Computational Microstructure Mechanics
As visible under a microscope, the microstructure of crystalline materials such as metals, ceramics and ice is seen to consist of crystalline grains separated by grain boundaries. Material properties such as strength and ductility derive directly from the state of this microstructure. The microstructure is not static, however, but evolves with time and temperature and when exposing the material to elastic or plastic deformation.
Recognizing the importance of the grain (or crystal) microstructure, great possibilities lie in being able to understand, control and take advantage of designed microstructures in practical applications. This applies to metallic materials for engineering applications as well as to materials for energy conversion, such as in solar cells or when considering miniaturization of components or when designing materials for biomedical applications. Tailoring material properties is further important as it paves the way for a more sustainable use of natural resources.
At the divison, the main focus is on computational microstructure mechanics by numerical simulations, often based on models implemented in a finite element setting. The numerical modeling is in many cases combined with experimental investigation, for example using X-ray based methods.
A degree project related to microstructure mechanics is in most cases formulated as part of ongoing reserach projects at the division. A general prerequisite is some course in finite element modeling (e.g. FHLF10/FHLF20), but it is strongly recommended that the students have also taken some course in materials modeling and non-linear finite element methods (e.g. FHLN05 and FHLN20). Given the nature of the field, a general interest in physics, programming and materials science is also highly recommended.
If you would like to discuss potential projects within this field, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org