The Chair of Continuum Mechanics is part of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. It is headed by Professor Daniel Balzani, who took up the professorship for Mechanics - Continuum Mechanics in October 2017.
Central research fields are, on the one hand, the biomechanics of soft biological tissues and, on the other hand, the simulation and modelling of micro-heterogeneous materials. In addition to new modelling approaches, the focus here is on the development of robust numerical methods.
In the field of biomechanics, material laws are developed for the description of anisotropic and incompressible material behaviour, which take into account microscopic damage in the supra-physiological load range as well as growth-based residual stresses and fibre remodelling. Other topics include patient-specific simulation of atherosclerotic arteries and the development of methods for computer-aided diagnosis of diseased heart tissue and the eye. The modelling of micro-heterogeneous materials is partly carried out with the help of phenomenological models, e.g. for textile membranes in the building industry. A special focus here is the analysis of generalised convexity terms for mathematical validation of the models. Another major part in the simulation of micro-heterogeneous materials deals with the further development of methods based on direct scale transitions in the context of computer-aided homogenisation. Important material classes that are examined in more detail here are multiphase steels and fibre-reinforced concretes. In addition to quasi-static processes, dynamic effects such as wave propagation and the associated dissipation are modelled on a micro-scale. Another major field of research concerns the development of numerical methods for mechanical problems, e.g. new finite element formulations or approximation methods for tensor-valued derivatives. Rather new is the consideration of uncertainty quantification in connection with the numerical calculation of optimal limits of failure probabilities.
Of central importance to the research within the Institute is its interdisciplinary character, which is also demonstrated by collaborations with partners from other disciplines, such as biology, medicine, mathematics and psychology.
The relationship between forces and deformations is the basis of structural design in civil engineering. The Chair of Continuum Mechanics offers various modules in undergraduate and graduate studies in the departments of civil engineering, environmental engineering and resource management, mechanical engineering and in the Master's programme in computational engineering. Beyond the research-oriented education of students, graduate education is a central goal within the department. In addition to third-party funded projects, graduate students/scholarship holders from Germany and abroad are motivated to bring their research projects to the institute. In this context, support is given in applying for fellowships such as those from the Humboldt Society. Please direct enquiries about research projects or fellowship programmes to the secretariat.