Material Science and Engineering at RWTH Aachen University


Materials Science and Engineering have a long tradition at the RWTH Aachen University. The materials science and engineering research is interlinked across many faculties like no other discipline and extends from basic research in physics and chemistry to engineering applications.

The existing research activities are characterized by a high degree of cross-sectional character and the 70 participating chairs and areas of education and research reach across the five biggest faculties of the RWTH Aachen University, The profile area MatSE comprises all relevant activities and measures at the RWTH Aachen University. Thereby the profile area continues the successful work of the 'Werkstoff-Forum' and is reinforced significantly by the cooperation with the Forschungszentrum Jülich within the 'Jülich Aachen Research Alliance', JARA, particular within the sections JARA-Energy for future-oriented energy research und JARA-FIT for developing new approaches in Information Technology.

In accordance with the motto of the RWTH Aachen University MatSE wants to strengthen the two fundamental pillars of a successful academic system: creating excellent conditions for independent basic research (‚from first principles‘) and their findings should be lead to a rapid technological development by a systematically interdisciplinary cooperation between the participating natural sciences and engineering disciplines (‚to first to the market‘).

In many instances the research projects follow a holistic approach: they focus on comprehensive processing of scientific aspects, from the theoretical understanding with ab initio methods to the conception, processing and technological application of new high performance materials. The areas of research include all groups of materials, which extend from metallic, ceramics and glasses to polymers and biomaterials – for both structural materials in industrial technologies and functional materials in future applications.

The success of the various activities is, among other things, evident in the two current materials scientific collaborative research centres, 'Sonderforschungsbereiche', SFB 761 'Stahl ab initio' und SFB 917 'Nanoswitches', and also in the cooperation among many participants within other collaborative research centres and excellence clusters of the RWTH Aachen University. The most important capital of the profile area are the outstanding scientists, which is for example reflected by awarding of the two ER-C Advanced Grants Prof. Matthias Wuttig and Prof. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski, as well as an awarding of the Leibniz-Preis to Prof. Rainer Waser.