SFB 837 Member Sahir Butt Elected as GAMM-Junior

sahir gamm


On September 25th, 2020, M. Sc. Sahir Butt, research assistant of the SFB 837 (subproject C4), was elected as GAMM Junior for the years 2021-2023.

Each year, the GAMM members select ten new GAMM Juniors, with an excellent master’s thesis or dissertation in applied mathematics or mechanics.

These GAMM Juniors form a group of young and dynamic doctoral students and postdocs which will be members of the Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik e.V. (GAMM) for three years.

The group meets annually for several workshops. Each year, the GAMM Juniors organize the ‘Summer School in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics’ (SAMM) and the ‘Young Academics in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics’ (YAMM).

We would like to congratulate Mr. Butt for his election and wish him all the best!

Extension of Junior Professorship of Jun. Prof. Dr. Vogel

vogel andreas



With the presentation of the certificate by Dean Prof. Dr.-Ing. Höffer the junior professorship of Jun. Prof. Dr. Vogel was extended on the 17th of September. He was also assigned the status of a civil servant with limited tenure.

Jun. Prof. Dr. Vogel spoke with the CompEng Support Team about his research as well as his role in the Computational Engineering Master's programme.










What is the central topic of your research program?

My research is centered around high-performance computing. I develop algorithms and suitable implementations on modern computer architectures which make best use of given hardware opportunities. The overall aim is always to numerically address scientific and engineering research questions. For this purpose, the employment of state-of-the-art computers is one of the key methods to gain insight via predictive simulations, data mining, machine learning and similar techniques. However, a massive computing power is commonly required to address many of these questions by computational methods, and we therefore employ computer clusters or hardware accelerator cards to speed up the solution process. For such hardware architectures, we then investigate which algorithms are best suited, how they have to be adapted, and in which way we have to implement them for the scientific and engineering practice.

What makes your field of research particularly important for the future?

Scientific computing has become one of the main pillars for scientific discovery and serves as an underpinning tool for many engineering tasks. We see a trend of more and more powerful hardware installations which allow the successful employment of modern numerical methods supporting engineers and scientist in all kind of fields not only for predictive simulations based on partial differential equations but also in the emerging area of machine learning. High-performance computing enables many of these techniques for large-scale applications and is therefore considered as an important building block for future developments.

Which subjects do you teach for CompEng students?

I currently offer two courses on high-performance computing. One course focuses on multi- and manycore architectures as they are already found in today’s commodity hardware. We teach the students the general concepts and deepen their understanding via accompanying exercises in the computer lab. The second course is devoted to cluster computing. We discuss the required mathematical properties of algorithms such that a good scaling on modern supercomputers can be achieved. In addition, the technical programming aspects are covered and, finally, implemented by the students in a parallel computation code written from scratch. As applications, we focus on classical simulation techniques, such as the finite element method, and on methods from the field of artificial intelligence, such as deep learning.

In your opinion, what makes CompEng unique?
CompEng combines in a well-balanced way the modeling aspects of engineering sciences with modern numerical methods for the efficient treatment of complex problems and offers students an international and inspiring atmosphere for their studies.


We are pleased that Mr. Vogel continues to be a member of the faculty and thus CompEng and wish him every success in the implementation of the research projects already begun!

Five Reasons why CompEng is Unique



By combining its strong research environment with a warm and supporting atmosphere on campus, the Master’s program Computational Engineering gained an excellent reputation among its students and partners. The reasons why students decide to continue their academic career at RUB, studying CompEng, are numerous. To name the most striking ones, check out our five reasons why CompEng is unique:


q StefanieinVietnam

1. VGU

More than 10 years ago, a sister course of the RUB-Master’s programme “Computational Engineering” was founded at the Vietnamese-German University (VGU) in Ho Chi Minh City. Since its founding the VGU has served as a flagship project and model for the entire region. In cooperation with a respective partner country, the VGU and four other state-run “New Model Universities” were established in Vietnam.

The good contact with the VGU allows students from CompEng to go to Vietnam to study abroad for several weeks or a full semester. Every year in summer, the RUB is also visited by exchange students from VGU, who write their master thesis in Germany. Our guests can then take part in joint research projects as well as excursions organized by the Support Team and the Student Council.



l Berlin

2. International Friendships

Over 10 different nationalities are included in the course each semester. Every one of them brings his or her own unique story. Through the international surrounding, the students receive the opportunity to gain insight in several different cultures and improve their social skills. During their time in Germany, CompEng students share their customs, celebrate traditional holidays and form lifelong friendships. Although the lectures are all held in English, the students can attend German-language courses at the University and participate in different offers like the Tandem-program or the weekly “Sprachcafe”.



b welcomeday 



3. Familial Atmosphere

Since CompEng at RUB is a small course of around fifty students each semester, no one will be overlooked. Our CompEng Support Team is there for every student and will help with any concern or difficulty that might occur. To hear some first hand experiences, check out the alumni-section.

