Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems

A production plant in the chemical or biotechnology industry is as complex as a living being: innumerable components are in operation to produce a product. A large number of processes influence each other and even compete with each other, and it is often not clear why a process works or, more importantly, why it does not. The scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems therefore investigate biological as well as technical processes. Engineers, chemists, physicists, biologists and mathematicians develop mathematical models for this purpose. In the case of technical processes, they try out these models in their own testing plants. They then design suitable controls so that the processes in the plants do not unexpectedly come to a halt or get out of control. The researchers also use their findings as a basis for developing completely new processing concepts that are significantly more efficient.


Sandtorstr. 1
39106 Magdeburg
Phone: +49 391 6110-0
Fax: +49 391 6110-500

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS for Advanced Methods in Process and Systems Engineering

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Department System Theoretical Fundamentals of Process and Bioprocess Engineering


Department System and signal oriented Bioprocess Engineering


Department Physical and Chemical Fundamentals of Process Engineering

View over the sea with the wind turbines of an offshore wind farm staggered at a great distance to the horizon.

A new catalytic concept is laying the foundations for the methanation of carbon dioxide on an industrial scale


After two years of online only encounters, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2022 took place onsite again


ContiVir, a Max Planck spin-off, presents a vaccine candidate against the Coronavirus, which can be produced in a quick, efficient and scalable process


Researchers make the proton pump of the respiratory chain work in an artificial polymer membrane


In order to immunize the world population both an effective vaccine and an efficient production process are necessary

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In the event of an impending global flu pandemic, vaccine production could quickly reach its limits, as flu vaccines are still largely produced in embryonated chicken eggs. Udo Reichl, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, and his colleagues have therefore been working on a fully automated method for production in cell cultures that could yield vaccines in large quantities in a crisis.

Mathematics in the Borderlands

1/2014 Environment & Climate

Normally, Peter Benner and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg work on complicated numerical methods to optimize the automatic control of technical systems and equipment. Recently, however, their research was applied to resolve a political conflict centering around drug cultivation, herbicide spraying and border violations in South America.

Wood waste and straw contain valuable substances for the chemical industry, and these substances are what chemists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg want to get their hands on. The researchers are looking for ways to convert biomass into useful chemical compounds and use them as energy sources or raw materials.

Postdoc (m/f/d) - Molecular Biology / Biotechnology

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg May 23, 2024

Control and regulation of balance of cell growth and degradation 

2022 Metehan Ilter, Eric Schulze-Niemand, Matthias Stein 

Cell Biology Chemistry Complex Systems Structural Biology

Deubiquitinases are enzymes that regulate important signal transduction processes and protein degradation in the human organism. Mutations and dysregulation lead to an uncontrolled cell growth. Pathogens from bacteria and viruses are able to circumvent the human innate immune response system by mimicking the host’s intrinsic deubiquitinases.  Computer simulations are able to reveal mechanistic details of these processes and provide insight into the structural dynamics of activation and function of deubiquitinase enzymes in pathogens and human.   


Machine learning of dynamical systems

2021 Benner, Peter; Goyal, Pawan K. 

Cell Biology Chemistry Complex Systems Structural Biology

We discuss the identification of nonlinear dynamical systems from data. Our approach is based on the symbiosis of operator inference and deep learning. Applications can be found, for example, in the design of digital twins in industry and technology.


Integrated material and process design with artificial intelligence

2020 Teng Zhou, Zhen Song, Steffen Linke, Zhiwen Qi, Kai Sundmacher, Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik komplexer technischer Systeme, Abteilung Prozesstechnik, Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg, Lehrstuhl Systemverfahrenstechnik, Max-Planck Partnergruppe, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai

Chemistry Complex Systems

A hybrid data-driven and mechanistic modeling approach is proposed for integrated material and process design. The method has been applied to a few example processes and substantial improvements on the process performance have been achieved.


Reliable diagnosis for fuel cells

2019 Vidaković-Koch, Tanja; Sorrentino, Antonio

Chemistry Complex Systems Material Sciences

In the age of electromobility, electrochemical energy converters such as fuel cells will play an increasingly important role in everyday life. On this point, diagnostic tools that can precisely determine the various fail states (flooding, drying out, catalyst degradation, poisoning, etc.) of these devices are becoming increasingly important. We report on a new experimental method for fuel cell diagnostics, based on frequency response analysis of concentration input and electrical output (current or cell potential), which can selectively distinguish between the different fail states.


Optimization and control of chemical separation processes

2018 Kienle, Achim

Cell Biology Chemistry Complex Systems Structural Biology

Preparative chromatographic processes play an important role for the separation of complex mixtures. Recent research at the Max Planck Institute in Magdeburg aims at better understanding, systematic design as well as automatic control of these processes. Special focus in this contribution is on model based analysis of processes with implicit adsorption isotherms and a new self learning control concept for simulated moving bed processes.

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