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Cluster of Excellence
Engineering of Advanced Materials
Prof. Dr. Erik Bitzek, Chair of General Materials Properties of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), has received a coveted ERC consolidator scholarship worth two million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) – to explore more intensively why things break apart. With his latest research project ‘microKIc - Microscopic origins of fracture toughness’ Bitzek aims to describe the interactions between cracks and material defects, and investigate the factors influencing breakage and destruction. It is so important to understand these processes precisely – it is a matter of life and death. For example – in the construction and transport business, for the construction of components and machines, or the design of reactor pressure vessels – resistance to the spread of cracks is an essential property of the materials used, such as steel.
The fact that Erik Bitzek is doing outstanding work in this field of research is easy to underline by glancing at his previous career. Before taking up a professorship for materials science (simulation and material properties) at the Chair of Materials Science (General Material Properties) in Erlangen, he was contributing substantially to the establishment of the new Institute for Reliability Components and systems at the Karlsruhe University of Technology (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)). After completing his doctorate in mechanical engineering at the KIT, he researched at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bitzek has been a board member of the research training group “GRK1896 – in situ microscopy with electrons, x-rays and raster probes” and he has been responsible for the Elite Master’s Program ‘Advanced Materials and Processes’ (MAP) since 2013. In addition, he was awarded the EAM Starting Grant in 2013 by the FAU's Cluster of Excellence ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’ (EAM) in order to launch individual projects and improve his chances for the acquisition of funding within the national and international framework - an investment that has now paid off.
Prof. Dr. Erik Bitzek
Phone: +49 9131 8527507