Computer aided MEMS optimization regarding performance, power consumption, and reliability is an important design task due to high prototyping costs. In the MEMS design flow, a variety of specialized tools is available. FEM tools (e.g. ANSYS, CFD-ACE+) are widely used for simulation on component level. Simulations on system level are carried out with simplified models using simulators like Saber, ELDO, or Spice. A few simulators offer tool-specific optimization capabilities but there is a lack of simulator-independent support of MEMS optimization. The paper presents a modular approach for simulation-based optimization which aims at a flexible combination of simulators and optimization algorithms by partitioning the optimization cycle into separate modules for model generation, simulation, error calculation, and optimization. Available optimization algorithms include direct and indirect methods as well as stochastic approaches. Interfaces to the simulators ANSYS, ELDO, Saber, MATLAB, and SPICE are implemented. Thus the optimization task can be solved on different levels of model abstraction (FEM, ordinary differential equations, generalized networks, ...). A graphical user interface (GUI) supports control and visualization of the optimization progress. The modules of the optimization system may communicate via the internet (web-based optimization, distributed optimization).