Prof. Dr. Michael Ulbrich



Contact Details

Business card at TUMonline

Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Ulbrich (b. 1967) conducts research in the field of nonlinear optimization and optimal control. He is particularly interested in the development, analysis and use of efficient algorithms to solve very large-scale nonlinear optimization problems that occur in the optimization of complex systems. Many of his research projects are related to applications, for example, in the context of shape optimization and control of fluid flows, the identification of parameters using seismic data or the analysis of human motion to advance the development of cognitive robots. Prof. Ulbrich is involved in the CoTeSys excellence cluster, the Munich Centre of Advanced Computing and the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Control Theory of Digitally Networked Dynamical Systems priority program.
After studying mathematics, Prof. Ulbrich did his doctorate (1996) and lecturer qualification (2002) at TUM. DFG grants enabled him to do research at Rice University in Houston, USA, in 1996/97 and 1999/2000. In 2002, he accepted a professorship at the University of Hamburg. Since 2006, Prof. Ulbrich has been a full professor at TUM, holding the Chair of Mathematical Optimization. From 2007 to 2010, he was Dean of Studies at the Department of Mathematics. Since 2012 he has been Vice Dean of the Department of Mathematics.


  • Mehrfache Auszeichnung als Hochschullehrer des Semesters (Uni Hamburg, 2002-2006)
  • Promotionspreis des Bundes der Freunde der TUM (1996)

Key Publications

Steffensen S, Ulbrich M: “A new relaxation scheme for mathematical programs with equilibrium constraints”. SIAM Journal on Optimization. 2010; 20(5): 2504-2539.


Hinze M, Pinnau R, Ulbrich M, Ulbrich  S: “Optimization with PDE constraints”. Springer-Verlag,  2009.


Ulbrich M, Ulbrich S, Vicente LN: “A globally convergent primal-dual interior-point filter method for nonlinear programming”.  Mathematical Programming. 2004; 100(2): 379-410.


Ulbrich M: “Semismooth Newton methods for operator equations in function spaces”. SIAM Journal on Optimization. 2003; 13(3): 805-842.


Ulbrich M: “Nonmonotone trust-region methods for bound-constrained semismooth equations with applications to nonlinear mixed complementarity problems”. SIAM Journal Optimization. 2001; 11(4): 889-917.