Heidelberg Collaboratory for Industrial Optimization (HCO)

An Industry-on-Campus Initiative

Model-based simulation and optimization methods have become increasingly important for the development of new products and more efficient processes in industry. From a mathematical point of view, the tools to tackle problems from fields as diverse as the automotive industry, chemical and pharmaceutical engineering are often based on the same fundamental methods. The HCO uses this fact and brings together researchers from complementary fields in industry and academia to create scaling effects and synergies.

Currently, the HCO consists of 10 research groups in the fields of Mathematical Modeling, Simulation and Optimization (MSO) with complementary expertise. Its goals are to promote the use of modern mathematical methods in industrial applications, to identify and approach future challenges in industrial optimization and to establish mid- and long-term collaborations between academia and industry.

The HCO is based at the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at Heidelberg University, Germany. With over 25 years of experience in public-private cooperation, the IWR is a valuable partner for industrial optimization projects and is proud of its strong long-term collaborations with industrial partners, among them global players such as BASF, Bayer, Daimler, Lufthansa, and Siemens.

What we offer

The HCO offers joint research projects between industry and academia, including the tutelage of joint PhD students. Furthermore, the HCO provides consultation and training courses on modern methods in industrial optimization and organizes Challenge Workshops and networking activities.

Core competencies

  • Nonlinear, mixed-integer optimization and optimal control
  • Inverse problems, model validation and calibration
  • Parameter estimation and optimum experimental design
  • Real-time optimization
  • Nonlinear model-predictive control (NMPC)
  • Uncertainty quantification (UQ)
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structure mechanics
  • Multi-scale and multi-physics simulations
  • Software development

Selected projects

  • Design of reactors under safety restrictions
  • NMPC of complex batch processes
  • Optimal control of energy optimal truck rides
  • Design of prostheses
  • Calibration of robots under model uncertainties
  • Model-based optimization of electrical networks
  • Determination of strongly disturbed satellite orbites
  • Simulation and parameter estimation of fuel cells and batteries
  • Simulation of the lubricant film dynamics in ball bearings

Collaboration Partners and sponsors

  • ABB Ltd, BASF SE, Bayer AG, Daimler AG, DFS GmbH, EnBW AG, ESA, Deutsche Lufthansa, Octapharma AG, Ă–ssur GmbH, Rockwell-Collins GmbH, SAP SE and TLK-Energy GmbH
  • BMBF, BMWi, DFG, EU, Klaus Tschira Stiftung