The Graduate Center of Engineering and Design (GC-ED) is an institution of the TUM School of Engineering and Design (ED) and at the same time part of the TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS). Our task is to support doctoral students of the ED on their way to a doctorate.

In this context, our main tasks are doctoral advising, the design and coordination of the subject-specific qualification program and the (financial) promotion of internationalization as well as interdisciplinary, cross-departmental collaboration and networking. In addition, we coordinate the necessary administrative steps of the doctorate from the registration in the doctoral candidacy list to the issuance of the doctoral certificate.

At the ED, around 2,100 young scientists are currently pursuing their doctoral projects. They are scientifically supervised at the individual eight departments of the ED in the respective chairs or professorships.

Thank you for your interest in a doctorate at the TUM School of Engineering and Design! In our Wiki we give you an overview of the most important points for a smooth start into your doctoral project.

General information about starting a doctorate at TUM can be found on the homepage of the TUM Graduate School and in the presentation: “Doing your Doctorate at TUM & TUM Graduate School.”

Please also note the important information on the page "Welcome Office".

The doctoral process begins with the application and admission to the doctorate and ends with the submission of the dissertation. The TUM-GS provides you with general information about everything important concerning the doctoral process. Additional information on the three doctoral phases that is important for the TUM School of Engineering and Design can be found in our Wiki.

Start of your doctorate

  • Admission to doctoral studies (link directly into the wiki)
  • Application including checklist
  • Entry in the doctoral candidacy list and membership in the TUM-GS
  • Mentorship and exposé
  • Dissertation - monograph, publication-based dissertation, media dissertation

During your doctorate

  • Kick-off seminar of TUM-GS
  • Seminar Good Scientific Practice
  • Subject-specific course program
  • Interdisciplinary course program
  • Publication
  • Integration into the academic environment of TUM
  • Internationalization

End of your doctorate

  • Doctoral application: submission of the dissertation and opening of the doctoral procedure
  • Examination of the dissertation - examination committee, expert opinion phase, circulation committee
  • Oral examination
  • Doctoral certificate and certificate of the TUM-GS

  • Information event "Start of the doctorate"
  • Information event "Submitting the dissertation"

In the board of the GC-ED, doctoral representatives represent the interests of the doctoral students. They have influence on the courses and networking offers, the quality assurance as well as the strategic orientation of the GC-ED. They have an open ear for questions, ideas or problems of the doctoral candidates and strengthen the doctoral community. Three PhD student representatives of the GC-ED are also members of the Graduate Council of the TUM-GS.

The doctoral advisory board assumes administrative tasks such as decisions on admission to doctoral studies or the preliminary review of the composition of examination boards. One professor from each department is represented on the Doctoral Advisory Board.

The GC-ED Board decides on the strategic orientation, reviews the implementation of the goals and gives initiatives for further development. The board consists of the spokesperson, the deputy spokesperson, eight department representatives and the doctoral student representatives.

The TUM Graduate School supports supervisors with various information and offers. In our Wiki you will also find important ED-specific information.

Voices from the ED

Maria Wolf

Department of Mobility Systems, Chair of Automotive Technology 
Since day one of my Ph.D. at "Future Transport Mobility", I have been given full trust and responsibility. Ever since, I have been leading my own project and engaging with partners, colleagues, and students. The academic environment keeps me young; I can develop both professionally and personally, and I have the opportunity to explore my research area, contributing to the global body of knowledge. This freedom is a double-edged sword. I learn to handle challenging situations and, in the process, accept that not every attempt or approach will succeed.
Not only at the department level, but also throughout TUM, there are support systems in place to assist doctoral candidates in all situations, working together to find solutions. Effective communication, motivation, and self-reliance are crucial in this journey.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Putz

Department of Architecture, Professorship of Recent Building Heritage Conservation
A doctoral degree was and still is rather unusual in the field of architecture. Interestingly, architects were among the first to embrace the then-new opportunity of obtaining a Dr.-Ing. degree in significant numbers at the beginning of the 20th century. But why? Back then, just as today, pursuing a doctorate offered the chance to delve into a specific challenge of the built environment - architecture - in a fundamental and concentrated manner, often for the first time. Unfortunately, the busy office practice typically lacks the time for this kind of exploration. Simultaneously, a doctoral journey provides a framework for developing one's own perspective. It usually involves scientifically disproving existing beliefs, assumptions, or biases and defending these findings within the academic community.
Where one ends up personally at the conclusion of the project cannot be predicted in advance. This was the case for me as well. Doctoral research always carries risks and uncertainties, but that's what makes it exciting. Currently, I am supervising eight individual dissertation projects. These projects are inherently interdisciplinary. The process of discovering something new occurs when we collectively step beyond the established boundaries of thought, disciplines, and comfort zones. Continuous questioning challenges all involved, but if the knowledge were already there, we wouldn't need to create it. While I often find myself in the role of the agitator, the structured programs at the Graducate Center serve as islands for my doctoral candidates, where their methods and approaches are reviewed and refined before continuing their journey.

Prof. Dr. Alisa Machner

Department of Material Engineering, Professorship for Mineral Construction Materials
I myself was lucky enough to enjoy a very interesting, instructive and exciting doctoral period. Now, as a professor, I would like to use the opportunity to give young doctoral students an equally good experience. I am currently supervising three doctoral students, and two more will join me in the course of the year. My main motivations for supervising doctoral students are to accompany young people during their training as scientists, to teach them the skills of scientific work and to jointly generate new knowledge in our field.
Some questions are present and similar in almost every doctorate, e.g. how to find the right journal for your paper, how to establish good and reliable time management as a scientist. In my opinion, it makes sense to take advantage of the structured programme offered by the GS (interdisciplinary) and the GC (interdisciplinary), also because you come into contact with other departments and can broaden your own horizons. In addition, there are also very subject-specific challenges (question of co-authorship, number of publications, weighting of journal paper vs. conference contribution, etc.) during a doctorate. Individual programmes and intensive exchange with supervisors are much better suited for this.