Research within the Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Ship Theory primarily focusses on the development and application of computational methods in ship hydrodynamics. Examples included refer to the prediciton of ship motion in heavy seaway and hazardous conditions, rudder forces in a propeller slip stream, energy efficiency operation and shape-optimization of ships or the manoeuvring performance of ships.

The employed computational framework involves a wide range of methods. Various inviscid potential-flow methods (panel methods, strip methods etc.) - which are still heavily used in an industrial framework - are continuously improved for the purpose of an improved predictive realism. The primary computational research is devoted to the development and application of advanced viscous flow CFD methods. The approach has an enormous potential for the simulation of complex flows and it is of growing importance in maritime industry. Emphasis is given to an accurate modelling of the free surface effects, turbulence & cavitation modelling, floating-body motions, multi-body hydrodynamics, seaway modelling and adjoint-based optimisation strategies. Applications are the prediction of ship resistance and power requirement, hull optimisation, maneuvering and sea-keeping.

Experimental validation is an important issue when it comes to an assessment of computational methods. Experiments are carried out in the department's wind tunnel and the towing tank. Air flow around surface ships, as exhaust-gas propagation and air-comfort on decks of passenger ships, are predominantly simulated experimentally.

External funding is primarily provided by three major sources, i.e. the German Federal Ministry of Economy andTechnology (BMWi), the European Commission (EU) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).