The Institute came into being in 2012 through the creation of a new Chair for Materials Simulation at the Department of Materials Science of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Materials Simulation, which is the eighth chair in materials at FAU (WW8) is also the first to be located in the town of Fürth. The Chair offers courses in Materials Simulation at undergraduate and graduate levels for students of the Materials Science, Nanotechnology, and Computational Engineering degree programmes as well as for the Elite Master degree programme "Advanced Materials and Processes".

Research at WW8 focuses on modelling and simulation of mechanical and transport properties of a broad range of materials - from nanocomposites, micro-and nanowires to biomaterials and hazards related to materials failure in geosystems. Our modelling and simulation approaches are strongly influenced by concepts and ideas deriving from statistical physics/complex systems theory which help us to deal with the properties of real materials where structural disorder, defects and randomness are always present -- and may give rise to a rich variety of emergent phenomena. We ask how to explain and predict such phenomena, and how to exploit them for improving robustness and performance of materials, and for designing and fabricating materials with novel functionalities.


News and Highlights

May 31 2022: Paper of WW8 researchers featured by Editors as one of the best 50 Materials Science papers in Nature Communications

May 20 2022: WW8 researchers use artificial intelligence to predict where and when disordered materials fail (published in Nature Communications).

March 10 2021: Dr. Marc Miskin (Pennsylvania State University) will give a talk on 'Nanoscopic Robots' during the Focus meeting (3D actuation systems) of the DFG Priority Program SPP 2026

March 5 2021: Article “Digital strategies for structured and architected materials design”, by S. Bonfanti, R. Guerra, M. Zaiser and S. Zapperi has been featured on the cover of APL Materials.

September 2020: Prof. Dr. M. Zaiser has been appointed Editor-in-chief of Materials Theory (SpringerOpen)

December 2019: Work of D.F. Castellano and Prof. Dr. M. Zaiser on statistical dynamics of creep highlighted on Europhysics news.

21. October 2019: Interview with Prof. Stefano Zapperi.

July 2019: (Sep. 2019 - Sep. 2020) Humboldt Award Winner Prof. Stefano Zapperi from the Center for Complexity and Biosystems, Physics Department, University of Milan will stay from September, 2019 - September 2020 as a Visitor at WW8.

July 2019: Paper of D.F. Castellano and Prof. Dr. M. Zaiser is highlight in European Physical Journal B.

May 2019: (9.5. - 10.6.) Prof. Dr. Purusattam Ray, Indian Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India, as visiting professor at WW8.

May 2019: Dr. Soumyayoti Biswas, WW8, has accepted an Assistant Professorship at SRM University, Amaravati, India.

February 2019: (28.1. - 26.2.) Prof. Mingjun Yang, SWPU, Chengdu, P.R. China, as a visiting professor at WW8.

April 2018: Dr. Ronghai Wu, WW8, has accepted a position as Associate Professor in the School of Mechanics, Civil Engineering and Architecture at Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, P.R. China.

November 2017: A paper co-authored by WW8 has been featured as 'best of 2014' in a collection published on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the journal 'Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering.

July 2017: Research Paper: Universal features of amorphous plasticity published in Nature Communications.

January 2017: Prof. Dr. Michael Zaiser has been appointed Distinguished Overseas Visiting Professor at Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, P.R. China, under the high-end foreign experts programme of the Chinese government.

November 2016: Dr. Stefan Sandfeld, WW8, has accepted the position of Chair of Micromechanical Materials Modelling at the Institute for Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics, TU Freiberg

November 2016: Joint research paper with University of Edinburgh: Propagating compaction bands in confined compression of snow published in Nature Physics. Undergraduate student Gerhard Weinländer co-author.

September 2015: Paper Pattern formation in a minimal model of continuum dislocation plasticity elected as cover article in Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering.

03.07.2015: Dominik Steinberger wins the VDI-Förderpreis for his master thesis: Dynamic Dislocation Patterning-Modelling, Parameterization and Analysis.

June 2015: Two papers of WW8 members have been chosen as highlight papers of the year 2014 in Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering.