Visualization and Virtual Reality


The IT Center plays a crucial role in supporting the institutions of RWTH Aachen University by providing infrastructure and methodological assistance in the use of visualization and VR techniques in research and teaching. These services are offered through the "Virtual Reality" and "Visualization" groups within the Computational Science & Engineering (CSE) department. Additionally, both groups conduct their own research and teaching activities within the Visual Computing Institute of the Department of Computer Science.

The research activities of the Virtual Reality group primarily focus on interdisciplinary and application-driven projects. Collaborations with other institutions at RWTH Aachen University, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, global research institutions, and industry partners are common. These projects span diverse fields such as production engineering, medicine, life sciences, and psychology. The research areas encompass the development and evaluation of virtual reality, multimodal human-computer interfaces, 3D interaction, and navigation methodologies, as well as virtual human models within social virtual reality.

The Visualization group, on the other hand, is engaged in developing novel methods for visually analyzing complex experimental and for simulation data. They also explore immersive data exploration in virtual reality environments. Bridging the gap between research and service, their objective is to make visualization solutions, especially exploratory immersive data analysis in CAVE environments, more accessible to simulation scientists by providing suitable workflows.

  Schematic representation of the aixCAVE Copyright: © IT Center

To facilitate these endeavors, both groups collaborate in operating the IT Center's Virtual Reality Lab. The lab is equipped with modern hardware, ranging from portable headset VR systems to professional installations like the AixCAVE – a projection-based visualization chamber that enables interactive exploration of virtual worlds and immersive visualizations within a space of approximately 30 square meters. The Lab's infrastructure is available for use by any RWTH Aachen University institution. Additionally, the IT Center's ISS team (Infrastructure, Software, Services) is responsible for developing customized VR and visualization applications for users from various RWTH institutions and their external research partners.


Thanks to the unique combination of services, infrastructure, application-driven research, and fundamental research, the collaboration between the two groups and the ISS team allows for the provision of VR and visualization technology, along with the underlying methodology, as comprehensive tools for research and teaching – all from a single source.