All signals are GO for the upcoming ERC Consolidator Grant award to N. Thuerey – we’re happy to report that the official grant agreement between TUM and the ERC has been signed. The project is titled “Spatio-Temporal Methods for Data-driven Computer Animation and Simulation”, or in short SpaTe ( as in “spatio-temporal” methods). It will build on and extend our previous work on spatio-temporal learning and GANs (e.g. for fluids or videos), as well as differentiable physics simulations, such as phiflow, as data capturing ventures (cf. ScalarFlow). In terms of phenomena, we will not only target fluids or Navier-Stokes solutions, but also elastic and non-Newtonian materials. We believe that deep learning methods for differentiable numerical simulations represent an exciting area of research and will be of fundamental impact for a wide variety of scientific fields.

The following press release of TUM’s CS department gives a good summary: Prof. Nils Thuerey, receives funding in the form of a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The goal of his “SpaTe” project is to teach physics to computers – using data and examples rather than the conventional equation-based method. Software that predicts how gases, liquids and solids change shape under certain conditions and over a certain period is used in an enormous number of industries and research projects. So far, these programs have required enormous processing power. Machine learning has the potential for flexible and realistic modelling of temporal processes. Very little research has taken place in this area, however. In his project, Prof. Nils Thuerey wants to develop new algorithms to put machine learning to use in physical simulations. In the future this might make it possible, for example, to detect automatically from video data which physical materials are present and analyze their behavior. For his research he has previously received an ERC Starting Grant and Proof of Concept Grant.

The official press release of the European Research Council can be found here.