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. The most prominent example that emerged from the program is the UA Ruhr Research Center Future Energy Materials and Systems (FEMS).

Latest News

MAT4HY gets Funding

Cooperation Platform "Materials for Future Hydrogen Technologies" funded by NRW

Researchers led by Materials Chain members Prof. Dr. Ulf-Peter Apfel from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Prof. Dr. Doris Segets from the University of Duisburg-Essen, as well as employees of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Center ZBT, the IUTA and the Westfälische Hochschule are part of the cooperation platform "Materials for Future Hydrogen Technologies" (MAT4HY.NRW). The aim is to make hydrogen... read more

New profs at the Research Center Future Energy Materials and Systems

Three new professorships have been filled in Bochum and Duisburg-Essen, two of them with top-class female researchers. Gabi Schierning has held an RC FEMS professorship at the University of Duisburg-Essen since February 2023. Previously, she was a professor of experimental physics at Bielefeld University. “In addition to studying materials science and engineering, I have also researched fundamental... read more

Digital reordering of the World

Research Project on chipless RFID

Whether in ID cards, vehicles, animals or sometimes even people, RFID technology ("Radio-Frequency Identification") often remains invisible, but is almost everywhere. Prices, names, dates of birth or biometric characteristics are stored on them. A new technology that makes it possible to produce RFID tags without chips and attach them inexpensively to almost any object is now the focus of a research... read more

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

Learn more about our network


Upcoming Events


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


Take a look behind the laboratory doors of some of the natural scientists and engineers working within the Materials Chain network: