The Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH (MPIE) is a legally autonomous research institute that conducts basic research on advanced materials, specifically steels and related metallic alloys. Since one century complex chemical-physical synthesis, characterization, simulation and the link between atomic structure and the properties of materials are being investigated and enhanced. Projects are characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach including close interfacing between experiment and theory.
The Institute plays a central role in enabling progress in the fields of:
- Mobility (e.g. steels and soft magnets for light-weight hybrid vehicles and Ni-base alloys for plane turbines)
- Energy (e.g. efficiency of thermal power conversion through better high temperature alloys and nanostructured solar cells)
- Infrastructure (e.g. steels for large infrastructures, e.g. wind turbines and chemical plants)
- Safety (e.g. nanostructured bainitic steels for gas pipelines).
The MPIE is equally financed by the Max Planck Society and the Steel Institute VDEh. This 50% institutional co-sponsoring by industry determines a unique example of a public private partnership both for the Max-Planck Society and for the European industry and guarantees a close match between knowledge-oriented and pre-competitive basic research on the one hand and commercial relevance on the other hand.
The Institute with its international team of about 300 employees is organized in four departments:
In addition to departmental research, certain research activities are of common interest within the MPIE. These central research areas are highly interdisciplinary and combine the experimental and theoretical expertise available in the different departments. In concerted activities, scientific and technological breakthroughs in highly competitive research areas are achieved.
The main five cross-disciplinary topics are:
- New Structural Materials
- Microstructure-Related Material Properties
- Stability of Surfaces and Interfaces
- Scale-Bridging Simulation of Materials
- Energy Materials
In many of these areas the Institute holds a position of international scientific leadership, particularly in multiscale materials modelling, surface science, metallurgical alloy design, and advanced structure characterization from atomic to macroscopic scales of complex engineering and functional materials.