Materials Chain

Materials Chain is the first and largest flagship program of the University Alliance Ruhr. It offers a platform for interdisciplinary networking that brings together researchers from fundamental natural sciences to applied materials science and production technology. More than 200 scientists from more than 150 chairs and research groups from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen research and teach under the umbrella of the flagship program. The profile is complemented by cooperations with 11 regional partner institutions.
Building on the proven strengths at the respective university locations, Materials Chain initiates new research projects and associations to strengthen the role of the Ruhr Area as an internationally leading research region for modern materials and their production.
Take a look behind the laboratory doors of some of the natural scientists and engineers working within the Materials Chain network:

Upcoming Events

Who are we? Why is collaboration important in modern materials science? And what are we working on?

Learn more about our network


Seminar Series “Materials and Energy: Challenges and Opportunities”

The Materials Chain Seminar Series “Materials and Energy: Challenges and Opportunities” brings together highly visible researchers across the various fields of materials science who investigate the intricate relationship between energy and materials. “Energy” and “Materials” have an overarching importance for the future development of our society. They are coupled in multiple ways ranging from fundamental science to real-world applications. Analyzing their intricate relationship as energy-materials nexus, however, is a new approach. Because solutions are urgently needed, this field requires intense interaction and collaboration across scientific disciplines and along the entire chain from fundamental science to industrial application.

The seminar series takes places on Thursdays and Fridays, typically from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. All lectures will be held in the same ZOOM room. Registration is not required, feel free to join the Seminar Series via

Lectures planned for the upcoming summer term 2022 will be annouced in due time.

Learn more about our Seminar Series

Materials Chain International Conference 2021

Our third Materials Chain International Conference, MCIC 2021: Materials Discovery and Processing for Energy, took place online via Zoom on November 22nd, 2021.
Thank you to all speakers and participants who made MCIC 2021 a big success with their high-level talks and discussions!
With up to 106 guests in our Zoom room, we were happy to see both new and familiar faces being able to connect and exchange scientifically at least online in these unprecendented times. We look forward to seeing you all at upcoming Materials Chain meetings in 2022, hopefully in person!

Learn more on MCIC 2021

Latest News

New Directions for the ‘Energiewende’

Seminar on Materials and Energy

From materials in science fiction, research and the circular economy – the WE-Heraeus seminar "Materials and Energy – New Directions for the ‘Energiewende’" aims to stimulate new ways of thinking and research in the field of energy and materials research. Therefore, five sessions with speakers from Germany, Denmark and Canada, including CENIDE PI Prof. Rossitza Pentcheva, will take place at... read more

Science Council Recommends Research Building on Catalysis

New Methods for Different Disciplines

Milestone decision for basic research at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE): The Science Council has classified the planned ACTIVE SITES research building as worthy of funding. The project will thus be realised - subject to the final decision of the Joint Science Conference (GWK). The federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia will each bear half of the costs for construction and... read more

Passion for Interfaces and Music

Dr. Christopher Stein in Portrait

Chemistry or physics? Dr. Christopher Stein had a hard time deciding which subject to study. Today, the theorist combines both: As a returnee to NRW, the future professor in the Faculty of Physics studies interface and surface phenomena and proves to his students how exciting fundamental research can be. In the two-part interview, he talks about his stays in Switzerland and the USA, what makes good... read more