Department of Aerospace and Geodesy
The Munich Metropolitan Region is poised to become a European center of aerospace research with the opening of TUM’s new Department of Aerospace and Geodesy. This new hub will bundle around 50 percent of Germany’s total academic research activity in the aerospace and aeronautics sectors. It will also play an active role in shaping technological change – from new transport systems through communications and satellite technology to observing and measuring our planet with unprecedented precision. To achieve this, the new department is harnessing TUM’s long-standing expertise in engineering and natural sciences, creating 30 new professorships, and tapping into strategic collaboration with businesses and research institutions in the greater Munich area.
With over 55 professorships in total – 30 of which are new appointments – TUM’s new department will be the largest faculty of its kind in Europe.
To gain maximum benefit from synergies across disciplines, the new department is establishing several interdisciplinary competence clusters. These cover the entire international research spectrum in aerospace and geodesy.
Key research groups and projects at the department will include:
- TUM Center for Automated Urban Aerial Mobility, researching the technical and practical feasibility of air taxis
- Bavaria Sat satellite (Bavarian space program)
- Earth observation, satellite navigation and space robotics in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen
- Research into hyperloop technologies and operating models (high-speed transport system, building on student achievements and TUM’s research expertise)
The new department will bring together many of the university’s established fields of expertise, spanning lightweight construction (fiber-reinforced plastics and carbon composites), drive systems, aerodynamics, control and sensor technologies, flight systems (air taxis), alternative energy sources (Ottobrunn algae cultivation center) satellite navigation, remote sensing, earth observation (ESA’s GOCE satellite) and all areas of geodesy.
The department will support two doctoral degree paths, reflecting its blend of engineering and natural sciences:
- Dr.-Ing. (doctor of engineering), specializing in system-integrated technology research
- Dr. rer. nat. (doctor of natural sciences), focusing on mathematical and science-based research topics
A departmental graduate center will be established to deliver comprehensive and structured training for doctoral students. This will be modelled on the International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (IGSSE), which has been providing first-class supervision for doctoral students in interdisciplinary research contexts since 2006.
Alongside the established Bachelor’s Program in Geodesy and Geoinformation, the new department will in future offer a new Bachelor’s course in Aerospace Engineering, with a particularly strong international focus.
Collaborative training paths, such as the Franco-German Master’s program in Aerospace Systems Engineering (in partnership with ISAE Toulouse), will strengthen the department’s transnational appeal. This first new degree course will start in the 2019/20 winter semester, with more Master’s programs to follow in subsequent semesters. The existing Master’s programs in Cartography and Earth-Oriented Space Science and Technology will also be transferred to the new department.
The new department will create an unrivalled competence network in the Munich metropolitan region, harnessing the benefits of its location within the Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen – Garching – Oberpfaffenhofen triangle. Strategic alliances are in place with:
- Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG), Airbus, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Munich Aerospace and Ludwig Bölkow Campus GmbH (all Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen)
- Universität der Bundeswehr (University of the Federal Armed Forces) (Neubiberg)
- German Aerospace Center (DLR) and OHB System AG (both Oberpfaffenhofen)
- MTU Aero Engines AG (München)
- Startups and high-tech suppliers in the Munich, Augsburg and Ingolstadt areas
It will also create additional synergies within the university, particularly across the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM), the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) and the other TUM departments.
The headquarters of the new faculty will be at the Ludwig Bölkow Campus in Ottobrunn/Taufkirchen. A new faculty building will be constructed in collaboration with the companies and research institutions located there, complete with offices, laboratories, test facilities, a start-up center and student infrastructure.
The department will also be represented at the Garching (TUM research campus), Oberpfaffenhofen (German Aerospace Center and research airport) and Munich (main TUM campus) sites. This will ensure it is ideally placed to benefit from partnerships with established industrial and research institutions in the Munich metropolitan region. All of this will bring an unparalleled depth and range of expertise to the greater Munich area.