Researchers of Strength of Materials introduce themselves

Thomas Hochrainer

Mechanics of materials lies at the cross roads of mechanical engineering, materials science, and applied mathematics. In reversed order these disciplines reflect my education and professional career and I deeply enjoy collaborative research with diversely educated scientists from all over the world. I feel most privileged to be a full professor of mechanics of materials. This gives me the opportunity to pursue the research that intrigues me and to teach the subject I enjoy so much. I try to convey the importance and elegance of mechanics of materials to our students, who constantly challenge my understanding and improve my teaching of the subject. Permanent interaction with highly motivated young people is maybe the highest privilege of my position.

Research field

Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Manfred Ulz

Since I worked on my diploma thesis at a fundamental research institute in Australia, I was struck by the way of working at a university and I knew that I wanted to stay in the academic field. At that time, I had the opportunity to work as a university assistant at the Institute of Strength of Materials, TUG to write my doctoral thesis. Since that time, I enjoy coming to work and am still enthusiastic about the mix of research and teaching.

In teaching, it is important to me that prospective engineers notice the importance of mechanics for their training and their future professional life. As a result, I greatly value students who strive to do their best. My motivation is a mutual respectful approach, which also includes taking time for teaching.

Research field

B.E. M.Tech. Ph.D. Gurudas Kar

I am a structural engineer by training. I have been working as a Postdoc at Graz University of Technology (TUG) since June 2022. My research interests are computational mechanics, machine learning in dislocation dynamics and crystal plasticity, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and
structural health monitoring on building floors.

As a teacher, I want to encourage the students to combine intuition with mathematical tools and a fundamental understanding of underlying physical principles to solve complex engineering

Dr. techn. Alireza Jafarinia

My expertise lies in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and innovative model development. During my Ph.D. at Graz University of Technology, I actively contributed to the interdisciplinary project "Mechanics, Modeling, and Simulation of Aortic Dissection". My research covered developing novel predictive models, new CFD codes in OpenFOAM, and a framework for coupling CFD and Multiphysics simulations. I achieved a highly accurate and computationally efficient thrombosis model for blood flow coagulation and thrombus growth. Additionally, I collaborated on impedance cardiography (ICG) applications, developing an anisotropic electrical conductivity model for blood. These models are currently being validated using experimental and medical data.

Joining this project broadened my horizon and inspired me to develop my vision of creating digital twins to contribute to personalized clinical decision-making. Currently, my postdoctoral research focuses on facilitating the way to real-time simulations and data assimilation, aiming to develop innovative methods for faster simulations and seamless applicability across diverse systems and processes.

Research field

Dipl.-Ing. BSc Bernhard Heininger

Schon während meines Studiums entwickelte ich ein großes Interesse an der Mathematik, Mechanik und Programmierung wodurch sich für mich ein bedeutender Drang ergab mich nach Abschluss meines Maschinenbau-Masterstudims in eben diesen Bereichen weiterzuentwickeln. Nach einer erfolgreichen Bewerbung als Universitätsassistent stellte sich das Institut für Festigkeitslehre innerhalb kurzer Zeit als eine ausgezeichnete Anlaufstelle für mich dar. Die Tatsache einer exzellenten Betreuung im Bereich der Lehre und Forschung sowie ein enormes Fachwissen von allen Angehörigen des Instituts garantiert die Weiterentwicklung meiner persönlichen Interessensgebiete in vollem Maße.

Zudem ist es mir eine Herzensangelegenheit die Studierenden im Bereich der Lehre mit den faszinierenden Methoden der Mechanik auszurüsten, eigene Erkenntnisse mit ihnen zu teilen und eine bestmögliche Unterstützung in allen Bereichen anzubieten.


Dipl.-Ing. BSc Kevin Ayrton Pendl

Since learning (and teaching) has always been a matter close to my heart, I actually started thinking about a doctorate very early on during my studies. I am very happy that this thought finally became reality due to some "lucky" coincidences.
At the Institute for Strength of Materials, I am offered the appropriate platform to focus on a challenging topic through my research very freely, yet under first-class supervision, and to accomplish something new in the associated field. In addition, I can acquire and deepen further diverse hard and soft skills by supervising courses and the associated activity as a lecturer. Every working day can be made exciting and versatile through a balanced mix of these activities.

Research field

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Institute of Strength of Materials
Kopernikusgasse 24/I
8010 Graz
Tel: +43 316/873-7166