To content

Research Areas of TU Dortmund University

TU Dortmund University promotes excellent science in basic and applied research. Its five profile areas represent outstanding research fields whose research strength is proven by competitive third-party funding and high-ranking international publications. Each profile area is linked to key topics that represent the top research formats in the respective profile area and develop dynamically.

The Five Profile Areas of TU Dortmund University

Profile Area 1 brings together research on matter at different scales – from elementary particles to finished materials. Outstanding research activities of scientists at TU Dortmund University are dedicated to the study of matter in its various properties and different states of aggregation, using customized technologies and methods. Likewise, researchers in materials science and production engineering are driving innovations in the processing, shaping and future-oriented production of materials.

Currently, the following key topics contribute to this profile area in particular:

1. Production Engineering with a focus on material processing and forming is internationally visible, not least through the location's role in the SFB/TRR 188 "Damage Controlled Forming Processes".

2. The Materials Science and Tooling Technology at TU Dortmund University show their interdisciplinary strength, among others, in the DFG research group FOR 5250 "Mechanism-based characterization and modeling of permanent and bioresorbable implants with tailored functionality based on innovative invivo, invitro and in silico methods" . The DFG priority program 2231 "Efficient cooling, lubrication and transport - Coupled mechanical and fluid-dynamic simulation methods for the realization of efficient production processes (FluSimPro)", which is coordinated at TU Dortmund University, equally underlines the expertise.

3. Condensed Matter Physics demonstrates its research strength, among other things, by being the spokesperson or site spokesperson of no less than two DFG Collaborative Research Centers/Transregios, i. e. TRR 160 "Coherent Manipulation of Interacting Spin Excitations in Tailored Semiconductors" and TRR 142 "Tailored Nonlinear Photonics: From Fundamental Concepts to Functional Structures".

4. Our Particle Physicists are involved in the internationally renowned ATLAS and LHCb experiments, the leading IceCube project, and the DFG Collaborative Research Center  1491 "Cosmic Interacting Matters - from Source to Signal", among others, get to the bottom of the smallest particles and the origins of matter.

Within the Research Alliance of the University Alliance Ruhr, this profile area is compatible with the Research Center Future "Energy Materials and Systems". There are overlaps in content with the scientific fields of competence "Energy" and "Production Technology" in the Masterplan Science.


Scientists at TU Dortmund University find solutions for sustainability and health in outstanding third-party funded and large collaborative projects. Interdisciplinary research supports the seminal topic of health through the development of active substances and drug delivery forms, radiotherapeutic innovations and advances in medical technology. New technologies in the natural sciences and engineering, energy management research and solutions for resource-conserving, emission-reduced construction methods provide groundbreaking innovations for a sustainable future.

Currently, the following key topics contribute to this profile area in particular:

1. The Cluster of ExcellenceRESOLV - Ruhr explores Solvation and the research building CALEDO - Center for Advanced Liquid Engineering Dortmund are just two beacons in the field of Solvation Research.

2. Drug Discovery Research is advanced, among others, in the MSC ITN Long Acting Medicines for Complex Therapeutics Needed Now (Long Act Now) as well as in the Drug Discovery Hub Dortmund. The Drug Delivery Innovation Center complements basic biochemical research with process engineering know-how.

3. Pioneering medical physics research results in imaging and radiation therapy are being generated, for example, in the MSC ITN PATHOS or in the MERCUR-funded research training group on proton therapy.

4. Sustainability in terms of resource-saving use of materials is driving research in almost all subject areas. A central focus is, among others, the BMEL-funded project "Value-added oriented development of chemocatalytic upgrading reaction of oleochemicals" or the EU project "CIRCULAR FOAM". Social and geographical aspects of sustainability are addressed, among others, in the EU-funded project "Evolving Regions - Roll-out of innovative climate change adaptation processes in regional networks in North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands" or in the BMBF-funded project "ViWaT-Mekong-Planning -Sustainable Water and Land Use for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam".

This profile area is linked to the Research Centers “Chemical Sciences and Sustainabilty” and “One Health”. In addition, there are close collaborations and partnerships with four non-university research institutions located in Dortmund: the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST).

Researchers at TU Dortmund University are shaping our data-based future. Their outstanding research activities are characterized by the vision of not only developing and using digital technologies and data-driven research, but also driving them forward in a demand-oriented, safe and ethically responsible manner. In flagship projects, the course is set for the future use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in interaction with modern simulation techniques.

