From bone implants to cell phone batteries, from novel aircraft hulls to biodegradable plastics, each new product is based on interdisciplinary materials research – with the emphasis on interdisciplinary. Thanks to cutting-edge methods in micro and nanoanalysis and increased simulation possibilities, materials research has really picked up speed again in the last few years – also at TU Graz.
Here, research into and development of new materials has a particularly high importance and is one of five strategic fields of research in the Advanced Materials Science Field of Expertise, so it is no accident that the THERMEC conference with its more than 1,200 material scientists is meeting at Graz from 29 May to 3 June. With about 1,000 talks and items on the programme, the THERMEC is a top international event in the field of modern materials and their processing and attracts big names in materials research to Styria. For instance Eduard Arzt, physicist and professor of new materials at Saarland University, who is also the scientific director of the Leibniz Institute for New Materials. Among other things, he conducts research on new materials based on those in nature.
Christof Sommitsch, head of the Institute of Materials Science and Welding (IWS), the Institute of Tools and Forming, and also the Advanced Materials Science FoE, says: “We interweave the areas of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering and production – they’re all interdisciplinary areas in demand in modern materials research. Before we can improve existing materials and develop new ones, we have to analyse and understand the structure and function of the smallest components. Future materials are intelligent, adaptive and their properties are tailormade.” What are the big topics in today’s materials research? Biocompatible and biomimetic materials, metallic glasses and amorphous materials, nanostructured functional and structural materials, high-resolution analytic methods, additive manufacturing, smart and intelligent processes.
An der TU Graz ist die Materialforschung im Field of Expertise „Advanced Materials Science“ verankert, einem von fünf strategischen Forschungsschwerpunkten.