Top Engineering Universities in Germany

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Despite its small geographical size -- the country only covers an area the size of Montana -- Germany is a world-renowned manufacturer and exporter for automobiles, industrial plants, heavy machinery and photovoltaic equipment. Such expertise attracts international engineering students in search of a high-quality education, which a number of German faculties can provide. The nine leading technology universities -- listed in alphabetical order -- form the so-called TU9. Of all engineering doctorates in German, 57 percent are ranked as TU9 schools. Five of these universities rank among the top 100 of the reputable British "Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2009" (THEQS).

1 RWTH Aachen

With more than 31,000 students -- most of them enrolled in engineering courses -- and 260 institutes in nine faculties, the RWTH Aachen is Germany’s largest technical university, offering more than 100 courses of study. Located in one of Germany’s oldest cities and nestled close to the borders to Belgium and the Netherlands, the RWTH maintains close cooperation with Belgian and Dutch universities. According to the 2009 THEQS rankings, the RWTH is the 57th best engineering university in the world.

Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen Templergraben 55 52056 Aachen Germany 011-49-241-80-1

2 Technical University of Berlin

Located in the heart of the German capital the TU Berlin is Germany’s second largest technical university with more than 27,000 students. Ranked 62nd in the 2009 THEQS list, the TU Berlin offers 90 courses of study, employs 322 professors and 14 junior professors, and maintains co-operations with more than 100 international universities and institutes in 36 countries.

Technische Universitaet Berlin Strasse des 17. Juni 135 10623 Berlin Germany 011-49-30-314-0

3 Braunschweig University of Technology

Founded in 1745, the Braunschweig University of Technology (TU Braunschweig) is Germany’s oldest technical university. On the smaller side with 13,000 enrolled students, the TU Braunschweig excels in research related to hybrid engines and micro-air vehicles, and is the government-appointed German institute for establishing fire-resistance ratings. The TU Braunschweig maintains international academic co-operations with over 200 schools all over Europe and offers dual degree programs. The THEQS rankings list the TU Braunschweig in 285th position.

Technische Universitaet Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig Pockelsstrasse 14 38106 Braunschweig Germany

4 Darmstadt University of Technology

Spread over 138 buildings, the Darmstadt University of Technology (TUD) offers 100 degree courses, 272 professors and an academic staff of 2,150. This group teaches 21,000 students just 20 miles outside of Frankfurt. Numerous reputable engineers are closely connected to the TUD: Rolf Isermann -- a renowned expert in digital automation technology and mechatronics, whom the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked as one of the world’s “top 10” researchers in the field of future technologies -- has been teaching at the TUD since 1977. The 2009 THEQS ranking lists the TUD in 119th position.

Technische Universitaet Darmstadt Karolinenplatz 5 64289 Darmstadt Germany

5 Technical University of Dresden

The Technical University of Dresden (TUD) is known as a research-focused institution, a status not quite reflected in the THEQS list that ranks the TUD in 195th position. With 419 professors and nearly 35,000 students, the TUD is among the largest technical universities in Germany. The TUD is the only university from the former German Democratic Republic in the TU9 network, and it features a total of 14 faculties that focus on practice-oriented courses.

Technische Universitaet Dresden Helmholtzstrasse 10 01069 Dresden Germany

6 Leibniz University of Hannover

Four out of nine faculties at the Leibniz University of Hannover (LUH) are dedicated to engineering: the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences, the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodetic Sciences, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The Faculties of Natural Sciences and of Mathematics and Physics round the technical focus of the LUH that also includes a law school, a management school and the Faculties of Humanities. Founded in the 19th century with just 64 students, the LUH is now the academic home to approximately 21,000 students and offers about 75 courses of study.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover Welfengarten 1 30167 Hannover Germany

7 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Ranked as the 71st best engineering university in the world, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the technology division of the University of Karlsruhe. It was founded it 1825 and is the oldest technical university in Germany. As of 2010, more than 18,000 students are enrolled in KIT courses.

Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie Kaiserstrasse 12 76131 Karlsruhe Germany

8 Technical University of Munich

Comprising of 13 faculties, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has established itself as Germany’s foremost technical and engineering institution. Six Nobel Prizes grace the institution’s impressive list of awards and achievements. The quality of study is reflected in the 2009 THEQS list that ranked the TUM 45th, making it the only German school in the top 50. The TUM offers about 130 courses of study, some of which are completely or partly held in English and about one-fifth of the students hail from abroad.

Technische Universitaet Muenchen Arcisstrasse 21 80333 Muenchen Germany

9 University of Stuttgart

Rounding up the TU9 is the University of Stuttgart (US), snatching the 89th position in the 2009 THEQS rankings. Located in the center of a region known for technological excellence and progressive engineering, the US has established itself as an achievement oriented academic institution since its founding days in 1829. About 19,000 students flock the US campuses. Six out of the university’s 10 faculties are dedicated to engineering disciplines. Famed German astronaut Ulf Merbold and car pioneer Gottlieb Daimler are among the alumni.

Universitaet Stuttgart Pfaffenwaldring 60 70569 Stuttgart Germany

Based in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area, Alexandra Becker has been a full-time writer with a focus on sports, travel, science and health-related topics since 1996. Her work has appeared in a variety of national and international magazines, newspapers and online publications. She has won two journalism awards.