The efficient and sustainable use of digital data in different sciences and groundbreaking technologies is the motivation of researchers in interdisciplinary collaborative projects.

Currently, the following key topics contribute to this profile area in particular:

1. Internationally visible research in the thematic focus Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning takes place in the DFG Collaborative Research Center 876 "Providing Information by Resource-Constrained Data Analysis" and in the BMBF-funded Competence Center Machine Learning, the Lamarr Institute. 

2. Discipline-specific Data Analysis and Model Building is being advanced, among others, in the projects "From Prediction to Agile Interventions in the Social Science (FAIR)" and "NRW Cluster for Data-Intensive Radio Astronomy", both funded as part of Profilbildung NRW. The topic area of intelligent systems, automation and robotics is visible in a variety of third-party funded projects, including the BMBF-funded project "6GEM open - efficient - secure - safe" and the German Rescue Robotics Center, also funded by the BMBF.

3. Data-driven logistics for Industry 4.0 is at the center of the DFG Research Training Group "Adaption Intelligence of Factories in a Dynamic and Complex Environment (GRK 2193)" and in the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT.

4. Data Science Research for the life sciences has strong links to profile area 2 and is visible, for example, in the DFG Research Training Group "Biostatistical Methods for High-Dimensional Data in Toxicology (GRK 2624)".

5. Computer-aided Simulation of Processes is used and developed centrally in various high-profile projects such as the SFB/TRR 188 "Damage Controlled Forming Processes" or the priority program 2231 "Efficient Cooling, Lubrication and Transport" coordinated at the TU Dortmund University.

This profile area is linked to the Research Center “Trustworthy Data Science”. There are overlaps in content with the scientific competence fields “Logistics” and “Artificial Intelligence” in the Masterplan Science.

Researchers in this profile area cooperate closely with local and regional non-university research institutions, in particular the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Research and Logistics (IML), the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST), and the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo).

Investigating, shaping and further developing the educational and labor worlds of tomorrow is the focus of various high-profile research projects at TU Dortmund University. Our scientists cover the entire spectrum in their research – from studies on learning ability and cognitive development, to surveys on teaching and learning situations, or to interdisciplinary observations of changing work context.

Currently, the following key topics contribute to this profile area in particular:

1. School and Educational Research through visible lighthouse projects such as the KMK/BMBF-funded International Primary School Reading Survey (IGLU), participation in the Nationwide network of excellence of the National Education Panel, or the project "Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience: The developing human visual brain" funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

2. Strong research in Subject Didactics contributes this profile area with projects such as the KMK-funded "QuaMath - Developing Teaching and Training Quality in Mathematics", the "SiMa - Language-forming Mathematics Teaching", funded for many years by the BMBF and DFG, among others, or the "K4D Project - Collaborative Teaching and Learning with Digital Media in Teacher Education: Mobile - Professional - Inclusive".

3. The Design and Transformation of the World of Work is the subject of the EU joint project "BEYOND 4.0: Inclusive Futures for Europe BEYOND the impacts of Industrie 4.0 and Digital Disruption" as well as various BMBF-funded projects, including "Good Leadership and Work 4.0" and "Networking and Interaction Work in Smart Technical Service - VISITS" as well as several DFG projects on, for example, negotiations and teamwork.

This profile area is compatible with the College for Social Sciences and Humanities in the Research Alliance Ruhr. There are overlaps in content with the scientific competence field “School and Educational Research” within the framework of the Masterplan Science of the City of Dortmund.

Researchers at TU Dortmund University cooperate closely in this profile area with non-university research institutions, including the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) and the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN).

Researchers at TU Dortmund University provide well-founded analyses and innovative solutions for the social and societal challenges of the 21st century in outstanding third-party funded projects. Research priorities range from fundamental questions about the structure, cohesion and transformation of societies to the conditions of social coexistence: Solidarity, age, sustainability and urbanity are just a few of the seminal topics to which scientists at TU Dortmund University devote their research.

Currently, the following key topics contribute to this profile area in particular:

1. Synergy effects arise from the combination of Empirical Social Sciences and Data Science Research, among others, in the profile "From Prediction to Agile Interventions in the Social Sciences (FAIR)" funded by the state of NRW.

2. Researchers are investigating Social Structures and Processes of Change in the DFG-funded projects "IN-CARE," "Material Conditions and Older Age Wellbeing in Germany and Poland," and "Status maintenance in the social middle".

