Prof. Dr. Ira Neitzel

Associate Director of the Hausdorff School

E-mail: neitzel(at)
Phone: +49 228 73 3144
Room: 4.006
Location: Wegelerstr. 6
Institute: Institute for Numerical Simulation
Research Areas: Research Area J
Research Area B

Academic Career

2006 - 2011

Research Associate, Institute for Mathematics, TU Berlin


Dr. rer. nat. (summa cum laude), TU Berlin

2011 - 2013

Research Associate, Chair of Mathematical Optimization, TU Munich

2013 - 2015

Research Associate, Chair of Optimal Control, TU Munich

Since 2015

Professor (W2), Institute for Numerical Simulation, University of Bonn

Research Profile

My research is concerned with the analysis and numerical analysis of PDE-constrained optimal control problems, subject to additional constraints. Theoretical questions include the derivation of optimality conditions in function spaces, stability analysis, and regularization issues. Moreover, I am interested in error estimates for the finite element discretization, and convergence of solution algorithms. Past and present research includes the discussion of convex and nonconvex elliptic and parabolic control problems, and semi-infinite programming problems arising in PDE-constrained optimization.

Future work will focus in particular on open questions regarding the analysis and numerical analysis of nonconvex time-dependent problems regarding the development of optimality conditions and a priori as well as a posteriori discretization error estimates. A model problem to be considered is optimal control of fracture propagation.

Research Projects and Activities

Project “Optimization Fracture Propagation Using a Phase-Field Approach”,
within DFG Priority Program SPP 1962 “Nonsmooth and Complementarity-based Distributed Parameter Systems: Simulation and Hierarchical Optimization”
with Prof. W. Wollner, Darmstadt, since 2016

DFG Collaborative Research Center 1060 “The Mathematics of Emergent Effects”

DFG Cluster of Excellence “Hausdorff Center for Mathematics”

Contribution to Research Areas

Research Area B
I focus on theoretical challenges of nonconvex optimization problems in function spaces as well as optimal control. Necessary and sufficient optimality conditions of such problems are of particular interest.
Research Area J
I contribute my expertise on the numerical analysis and solution of optimal control problems, including a priori regularization or finite element discretization error estimates as well as convergence analysis of solution algorithms.

Selected Publications

[1] Ira Neitzel, Boris Vexler
A priori error estimates for space-time finite element discretization of semilinear parabolic optimal control problems
Numer. Math. , 120: (2): 345--386
[2] Mariano Mateos, Ira Neitzel
Dirichlet control of elliptic state constrained problems
Comput. Optim. Appl. , 63: (3): 825--853
[3] I. Neitzel, T. Wick, W. Wollner
An optimal control problem governed by a regularized phase-field fracture propagation model
SIAM J. Control Optim. , 55: (4): 2271--2288
[4] Klaus Krumbiegel, Ira Neitzel, Arnd Rösch
Sufficient optimality conditions for the Moreau-Yosida-type regularization concept applied to semilinear elliptic optimal control problems with pointwise state constraints
Ann. Acad. Rom. Sci. Ser. Math. Appl. , 2: (2): 222--246
[5] Ira Neitzel, Johannes Pfefferer, Arnd Rösch
Finite element discretization of state-constrained elliptic optimal control problems with semilinear state equation
SIAM J. Control Optim. , 53: (2): 874--904
[6] Ira Neitzel, Fredi Tröltzsch
On convergence of regularization methods for nonlinear parabolic optimal control problems with control and state constraints
Control Cybernet. , 37: (4): 1013--1043
[7] Ira Neitzel, Fredi Tröltzsch
On regularization methods for the numerical solution of parabolic control problems with pointwise state constraints
ESAIM Control Optim. Calc. Var. , 15: (2): 426--453
[8] Pedro Merino, Ira Neitzel, Fredi Tröltzsch
On linear-quadratic elliptic control problems of semi-infinite type
Appl. Anal. , 90: (6): 1047--1074
[9] Klaus Krumbiegel, Ira Neitzel, Arnd Rösch
Regularization for semilinear elliptic optimal control problems with pointwise state and control constraints
Comput. Optim. Appl. , 52: (1): 181--207
[10] Pedro Merino, Ira Neitzel, Fredi Tröltzsch
An adaptive numerical method for semi-infinite elliptic control problems based on error estimates
Optim. Methods Softw. , 30: (3): 492--515

Publication List



Ernst Otto Fischer Teaching Award, TU Munich


Walther von Dyck Award, TU Munich

Selected Invited Lectures


Invited plenary lecture “Numerical Analysis for PDE-constrained Optimal Control Problems with Inequality Constraints”, Workshop on Optimal Control and Inverse Problems, 06.04.2017, Garching


“Optimal control of quasilinear parabolic equations”, IFIP TC 7 Workshop “Optimal Control of PDEs on the occasion of Eduardo Casas' 60th Birthday”, 19.09.2017, Castro Urdiales, Spain


“Towards an Adaptive POD-FEM Solution Method for Parabolic Optimal Control Problems”, Miniworkshop “Adaptive Methods for Control Problems Constrained by Time-Dependent PDEs”, January 8-14, 2017, Oberwolfach


“Optimal control of a regularized phase field fracture propagation model”, Minisymposium “Optimization with PDEs: Theory and Numerics”, SIAM Conference on Optimization, 22.05.2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada


“Optimal Control of a Fracture Propagation Problem”, Minisymposium “Analysis and Numerical Methods for the Optimal Control of PDEs”, 20.07.2016, ECM Berlin

Supervised Theses

  • Master theses: 2, currently 2
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