DOMINIK SCHILLINGER completed his PhD at the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany. He has most recently been doing post-doctoral research with Professor Thomas Hughes at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences of the University of Texas at Austin. He researches novel discretization techniques for the analysis of solids and structures, striving to overcome limitations of standard numerical tools.
Schillinger was persuaded to move from Texas to the University of Minnesota because of the Department’s strong reputation for top level research and education in engineering. He was impressed with the large variety of areas in which faculty members are doing fundamental research.
His own research is in computational engineering and predictive modeling and simulation, an interdisciplinary area of research that combines aspects of engineering, computer science and applied mathematics. Schillinger’s work in computational mechanics is of key importance for many future technologies and will have a broad range of applications. For example, Schillinger has worked on traditional civil engineering problems, like developing fast methods for simulating structural dynamics to determine the optimal design of wind turbines; he has also worked on biomedical applications, developing computational tools that can help find the best position for a patient’s hip implant or help predict liver deformations based on CT scan data.
"The Department of Civil Engineering at Minnesota
is a very good place for interdisciplinary research."
Schillinger believes that the Department of Civil Engineering at Minnesota is a very good place for his interdisciplinary research. Many Civil Engineering faculty members are working in a similar direction, and he feels that they will be able to work together to support and supplement one another’s research. Moreover, he feels the University of Minnesota offers many opportunities for collaborations outside the Department of Civil Engineering with the Medical School, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, or the many biomedical companies that are located in the Twin Cities area. Schillinger hopes to continue working with his research partners and connections at Texas, as well as those in Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy.
While Schillinger acknowledges that the most exciting and challenging aspect of his job will be continuing his research, he is looking forward to teaching fundamental classes for undergraduates and probabilistic engineering for graduate students.
Schillinger has come to believe that his decision to pursue civil engineering (his original goal was to be an architect) was one of the best decisions he ever made. His colleagues and students will soon come to the same conclusion.