The Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) had the opportunity to brief Siemens President and CEO Barbara Humpton about various research activities during her visit to Georgia Tech on 17 November.

ASDL and Siemens have been collaborating since 2008. To strengthen the collaboration, in October 2021, Siemens launched the Center of Excellence for Simulation and Digital Twin. This three-year, $1.8 million investment from Siemens in ASDL focuses on preparing students to enter the STEM workforce of the future while improving upon the role of digital engineering for buildings. The initiative includes sponsored research, two annual student Grand Challenge projects, and four PhD fellowships centered around the use of simulation capabilities. The Center of Excellence is led by Regents Professor Dimitri Mavris, director of ASDL, and by a managing board made up of several Siemens leaders representative of the company’s Research, Smart Infrastructure, and Digital Industries Software units.

Featured presentations during Ms. Humpton’s visit included updates about the two ASDL Grand Challenge projects that Siemens supports as well as briefing about the research topics that the four Siemens PhD Fellows are pursuing.

The two Grand Challenges are focused on Buildings & Sustainable Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility Infrastructure. This year’s projects are part of a multi-year spiral development of these topics.


The Siemens Fellows and their topics are:

  • Sabastian Abelezele (top left)

    Thesis Title: Multi-Scale Systems of Systems

  • Nathan Williams (top right)

    Thesis Title: AI Worker

  • Xiao (Olin) Wei (bottom left)

    Thesis Title: Investigation into Real-Time Digital Twin Calibration with Bayesian Reinforcement Learning

  • Marc Koerschner (bottom right)

    Thesis Title: Methods for Self-Healing Buildings


ASDL research faculty from the Digital Engineering Division serve as technical advisors and mentors to the Grand Challenge Teams and PhD Fellows: Principal Research Engineer Dr. Olivia Pinon Fischer, Senior Research Engineer Dr. Michael Balchanos and Research Engineer II Dr. Scott Duncan.

“Digital engineering is a key thrust for ASDL, and the Siemens Center of Excellence has allowed us to further our research in this area,” says Mavris. “The partnership with Siemens has provided our student real-world applications for critical issues related to sustainable infrastructure, and we were excited for the opportunity to brief the Siemens CEO about our research activities.”