3. The "Rhine-Ruhr Center for Science Communication Research," funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, the project "Media Accountability in the MENA Region," funded by the German Foreign Office, and the MERCUR-funded "Graduate School on Political Cohesion" are all dedicated to questions of how societies cohere.

4. Researchers are investigating Metropolises and Regions in Transition in projects as diverse as the DFG Research Training Group "Regional Disparities and Economic Policy (GRK 2484)", the MSCA ITN "RECITY" or the BMBF joint project "Stadtbauten Ruhr".

The profile area is compatible with the College for Social Sciences and Humanities. There are overlaps in content with the scientific competence field "Demographic Change".

This profile area is compatible with the College for Social Sciences and Humanities. There are overlaps in content with the scientific competence field “Demographic Change”. In this profile area, TU Dortmund University researchers cooperate closely with non-university research institutions, including the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), and the Baukunstarchiv NRW.

Better together

Flagship Programs of the UA Ruhr

The joint research projects and collaborations in the University Alliance Ruhr offer many synergies. The complementary strengths of the partner universities allow researchers to develop and pursue new innovative fields of study. Together, the UA Ruhr provides a critical mass of staff and infrastructure that are required to handle major research topics.

Outstanding examples of this forward-looking cooperation are the flagship programs “Materials Chain” and “Ruhr Explores Solvation” (RESOLV) as well as the competence fields “Metropolitan Research”, “Energy – System – Transformation”, and “Empirical Economic Research”, in which numerous researchers from the UA Ruhr universities work together with other non-university and international partners. RESOLV is funded as a Cluster of Excellence within the framework of the Excellence Strategy.

Detail photo of a water drop © deyangeorgiev2​/​

RESOLV is dedicated to researching chemical reactions, industrial processes and biological phenomena in the liquid phase. Researchers of UA Ruhr view solvent molecules as functional units that play an active part in solvent-mediated and solvent-controlled reactions.

RESOLV is a Cluster of Excellence funded by the German Excellence Strategy and joins regional and international partners in world-leading research. Over 50 research groups – over 200 researchers in total – have joined forces in the Cluster of Excellence and Flagship Program RESOLV to develop a bottom-up understanding of solvation. Encompassing 7 research institutions of the Ruhr metropolis and the international partner organization CALSOLV (California Explores Solvation), they expand the borders of solvation science.


Detail of a machining apparatus © Jürgen Huhn​/​TU Dortmund

Materials Chain pools and strengthens research activities in the field of Materials Science. The goal of the UA Ruhr Flagship Program is to reach a complete and concise description of the entire materials chain – from atoms to finished technical components and vice versa.

Materials Chain covers all stages of modern Materials Science, from designing, manufacturing and refining materials to their characterization and processing within the production chain. This internationally acclaimed expertise at the three universities of Dortmund, Bochum and Duisburg-Essen, which combines the activities of more than 200 research groups.


Skyline of New York City © Pixabay

The competence field Metropolitan Research is dedicated to transformative metropolitan research with analysis and design of structural change from the scale level of the district to the region.

Researchers at the UA Ruhr universities have been conducting intensive research in the field of metropolitan research for many years. All three universities have disciplinary and interdisciplinary focus areas that complement each other strategically due to their complementarities and synergy potentials. The objective of the UA Ruhr competence field “Metropolitan Research” is to establish an internationally visible center for inter- and transdisciplinary metropolitan research that bundles the complementary competences of the three partner universities across subject cultures and exploits the strengths of the region through networking with non-university research institutions and practice partners.


In the Competence Field “Energy – System – Transformation” interdisciplinary research is carried out across universities in order to advance the overall energy system transformation through selected technologies of energy conversion, transmission and efficient energy application as well as their economic and social consideration.

By bundling the existing and complementary research foci of the UA Ruhr-Universities in the field of energy research, a platform has been created that is highly visible and unique in its transdisciplinary form. This platform promotes research into sustainable solutions and promotes their use in practice. The focus is on making the process of transformation socially manageable, acceptable, economically meaningful and legally secure.


In the Competence Field “Empirical Economic Research”, the UA Ruhr universities work in close cooperation with the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research. They aim to identify and predict economic and social developments and their consequences at an early stage, and to evaluate the effects of economic policy measures on the basis of hard data, thus contributing to evidence-based policies.

The competence field incorporates the diverse competencies existing at the partner institutions in the fields of applied empirical economic research, method development and scientific policy advice into a joint framework, thus facilitating their integration and benefiting from their complementarities across all three universities.


Cafeteria menus

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).