Prof. Dr. Ernst Rank


Computation in Engineering
Professor emeritus since April 1, 2020

Academic Career and Research Areas

Professor Rank (b. 1954) conducts research into numerical mechanics and building informatics. Key areas of his research include high-order finite element methods, immersed boundary methods, and combining numerical computation with geometric modeling. His work is aimed at developing effective and intuitively usable simulation methods, which can be used to optimize industrial products and processes.

Professor Rank studied mathematics and physics at LMU Munich and completed his doctorate at TUM in 1985. With the support of a research grant, he was then able to work in the USA until 1986. After a period of work in industry at Siemens AG, he took up a professorship first at TU Dortmund and later, in 1997, at TUM. Professor Rank served as Vice President for Research at TUM from 2002 to 2008, was Founding Director of the TUM International Graduate School of Science and Engineering from 2006 to 2016, and was Director of the TUM Graduate School from 2008 to 2013. He has been Chairman of the University Council of TU Dortmund since 2007 and Director of the TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS) since 2015.


  • Fellow of the International Association for Computational Mechanics (2018)
  • Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2017)
  • Corresponding member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences (2014)
  • Konrad Zuse Medal (2009)
  • Federal Cross of Merit (2009)

Elhaddad M, Zander N, Bog T, Kudela L, Kollmannsberger S, Kirschke JS, Baum T, Ruess M, Rank E: "Multi-level hp-finite cell method for embedded interface problems with application in biomechanics". International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering. 2017; 34(4): e2951.


Düster A, Rank E, Szabó B: "The p-Version of the Finite Element and Finite Cell Methods". In: Encyclopedia of Computational Mechanics. Editors: Stein E, de Borst R, Hughes TJR. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2017.


Kudela L, Zander N, Kollmannsberger S, Rank E: "Smart octrees: accurately integrating discontinuous functions in 3D". Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering. 2016; 306: 406-426.


Schillinger D, Dedè L, Scott MA, Evans JA, Borden MJ, Rank E, Hughes TJR: "An Isogeometric Design-through-analysis Methodology based on Adaptive Hierarchical Refinement of NURBS, Immersed Boundary Methods, and T-spline CAD Surfaces". Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering (HOFEIM special issue). 2012; 249-252: 116-150.


Düster A, Parvizian J, Yang Z, Rank E: “The Finite Cell Method for three-dimensional problems of solid mechanics”. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering. 2008; 197 (45-48): 3768–3782.