25 Years of Fraunhofer ITWM – 25 Years of Success With Mathematics

What a milestone! For a quarter of a century now, mathematics has been used as a key technology in Kaiserslautern to optimize products and processes. The founding of the site, the Fraunhofer Center, where research and discovery has been taking place since January 1, 1996, created a place of innovation and we are proud to now be one of the largest mathematical research institutes in the world. This should be celebrated! That's why we have planned some great activities and will keep you informed about them on this page.

This special year, our motto is #GrowingTogether. The motto can be read in different ways and refers to both the joint growth, the growing larger of our institute as well as the growing together and coming together with partners such as the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, the city itself and other research institutions. We are grateful for this cooperation and look forward to the future here in Kaiserslautern.

In the context of our anniversary, you will find 25 little doors on this page, with which we want to share the achievements of our scientists and the exciting ideas and innovations of our institute with you. In keeping with the theme of our institute, we are using the official Day of the Circle Number Pi and Mathematics Day, March 14, 2021, to open the first door for you. From then on, you can look forward to new little doors until the end of the year. The pictures also adorn 25 of our windows at the institute, so don't miss the sight and stop by! Because we can't invite you to a real birthday party at the institute this year.

Math Is and Math Can...


Math makes light. Mathematics is certainly not always easy, but the car body of the future is. The aim of the »CustoMat3D« project of the department »Flow and Material Simulation« is the simulation-based development and qualification of customized aluminum materials for laser additive manufacturing in the automotive industry. 


Math opens doors. Our doors are open for creative and dynamic colleagues! Together we master the challenges of our clients. Our central task: to bring research results from mathematics into practice.


Math is cool. At least some projects make it pretty easy for us to stay cool: For example, our scientists in the department »System Analysis, Prognosis and Control« are working on the development of an energy-efficient furnace concept for the heat and cold treatment of glass in order to save energy in glass production. Pretty cool. 


Math tests. Every detail counts here. In our department »Image Processing«, the focus is on quality assurance and optimization, especially through the development of efficient image-based complete solutions for automated quality assurance in production.


Math helps healing. The importance of resilience became particularly clear in the past year. In the »IDSAIR« project, our researchers from the division »Optimization« are working on developing predictive models for mental illnesses and a planning assistant for targeted treatment.


Math shows profile. Traction is important, even when driving. Our researchers in the division »Mathematics for Vehicle Engineering« are therefore working on the realistic simulation of tires. With their tool »CDTire«, not only tire profiles but also complete wheels can be represented virtually.


Math distributes. Where should people be vaccinated against Corona? This was the question we faced at the end of 2020. Researchers from our division »Optimization« looked at different scenarios, the distance of the population to the vaccination centers, and the number of locations. 


Math sprays. No, we are not dealing with graffiti or hairspray here. In the »SpraySim« project, the employees of the department »Transport Processes« are looking at »Cleaning in Place (CIP)« systems from the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The results make cleaning more efficient.


Math identifies. Chemical substances such as explosives, drugs and medicines can be detected using terahertz measurement technology. Researchers in our department »Materials Characterization and Testing« know how, and have developed a spectrometer. This even works through paper or plastic packaging almost without loss.


Math makes rich. Researchers in the department »Financial Mathematics« are familiar with portfolio optimization and the valuation of derivatives or structured products and are in demand as consultants. They help companies in the financial sector to select the optimal solution approach for them.


Math flows. Or does it fleece? Technical textiles as well as nonwovens made of plastic or natural fibers characterize the research of our department »Flow and Material Simulation«. The »TexMath« software tool helps to analyze, understand and optimize technical textiles – which include protective clothing or linings in motor vehicles. 


Math fills up. Let's drink a toast! Here's to our scientists from the department »Systems Analysis, Prognosis and Control« developing intelligent controls for bottle production, filling lines and packaging machines in the beverage industry with the »DESPRIMA« project. 


Math parallelized. Processors and network technologies are becoming more powerful, which is why the amount of captured and processed data is also increasing. Researchers in our division »High Performance Computing« know this and are developing the parallel file system »BeeGFS«.


Math digs. We are always digging for new ways to further optimize processes in practice with our simulations. In the »GRAnular Physics Engine (GRAPE)« project, we are researching methods that enable reliable statements to be made about the strength properties and energy efficiency of machines.


Math shines. Diamonds are a girl's best friend! But gemstones are also interesting for mathematics: Researchers in our division »Optimization« are dedicated to the optimal utilization of colored gemstones.


Math is hot. In the BMWi-funded DYNEEF project, researchers from the department »Transport Processes« worked together with GEF Ingenieur AG and Technische Werke Ludwigshafen (TWL) on »Dynamic Network Simulation for Efficiency Improvement in District Heating Generation«. 


Math is flexible. Sometimes you have to be flexible. This also applies to cables and hoses in the automotive industry. Scientists from the division »Mathematics for Vehicle Engineering« have developed the software »IPS Cable Simulation«, with which they calculate deformations of cables and hoses realistically and interactively.


Math recharges. Our batteries have 100 percent!

Especially those of our researchers in the department »Flow and Materials Simulation«, who are aiming to revolutionize battery cell production for electric vehicles in Europe with the »DEFACTO« project. 


Math looks into the future. Our researchers are not fortunetellers. And yet the scientists in the department »Systems Analysis, Prognosis and Control« can predict undesirable operating conditions. This is made possible by the so-called »Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance« of systems.


Math measures. The multisensor measurement system »REDAR (Road and Environmental Data Acquisition Rover)« from our division »Mathematics for Vehicle Engineering« achieves sub-centimeter accuracy and produces georeferenced 3D laser scan data. 


Math pilots. Saving costs and improving quality of life – artificial intelligence (AI) is a key technology that makes an important contribution to challenges in science, business and society. Rhineland-Palatinate takes the challenges seriously and appointed our institute director Prof. Dr. Anita Schöbel as AI pilot.


Math screens. Only flawless products should leave the plant. Automated visual inspection of workpieces fulfills this wish. So far, however, this has only worked well for standardized shapes. Researchers in the department »Image Processing« are investigating whether this is also possible for workpieces with complicated geometry.


Math filters. Square, practical, good? More likely folded, practical, good! At least that's what the researchers in our Filtration and Separation team think: Folded filters offer a large filter surface with a comparatively small footprint, which is why the industry uses them in air filters for cars, for example.


Math regulates. Not familiar with model predictive controllers? No problem, our researchers will take care of it for you. For many years, the staff of our department »System Analysis, Prognosis and Control« have been working on controller design and control algorithms. 

Now we are getting in the mood for 2022, which is under the heading #MathConnects. Math not only connects us as an institute, our departments and researchers. Math connects us with the city of Kaiserslautern, the Technical University and the local research institutions. Math connects us with the institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. And the whole world.