Modelling and Simulation in the Engineering Sciences (An Introduction in the Philosophy of Science for Engineers) (Seminar)

Lecturer (assistant)
  • Jörg-Wilhelm Wernecke
Duration2 SWS
TermSommersemester 2021
Language of instructionEnglish
Position within curriculaSee TUMonline
DatesSee TUMonline


Admission information

See TUMonline
Note: The participants are expected to actively cooperate in the form of taking over one presentation.


By different fields of application and their scientific-philosophical analyses, the participants will be familiarized with basic concepts of scientific methods. At the end of the course they should be able to critically reflect on philosophical positions in science, to develop their own point of view and to defend it argumentatively in the discussion. (Learning objective).


Crash tests in the automobile industry, the flow behaviour of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, in quantum physics and biochemistry, in bio- and medical engineering, electrical engineering, acoustics, civil engineering, climate simulation, architecture and social sciences, modelling and simulation have proven to be important methods for generating knowledge and skills in a broad spectrum of current research areas. Despite all the scientific success of modelling and computer-aided simulations, new challenges arise with regard to the identification of (meaningful) fields of application, the determination of the possibilities and limits of this form of knowledge production, its validity and validation as well as the handling and consequences resulting from these specific research methods. Philosophy and theory of science take up these challenges by methodically and systematically reflection for example with questions such as: Do scientific models describe the world as it "is" (even "only" in part), or do they give us "only" instruments with which we can better describe certain phenomena of nature, develop better solutions with regard to concrete practical problems? What influence do research projects such as climate simulations have on social processes, and what factors are involved in technical modelling and simulations? In the seminar, different aspects of science philosophy and science theory will be developed on the basis of concrete fields of application of modelling and simulation (case studies), for example by questioning: What is a confirmation, what is an explanation? What do we mean when we talk about models, theories or laws of nature? How secure is our knowledge of the world when we model and simulate it? Are models and theories completely determined by experience?



Teaching and learning methods

Lecture, text reading, presentation, group work, written essay


Presentation 2 ECTS; Presentation & essay 3 ECTS

Recommended literature

Is given with the program of the seminar