Technical University of Berlin

Technical University of Berlin

Technical University of Berlin Details

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With almost 34 000 students, circa 100 course offerings and 40 Institutes, the historic Technical University of Berlin is one of Germany’s largest and most internationally renowned technical universities. Located in Germany’s capital city – at the heart of Europe – outstanding achievements in research and teaching, imparting skills to excellent graduates, and a modern service-oriented administration characterize Technical University of Berlin.

The range of services offered by our seven Faculties serves to forge a unique link between the natural and technical sciences on the one hand, and the planning, economics and social sciences and humanities on the other. This is indeed a significant achievement for any technical university.

These disciplines find concrete expression in around 40 Bachelor’s and 60 Master’s programs. Many of these are indeed unique. Technical University of Berlin is the only university in the capital region offering engineering subjects.

Such scientific archivements are built on basic research in the natural science disciplines of chemistry and physics, and mathematics, in addition to strongly innovation-oriented research in electrical engineering and the computer sciences for instance. TU Berlin has received recognition for outstanding achievements in all these disciplines, for which support is provided by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the European Union, industry and public funding, and whose teams are conducting world-class research.

One obvious indication of the university’s performance and dynamic development is the increase in external funding for its research projects from around 125 million euros in 2009, to circa 179 million euros in 2014. For years, TU Berlin has been ranked as one of the top universities in Germany without a medical school.

In a clear articulation of Technical University of Berlin objectives, in July 2012 the Academic Senate unanimously decided to actively promote a new vision in research and academics by designating six core research priorities and by defining the related competencies and social obligations.

  • Our Vision
    Solutions for Societal Challenges.
  • Our Key Application Areas
    Materials, Design and Manufacturing
    Cyber-Physical Systems
    Energy Systems and Sustainable Resource Management
    Infrastructure and Mobility
    Knowledge and Communication Systems
    Human Health
  • Our Competencies
    Computer Science
    Planning and Management
    Natural Sciences
  • Our Responsibilities
    Beneficial Processes and Products
    Technological Innovation
    Knowlegde Management
    Education and Creating New Job Areas
    Competitive Qualification

A strategic faculty appointment policy ensures sustainable advancement of excellency in important diciplines.

Beyond its own borders, both domestically and abroad, our university is the motor, initiator and beneficiary of numerous academic and professional networks with partners in science and industry. Strategic alliances and numerous start-up activities serve to promote hands-on knowledge and technology transfer.

Global players such as Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Daimler, Vattenfall
or E.ON are involved in various co-operative projects with our university and actively promote technology and knowledge transfer. The 14 endowed chairs and several affiliated institutes are also reminders of TU Berlin’s excellent extramural reputation. Companies not only provide investments, they also offer hands-on training and support numerous students with scholarships, lecture series, and excellent career opportunities for graduates. The Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories is one outstanding example of such networking. Their mission is to conduct research for the telecommunications company and they sponsor several TU Berlin chairs. The TU Campus has been home to the ‘Labs’ house since 2004, where around 360 experts and scientists from more than 25 nations work under the same roof.

As an important actor in Berlin and Brandenburg’s world-class scientific environment, TU Berlin selectively promotes scientific networking. In addition to their usual academic activities, around 60 of our top-notch researchers exercise managerial functions in extramural research institutes. These include the Fraunhofer Society, the Leibniz Association, the Helmholtz Association and other important and publicly-funded research facilities.

The Technical University of Berlin attaches great importance to the promotion of science-based start-ups and spin-offs by providing guidance and supervision for around 40 start-up initiatives each year. It also serves as a magnet for companies interested in establishing themselves on or near our campus. Based on the results of a nationwide competi-tion we have earned the title “EXIST start-up university”.

Internationalization is a basic principle of all scientific activities. The university’s internationalization strategy adheres to the concept of strategic partnerships with top-notch universities abroad. These include TU Warsaw, TU Trondheim, TU Delft and TU Vienna. These partnerships serve to encourage broad-based cooperation and to promote diverse joint activities in research and teaching. A further building block consists of strategic cooperation with science institutions in the three target regions of Eastern Europe, South-East Asia and South America. TU Berlin currently offers 26 dual-degree programs in conjunction with partner universities in England, France, Poland, China, Russia and Chile, in addition to 17 English-language Master’s programs. International students from more than 130 countries make up about 20 percent of the student body. In the Alexander von Humboldt Ranking, TU Berlin currently ranks second among all technical universities. Other statistics further underscore the university’s interna-tional approach: TU professors alone were involved in 1500 cross-border cooper-ation projects between 2009 and 2011. In 2012, around 120 international science agreements were in force at the central university level.


Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Humanities
  • Mathematics and natural sciences
  • Process sciences and engineering
  • Electrical engineering and computer science
  • Mechanical engineering and transport systems (including aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, naval and ocean engineering, and the planning and operation of transport systems)
  • Planning – building – environment (merge of former schools of “civil engineering and applied geosciences” and “architecture –environment – society”)
  • Economics and management


On 1 April 1879, the Königlich Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg (“TH Charlottenburg”) was formed in the governmental merger of the Berlin Building Academy (Bauakademie) and the Royal Trade Academy (Königliche Gewerbeakademie), two independent Prussian founding colleges established in 1799 and 1821 respectively. The TH Charlottenburg (Royal TechnicalHigher School of Charlottenburg) was named after the borough of its location in Charlottenburgjust outside Berlin. In 1899, the TH Charlottenburg became the first polytechnic in Germany awarding doctorates, as a standard degree for the graduates, in addition to diplomas, thanks to professor Alois Riedler and Adolf Slaby, chairman of the Association of German Engineers(VDI) and the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE).

In 1916 the long-standing Bergakademie Berlin, the Prussian mining academy created by the geologist Carl Abraham Gerhard in 1770 at the behest of King Frederick the Great, was assimilated into the TH Charlottenburg. Beforehand, the mining college had been, however, for several decades under the auspices of the Frederick William University (now Humboldt University of Berlin), before it was spun out again in 1860. After Charlottenburg’s absorption into Greater Berlin in 1920 and Germany being turned into Weimar Republic, the TH Charlottenburg was renamed “Technische Hochschule of Berlin” (“TH Berlin”). In 1927, the Department of Geodesy of the Agricultural College of Berlin was incorporated into the TH Berlin. During the 1930s, the redevelopment and expansion of the campus along the “East-West axis” were part of the Nazi plans of a Welthauptstadt Germania, including a new faculty of defense technology under General Karl Becker, built as a part of the greater academic town (Hochschulstadt) in the adjacent west-wise Grunewald forest. The shell construction remained unfinished after the outbreak of World War II and after Becker’s suicide in 1940, it is today covered by the large-scale Teufelsberg dumping.

The north section of the main building of the university was destroyed during a bombing raid in November 1943. Due to the street fightingat the end of the Second World War, the operations at the TH Berlin were suspended as of April, 20th 1945. Planning for the re-opening of the school began on June, 2nd 1945, once the acting rectorship led by Gustav Ludwig Hertz and Max Volmer was appointed. As both Hertz and Volmer remained in exile in the Soviet Union for some time to come, the college was not re-inaugurated until April, 9th 1946, now bearing the name of “Technische Universität Berlin”. In general, the name is not translated into other languages. The English term Berlin Institute of Technology is a semi-official translation, which was established as a compromise in 2007. Nevertheless, the intuitive translationTechnical University of Berlin remains the most common (although not official) name for the university in English, with the possible exception of the native German description (and of course the short form of TU Berlin).

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