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Final Report on the International Doctorate Program (IDK) „Identification, Optimization and Control for Modern Technologies“

The first period of the IDK „Identification, Optimization and Control for Modern Technologies“ started in 2006 and lasted until 2009. It was directly continued by the second phase ending in December 2013. Prof. Dr. Günter Leugering refers in his final report on the International Doctorate Program to the strong interconnection between all groups fostered by the IDK. Professor Leugering describes a success story of the IDK:

Final Report on the International Doctorate Program (IDK) „Identification, Optimization and Control for Modern Technologies“[Bildunterschrift / Subline]: Members of the International Doctorate Program "Identification, Optimization and Control with Applications in Modern Technologies" during the final meeting

“The research conducted proves the concept that applications in key technologies require in-depth mathematical research on new methods, new algorithms and new simulation paradigms developed under the guidance of real-life applications, which, in turn, provide exemplary scenarios for the structure-oriented mathematical research. In this sense, the IDK “Identification, optimization and control for modern technologies” has been a great success for the discipline and, in particular for the three North-Bavarian Universities (Bayreuth, Würzburg and Erlangen-Nuremberg).

It is important to note that the research made possible by the Elite Network of Bavaria (ENB) would not have been possible without a program of continuous communication within annual workshops (summer-schools, winter- and spring-schools), invited speakers and a guest program. The students managed to stay abroad as much as possible and profited from the international expertise, while also contributing to the visibility of the three universities.

Altogether with about 30 PhD projects - some of them are still in the pipeline- out of which 10 received recognition via awards, about 70 Journal articles, more than 18 long-term research stays and 13 workshops, the IDK can be said to have performed well even with respect to standard research indicators. The numbers, however, do not reflect the boost with respect to the scientific development both within the PhD students, the associate members and the PIs and with respect to structural solidification of the field in northern Bavaria. As a high-light, a special issue of the GAMM-Mitteilungen (Vol. 35 (2), 2012): Identification, optimization and control for modern technologies has been published, gathering results out of 6 projects running in 2012.

As for opportunities in our SWOT-analysis of the IDK, we would like to point out that the environment for the field of “Optimization and Control” in particular “Discrete-Continuous Optimization and Control” in particular at the FAU in Erlangen-Nuremberg has undergone a dramatic development in the last 4 years, and this is also due to the success of the IDK. We were able to hire in 2009 Prof. Dr. W. Achtziger who is a well-known expert in the field of structural optimization. Moreover, we attracted in 2010 Prof. Dr. A. Martin from the TU-Darmstadt (at the time even Vice President) who has established a chair for Discrete Optimization. In the course of establishing this chair, Professor Frauke Liers, whose focus is on the interface between quadratic, discrete and robust optimization, has been hired. Most recently, Martin Schmidt, Professor in “Energy-Network Optimization”, has joined the group of optimizers in Erlangen. Finally, Prof. Dr. A. Pratelli from Italy, who holds an ERC-starting grant and works in the area of variational methods for PDE-optimization, works in Bavaria now. All together there are now 8 regular University Professors and 1 supernumerary (apl.) Professor working on “Optimization and Control” in Erlangen. This is definitely the largest group in optimization in Bavaria and, indeed in Germany and beyond. Clearly, the IDK has played an important role in that development. A first grand success for the entire group is the DFG-Transregio 154 on “Mathematical Modeling, Simulation an Optimization with Applications in Gas-networks” with Prof. Martin as spokesman. Due to the close collaboration with the DFG-EC “Engineering of Advanced Materials”, optimization is by now a success story that is told not by mathematicians but rather by the engineers! Out of this close cooperation (notably together with Profs. Rüde and Leugering) a Central Institute for Scientific Computing (ZISC) has been established that further pursues the research conducted in the IDK and the Cluster and fosters a continuation.

Further development can be attested also for the other participating universities. At the University of Würzburg a new chair for Scientific Computing with focus on Optimization and Control has been established. The chair-holder Prof. Dr. A. Borzi has already participated in the last year of the IDK. Also a new Professorhsip has been filled in this research area. At the University of Bayreuth Prof. Lars Grüne has meanwhile taken over the chair for Applied Mathematics. Professor Anton Schiela has just started. Professor Pesch has retired recently, and his chair is in the process of being newly appointed. As a result, also in the other participating universities the field of “Optimization, Simulation Control” has been expanded. This can be seen as a success of the IDK.”