MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Each module contains 3 ECTS. You choose a total of 10 modules/30 ECTS in the following module categories: 

  • 12-15 ECTS in technical scientific modules (TSM)
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • 9-12 ECTS in fundamental theoretical principles modules (FTP)
    FTP modules deal with theoretical fundamentals such as higher mathematics, physics, information theory, chemistry, etc. They will teach more detailed, abstract scientific knowledge and help you to bridge the gap between abstraction and application that is so important for innovation.
  • 6-9 ECTS in context modules (CM)
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

In the module description (download pdf) you find the entire language information per module divided into the following categories:

  • instruction
  • documentation
  • examination 
Multiphysics (FTP_Multiphy)

The module gives students insight into the modeling and simulation of coupled effects (multiphysics). The module provides an overview on the different application fields of multiphysics modeling and simulation in industry. Students learn the methodical procedures that are necessary for successfully solving modeling and simulation problems in the different areas of engineering and physics. The consolidation and deepening of the theoretical knowledge is achieved on the basis of specific problems that are solved with the appropriate methods and programs (MATLAB, Comsol Multiphysics).


  • Bachelor level in physics and mathematics (Newtonian mechanics, ordinary differential equations, elementary knowledge in vector and matrix calculation).
  • Elementary knowledge of MatLab or similar software packages

Learning Objectives

Students are in a position to model and simulate local and spatially distributed systems of the type that are encountered in the engineering sciences.

Students are in a position to describe a real problem in physical and mathematical terms. They are able to recognize symmetries and to benefit from them. They are aware of which simplifications can be made and what influence they have on the results. The students know different numerical solution methods and the available equation solvers and finite element packages for solving coupled partial differential equations.

Students learn how to develop reliable models, to validate these and to designate their validity limits.

Students are in a position to critically interpret simulation results.

Contents of Module

  • Modeling uncoupled physical phenomena through the application of conservation equations and material laws: transport of mass, energy, charge, momentum. Structural mechanics and flow mechanics are similarly covered in the course.
  • Introduction to electromagnetic field modelling (Maxwell’s equations).
  • Numerical discretization methods for solving partial differential equations: finite differences, finite elements, finite volumes and time discretization.
  • Analysis of a multiphysics problem which is formulated analytically and can be solved with paper and pencil, e.g. coupling charge and energy transport in a single dimension.
  • Introduction to the modeling of multiphysics problems that are solved with the finite element method. Exercises on the computer: input of the model geometry, generating a discretization grid, specification of physical material properties in the model.
  • Case studies and exercises on the modeling of coupled problems: thermoelectric transport, capacitive and inductive sensors for static and quasistatic problems, structural mechanics, coupling an incompressible flow with energy transport, modeling of a fuel cell to convert chemical energy (hydrogen) into electrical energy.
  • Advanced multiphysics modeling: "coefficient form" of a scalar conservation equation, conversion of a partial differential equation into the weak form. The weak form constitutes the basis for the finite element method.
  • Model validation and recognition of the validity limits of a model.

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Frontal teaching
  • Practical work with suitable software packages
  • Exercises
  • Private study and literature study
  • Individual and group assignments


Jose Alberty, Josef Bürgler, Sven Friedel, Paul Ledger, Jürgen Schumacher, "Multiphysics Modeling and Simulation", course handout, Master of Science in Engineering (MSE).


Download full module description