Prof. Reiner Kirchheim is nominated external scientific member of the MPIE

April 27, 2010

Prof. Reiner Kirchheim is worldwide one of the most renowned and highly cited researchers in the field of the fundamentals of structural materials with emphasis on mechanical properties and thermodynamics of metals. Reiner Kirchheim’s research is concerned with most fundamental aspects of physical metallurgy, namely, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and kinetics by often combining an experimental with a profound theoretical approach. More specific his main contributions are in the fields of hydrogen in metals, thermodynamics of alloys, interstitial solution and diffusion in glasses (metals, oxides, polymers and semiconductors), solute-atom segregation at and diffusion in internal interfaces, passivity of metals, and electromigration in metals. Reiner Kirchheim typically starts in his work from fundamental physico-chemical laws deriving new relations as general as possible, i.e. by avoiding too many assumptions and/or unknown parameters.

He fits in an excellent way as an external scientific member (Auswärtiges Wissenschaftliches Mitglied) into the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf. The overlap between the work areas of Reiner Kirchheim and those of the MPI in Düsseldorf is very large: His ground state work is interfacing in an excellent way with the ab initio–guided alloy development activities of Jörg Neugebauer, his interest in the 3D atom probe in conjunction with basic thermodynamic theoretical questions pertaining to interface thermodynamics matches the interests of Dierk Raabe, and his seminal work on passivation in steels fits to the area of Martin Stratmann. Also, all topics are cross disciplinary areas where the institute as a whole places its focus. The MPIE is already cooperating with Prof. Kirchheim in the project of ultra-high strength pearlitic steel wires produced by cold drawing. This project is one of the major research activities in the newly-formed group for Atom Probe Tomography. The external membership of Reiner Kirchheim at the MPI Düsseldorf would allow to further strengthen the position of the MPI für Eisenforschung as a leading group for basic research on structural materials worldwide.

Reiner Kirchheim achieved many awards such as for instance the Scripta metallurgica outstanding paper award 1987, the Carl Wagner Prize 1990, Highly Cited Author in Materials Science by ISI 2003, Heyn-Denkmünze (highest award of the German Materials Society, 2004), International Award of Materials Engineering for Recourses, Akita, Japan 2005, Lee Hsun Lecture Award, IMR, Chinese Academy of Science, Shenyang 2007, Koselleck Award of the German National Science Foundation 2008, elected as “Niedersachsenprofessor” 2009, Honda Memorial Award 2003, and the Staudinger-Dürrer medal of ETH Zürich 2009. He is a member of the Academy of Science Göttingen (2001) and of the National Academy of Technical Sciences (acatec), Germany (2002). Despite his age (born 1943) Reiner Kirchheim is highly active and a worldwide leading figure in physical metallurgy worldwide.  

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