Ilmenau is a town in Thuringia, Germany. It is the largest town within the Ilm district with a population of 26,000, while the district capital is Arnstadt. Ilmenau is located approximately 33 km (21 miles) south of Erfurt and 135 km (84 miles) north of Nuremberg within the Ilm valley at the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest at an elevation of 500 metres (1,640 feet).
The most important institution in Ilmenau is the Technische Universität Ilmenau, Thuringia's second-largest university with about 7,000 students and an emphasis on mathematics, physics, informatics, several engineering disciplines and media studies. Its precursor was founded in 1894 and developed into a university in 1992. Since 1990, many research institutes have been established in the area around the university making Ilmenau an important hub of technological research.