadt there are several Sonderforschungsbereiche - SFB - (collaborative research units) as well as several Graduiertenkollegs (programmes of lectures for postgraduates planned and run by experienced members of the University´s research and teaching staff), all of whom profit from financial support and expert advice provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - DFG- (National Science Council).
The ´scientific infrastructure` provided by the University has attracted a considerable number of national and international research institutions to the Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt (Darmstadt - City of Science), who on their part collaborate with the TU Darmstadt on many projects. Among them are, for example, the Deutsche Kunststoffinstitut - DKI - (German Institute of Plastics Materials), the Technologiezentrum Darmstadt - TZD - der Deutschen Telekom (Research and Technology Institute of the German Telecom), the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung - GSI - (Heavy-Ion Research Institute) at Wixhausen, the GMD-Forschungszentrum für Informationstechnik GmbH (GMD Research Centre for Information Technology, Ltd), the Europäische Raumfahrtzentrale (European Space Operations Centre - ESOC -), the Europäische Organisation für meteorologische Satelliten - EUMETSAT - (European Organization for Meteorological Satellites), and the Fraunhofer Institute für Graphische Datenverarbeitung und für Betriebsfestigkeit (Fraunhofer Institutes for Computer Graphics and for Structural Durability). The collaboration with the University ranges from joint research projects to bearing joint responsibility for decisions taken at managerial level of the scientific institutions.
The close cooperation between research institutions and research-intensive firms in the Darmstadt region is reflected in a book with the title ´Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt - Wissenschaft und Forschung in Darmstadt`, which is a joint publication by the TU Darmstadt, the Industrie- und Handelskammer - IHK - Darmstadt (Darmstadt Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and the city of Darmstadt. The book gives a survey of research pursued in forty institutions and firms whose future-oriented research results, commercial products and methods are used worldwide. These achievements established Darmstadt´s international reputation as a City of Science.
With more than 14 per cent, the percentage of foreign students at the TU Darmstadt is clearly higher than the average of German universities of eight per cent.
Scientific co-operation on contractual base is maintained with more than 65 partner universities all over the world.
TU Darmstadt is member of different European networks. The European Credit transfer system (ECTS) has been introduced for almost all courses of study.
In order to put innovative ideas and research results more quickly into effect the Innovationsgesellschaft Darmstadt mbH (Darmstadt Society for Innovations, Ltd) was founded. The founder-members involved in drawing up the project of a Technologie- und Innovationszentrum - TIZ - (Centre of Technology and Innovation), which was completed in spring 1999, consist of the TU Darmstadt, the city of Darmstadt, the Darmstadt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the administrative district of Darmstadt-Dieburg, the Darmstadt and Dieburg Savings Banks, the Fachhochschule Darmstadt - University of Applied Sciences, and the Zentrum für Graphische Datenverarbeitung - ZGDV - (Computer Graphics Center). The Centre´s infrastructure enables young entrepreneurs to rent business premises and to benefit from a consultancy service not only in matters of introducing new technologies but also in matters of accountancy and law at prices that are within their means.
In the meantime a number of young scientists, former students and researchers at the TU Darmstadt who have made up their mind to become independent businessmen, use the TIZ in Darmstadt as their base. Offering this form of knowledge and technology transfer, the University contributes to the economic development of Southern Hesse and paves the way for excellent career prospects for someones determined to set up their own company.
English Booklet "study - teaching - research"
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Further information: http://www.tu-darmstadt.de