Montanuniversität awarded the ERC Starting Grant for the first time

Stefan Pogatscher, associate professor at Montanuniversität Leoben, has been awarded the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant of € 1.5 million which will allow him to analyse the movement of metal atoms. It is the first time a researcher of Montanuniversität has been awarded this prestigious grant.

Assoz.Prof. Dr. Stefan Pogatscher

Nearly all classes of materials show non-equilibrium phase transitions which in many cases determine material properties such as strength, resistance to corrosion and magnetic properties. Understanding how fast materials transform is a key topic in material sciences as the desired properties can be attained. The speed of transition in metals is governed by missing atoms a mechanism which is comparable to a chessboard with pieces on it; the pieces represent the atoms. If there was a piece on every square on the chessboard, the pieces could not be moved. Only if pieces are missing on the chessboard, they can be moved. This mechanism was discovered in the mid of the last century, however, there is still no universal formula which can be applied for non-equilibrium phase transitions. Because of the spatial localisation and the rapid kinetics of the missing atoms, they could not be observed, neither directly nor indirectly.

Stefan Pogatscher aims at overcoming these limitations. His research project fills the gap between theory and practice which has been existing for half a century. The results of this project are thought to significantly improve the optimisation and development of new processes and products in the field of metallurgy and material science.

ERC Grant

The European Research Council supports frontier research, cross disciplinary proposals and pioneering ideas across all fields of research.  ERC grants are awarded on the basis of scientific excellence of the research project as well as of the researcher.  The ERC Starting Grant aims at young, early-career top researchers who wish to create an independent working group.

About Stefan Pogatischer

Stefan Pogatscher completed his studies in the field of metallurgy at Montanuniversität. He was awarded his PhD in 2012. After a post-doc stay at ETH Zurich, he began his work as an assistant professor at Montanuniversiät in 2015 and in 2017 as an associate professor. Since 2015, he has been Endowed Professor for Materials Engineering of Aluminum at the Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy at Montanuniversität. He was awarded numerous important national and international prizes like the Houskapreis 2016. His research interests cover metallic glasses, magnesium alloys and materials engineering of aluminum.

Further information:

Assoz.Prof. Dr. Stefan Pogatscher
Lehrstuhl für Nichteisenmetallurgie der Montanuniversität Leoben
Tel.: +43 3842 402-5228
E-Mail: stefan.pogatscher(at)unileoben.ac.at