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Doctoral Degree in Two Phases

The AICES Graduate School offers a flexible, English-language study program, which is tailored to lead directly to a doctoral degree in a "fast-track" curriculum. A tight academic coursework schedule combined with intensive advising in the doctoral phase leads to a doctorate within five years.

1. The Coursework Phase

In the coursework phase, students holding Bachelor's degrees can choose among various Master's programs. However, most students enroll in the Master's program in Simulation Sciences, a flexible, English-language study program. The degree consists of three semesters of coursework plus a one-semester thesis research project. The coursework offers a broad introduction to methods and applications of numerical sciences, ranging from quantum physics to large-scale computational fluid dynamics and solid mechanics. Early research activity culminates in a written master's thesis, which should include a research proposal for the doctoral phase; in this sense the Master's thesis serves as a stepping-stone for the doctoral research.

As an alternate entry point, students may enroll in any of the Master's programs offered by RWTH Aachen University in Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Material Sciences, or Computational Engineering Sciences. Evidence of adequate background, essentially equivalent to a Bachelor's degree in the same field, usually must be demonstrated. Currently these programs are offered predominantly in German. Students who wish to enroll need to fulfill the admission requirements of the respective departments. For further information please visit our website: www.aices.rwth-aachen.de/academics

2. The Doctoral Phase

Fast-track students, who entered the AICES program with a Bachelor's degree, have the opportunity to continue to the doctoral phase of our program after successfully completing the Master's program. Alternatively, students who have obtained a Master's degree (or equivalent) outside the fast-track program may be admitted directly to the doctoral phase.

The doctoral candidate defines the thesis topic with the assistance of the junior advisor, who is the candidate's primary research advisor. At the end of each year, the doctoral candidate must summarize his or her progress in an oral presentation.

Research projects leading to a doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat. or Dr.-Ing.) are currently offered in the following topics: automatic differentiation, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, computational fluid dynamics, computational solid mechanics, electrical engineering, energy systems, computational geoscience, global optimization, high-performance computing, inverse problems, materials science, model identification, multiscale modeling and simulations, numerical linear algebra, numerical methods for PDEs, optimal control and design, and process systems engineering.

Each semester the Graduate School organizes a series of lectures, which bring together experts from around the world to present their current research activities on Computational Engineering Science. Moreover, the "EU Regional School on Computational Engineering Science" is held for graduate students from German, Belgian, and Dutch universities and presents one- and two-day introductions to various aspects of computational science. In addition, AICES cooperates with the Centre for Doctoral Studies, which provides soft-skill training as well as many other student services.