Become part of the CompEng-family!





 g Berlingrouppicture4. Excursions

Every semester there are organized fun and exciting excursions by the CompEng Support Team as well as the Student Council. Every year we go on a big trip to either Berlin or Hamburg with the new CompEng batch. The students get to see more from Germany, their new home and get to spend a full weekend with their fellow students and the CompEng Team. During the semester we go on trips like amusement parks, museums, football games or fairs. These trips allow our students to gain interesting insights and get to know Germany better. Exploring a new place together additionally always boosts the team spirit.

Next to the faculty-planned excursions, students can also easily go on trips themselves. Because the social fee at RUB includes a free train and bus tickets abonnement for the whole state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, they can travel to all neighbour cities around Bochum for free.


a CompEng Airbus 2019

5. Excellent Career Chances

The strong and unique research environment of the Master’s programme provides essential skills, which prepare students for their future career. Next to receiving key-qualifications in engineering mechanics, mathematics and computer science, students are able, to gain valuable practical insights by working side by side with the university researchers. CompEng’s good contact to partners in the industry, additionally eases the information flow about relevant job opportunities for CompEng-graduates. Computational Engineering is an excellent stepping-stone on the way to top-level positions in high-tech companies or for an outstanding academic career.



Alice Alferink, Student Assistant


Prof. Dr.-Ing Markus König Awarded Konrad Zuse-Medal

Prof Koenig

Prof. Dr. Markus König is awarded the Konrad Zuse Medal from the Central Association of the German Building Industry (ZDB). It is the most important award in the field of Computing in Engineering.

As holder of the Chair of Computing in Engineering in the faculty of Civil- and Environmental Engineering, Prof. Dr.-Ing König is also part of the teaching staff of Computational Engineering. He is giving lectures in “Modern Programming Concepts in Engineering”, “Building Information Modeling (BIM)”, "Machine Learning", "Artificial Intelligence (AI)", “Design Optimization” and “Parallel Computing”.

The association recognizes Prof. König's achievements in the digitalization of construction engineering, and especially the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Germany.

The ZDB Konrad Zuse Medal has been awarded alternately since 1981 by the ZDB and the GI to personalities who have made outstanding contributions to computing in engineering or computing in general. The aim of the award is to preserve the merits of computer science pioneer Konrad Zuse, to promote the use of the latest information and communication technologies in construction and, last but not least, to make computer science visible to a wider public.

The medal will be awarded on November 17, 2020 at the 13th German Obermeistertag in Berlin.



Press and Public Relations of the Faculty for Civil and Environmental Engineering via



Publication: Multiscale Dynamics of COVID-19 and Model-Based Recommendations for 105 Countries

Publication timothy


Dr. Jithender J. Timothy, CompEng- Alumni and Post-Doctoral researcher at the Institute for Structural Mechanics, B.Sc. Vijaya Holla, 3rd semester CompEng student and one of the institute's student assistants, published a paper providing a new insight into the global dynamics of Covid-19, using multiscale modelling. The research was supervised by Prof. Dr. Günther Meschke, CompEng lecturer, who is the head of the Institute for Structural Mechanics.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has since spread throughout the world resulting in more than 6.63 million reported infections and 391,000 deaths. As a vaccine is not expected before 2021, currently several non-pharmaceutical interventions such as quarantine, social-distancing, lockdown, shutdowns etc. have been implemented world-wide. However, this has led to unprecedented slowdown of economic activity. There is a lot at stake here.

A novel multiscale mathematical model called the Lattice-SIRQL that takes into account spatial interactions, lockdown measures and quarantine procedures has been proposed for the analysis of the global dynamics of the infection. Using reported data from 105 countries, country-specific model parameters were computed using a global minimization algorithm. According to this procedure, country-specific non-pharmaceutical measures such as lockdown, quarantine and testing is implicitly taken into account. To study the influence of lockdown intensity, lockdown duration and relaxation rate at small geographic scales, an individual-based model was developed that takes into account complex interactions at the scale of a single individual.

Large scale spatially resolved simulations showed that global indicators for COVID-19 can be misleading and that a possibility of a second wave cannot be ruled-out. Using a data-driven approach, country specific recommendations for lockdown continuation and lockdown relaxation have been made (see link). With regards to lockdown procedures, simulations using the individual-based model showed that inefficient lockdown procedures could simply delay the infection. Such sub-optimal measures will not reduce the number of peak infections (i.e. flatten the curve). Moreover, model predictions showed that asymptomatic cases can significantly extend the lifetime of the disease. This was recently confirmed by the WHO on 9 June. This was few days after our paper was uploaded on the medArxiv server.

For detailed information see the paper:
Timothy, Holla & Meschke:
Multiscale Dynamics of COVID19 and Model-Based Recommendations for 105 countries