MTU Aero Engines develops, manufactures, sells and services commercial and military propulsion systems for airplanes and helicopters, as well as industrial gas turbines. The key to our success is developing the propulsion systems of tomorrow —even more economical, lower in emissions and quieter. With roughly 10,000 employees, we are present around the world, but we make our home in Germany. You, too, can become part of our dedicated Team:

Writer (m/f/d) of a diploma or master thesis: Calculation and Analysis of the Contact Pressure in Face-to-Face Penalty Formulations

In face-to-face penalty contact formulations the contact conditions are simulated by spring elements connecting the integration points in the slave faces with their orthogonal projection on the master side. In order to maintain a high accuracy the location of the integration points is based on a triangulation of the polygons common to the master and slave side. Therefore, the resulting contact pressure is available at the integration points within the face and not at the nodes. Most visualization software, however, needs the contact pressure at the nodes of the finite elements. This is taken care of by extrapolation.

The above procedure has been implemented in the free software finite element program CalculiX (GNU General Public License applies). Although the stresses in the underlying elements look fine, the contact pressure distribution frequently shows unexpected peaks. Therefore, the complete contact stress extrapolation procedure should be reanalyzed and an algorithm devised leading to a more reliable contact stress distribution.


  • to get acquainted with the face-to-face penalty contact implementation in CalculiX
  • to devise a method to visualize the contact stresses at the integration points in CalculiX GraphiX and analyze their plausibility
  • to create an improved extrapolation procedure from the integration points to the nodes
  • to validate the procedure using simple benchmark problems and in a subsequent step real engine components


  • engineering or physics major
  • good knowledge of the finite element method
  • willing to program in C and FORTRAN
  • good knowledge of the English language

Duration: 6 months

Are you interested in the job? Give your career a boost and send us your complete application (Letter of Motivation, CV, Transcript of Records, High School Diploma).

We look forward to getting to know you.