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Key research areas

Interdisciplinary, cross-sectional research in two key areas facilitates the exploitation of synergetic points of crossover between disciplines:

Energy-efficient buildings and sustainable urban development

This main area of research lends HFT Stuttgart a special research profile and groups together professors from six competence centres. Both the research topics involved and participating professors are closely linked to the Baden-Württemberg Center for Applied Research (BW-CAR). Prof. Dr. habil. Ursula Eicker – a founding director of BW-CAR and head of the IAF – established BW-CAR in 2014 and has since turned “Energy Systems and Resource Efficiency” into one of its largest clusters in terms of membership. This ensures the optimum networking of HFT Stuttgart’s research projects with energy researchers at other universities of applied science in Baden-Württemberg – which in turn paves the way for further synergies.

nterdisciplinary projects are more and more common in the day-to-day research activities. To give an example, a project in the field of sustainable urban development might be enriched by including an integrated energy concept and simulation-assisted scenario development component (partner: zafh.net) or by planning with the aid of GIS-based 3D urban models (partner: Centre for Geodesy and Geoinformatics).

The Centre for Sustainable Economics and Management develops financing solutions, acceptance analyses and public participation strategies which complement the technical concepts delivered by other centres.
The EnSign RealLabor project represents a current example of interdisciplinary research and is described on the right-hand side of the page. Project teams of this type generally also include external partners such as planners, energy providers and local authorities.

The following competence centres are involved in this main area of research:

Technologies for spatial data and simulation

This research area deals with topics in the fields of geodesy, computer science and mathematics.

Spatial data is the foundation for a variety of processes ranging from spatial planning to industrial product design. The research focus covers the entire processing chain for spatial data from measurement, modelling and application to visualizations. Methods of geodesy, computer science and mathematics are utilised to develop simulations and optimization techniques. Algorithms which provide a basis for data modelling and analysis techniques are developed and adapted to specific scenarios. A wide range of geometric data are processed: these range from spatial data for environment, construction, logistics and person models to geometric data of individual objects in production. Accordingly, measurement methods and evaluation methods are available that can capture data at different scales, from very small objects with high accuracy requirements to larger geographic areas. For many questions it is not sufficient to determine the geometry only, but often additional object properties must be measured and modelled. The data and models are then used for studies in urban planning and building inventory, design validation, human-machine interaction, or virtual realities.

Simulations which offer detailed insights into complex processes and support decision-making and planning processes represent the second pillar of this research area. They provide early indications of optimisation potential and are therefore efficiently applicable to different fields. Simulations have practical applications to model entire processes or parts thereof in the fields of production and economy, or for the design of individual components and processes. Many of the processes have an explicit spatial and temporal reference, which must be parametrised in the models, and individually adapted and solved for each specific problem. Aspects of computability, numerical and algorithmic optimisation play a role, as well as the creation and calculation of models describing complex systems with partial dynamic behaviour. The methods can, apart from simulations, be used for quality assurance.

The expertise within theis main area of research encompasses the theoretical foundations of mathematics and computer science to engineering sciences. An explicit technical orientation is prominent in many research activities, and the solutions are developed with expertise on hardware, software, and information systems. At the interfaces to other subject areas, this knowledge is used to develop adequate techniques and test them. Research activities and collaborations exist at national and international levels.

The following competence centres are involved in this main area of research: