Who we are

The Materials Chain research network brings together materials scientists from the three major universities in the Ruhr Area, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen. Using the potential of the Ruhr Area, the UA Ruhr universities do not only collaborate among themselves: Scientists from external research institutes like the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung Düsseldorf, the Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Energiekonversion, the Max-Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung at Mülheim, and the Forschungszentrum Jülich are members of the Materials Chain.

UA Ruhr Universities

Partner Institutions

The core of the Materials Chain network are its over 260 members: Scientists from various fields of materials-related research groups within the UA Ruhr.

Learn more


Click on a unit’s name to find out more
about the organizational structures of
the Materials Chain research network.

The Materials Chain flagship program is encouraged by the UA Ruhr and the universities’ rectorates. Their top-down support strengthens the network’s position in the inter-university environment.

Vice Rectors UA Ruhr Representative
Prof. Dr. Günther Meschke
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany
TU Dortmund
Prof. Dr. Astrid Westendorf
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Dr. Hans Stallmann
UAR Coordinator

The group of scientific coordinators figures as advocacy of the flagship program and provides high-quality scientific and organizational support.

Prof. Dr. Doris Segets Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Tillmann Prof. Dr. Ralf Drautz
Dr. Marion Franke Dr. Ingor Baumann Dr. Manuel Piacenza

The Scientific Board of the Materials Chain supports the Scientific Coordinators with its expertise from the different fields of materials research. Its members are established materials scientists from several faculties at the three UA Ruhr universities.

  • Stephan Barcikowski, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Gunther Eggeler, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Michael Farle, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Alfred Ludwig, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Doru Lupascu, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Jörn Mosler, TU Dortmund University
  • Rossitza Pentcheva, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Roland Schmechel, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Christof Schulz, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Jörg Tiller, TU Dortmund University
  • Andreas Wieck, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

At the center of the Materials Chain are the scientists working and collaborating within our network. Klick here to learn more about the individual members of the Materials Chain.

University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) is an alliance between Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen, the three largest universities in Germany’s thriving Ruhr Area. UA Ruhr is the birthplace of the Materials Chain network. All three universities believe in the benefits of collaboration on all levels of scholarship and research, which is one of the reasons they came together in this unique alliance.

In our strive towards an outstanding joint research performance that further strengthens the position of the Ruhr Area as an internationally leading region of materials science, the Materials Chain research network is always open to new collaborations with interested partners from academia and industry. 

Information on our application requirements can be found here.



The Ruhr Area: A Region of Materials Science

Innovative materials have a long and successful tradition in the Ruhr Area. Highly innovative products from the Ruhr Area, such as seamless railway tires, stainless steels or carbides, stimulated Germany’s economic growth. The success story of automotive engineering in Germany, which continues to this day, can ultimately be traced back to developments in the materials- and metal-processing industry and thus to the Ruhr Area.
This historically determined focus on materials, additionally supported by natural deposits, still characterizes the academic landscape of the Ruhr Area today. For example, all three Ruhr Area universities, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen, still operate globally recognized research institutions with a focus on materials science. Here,h materials are being re-thought and cutting-edge research on functional and structural materials is carried out.


In recent decades, research progress and specialization in the field of materials science and technology have led to a diversification into many sub-disciplines. This is visible in the highly specified and internationally recognized research activities at the three UA Ruhr universities and their partner institutions. From fundamental research on materials to applied technology, from the knowledge-based design of new materials to their production and processing, and from the basic description of materials at the atomic level to the properties of technical components, a large number of specialized research areas strengthen the Ruhr Area as a globally leading region of materials science and technology.


While specialisation is necessary for maintaining an internationally competitive position, it brings a separation of research topics and education that may have an adverse impact on the effectiveness of research on new materials and their path from discovery to implementation into technical components. Therefore, the Materials Chain network brings the sub-disciplines of materials science into dialogue, giving the field momentum for a more effective management of its shared resources.

In an holistic approach to materials science, Materials Chain makes use of the unique scientific environment presented by the Ruhr Area and University Alliance Ruhr in order to reach a complete and concise description of the whole materials chain from atoms to finished technical components and vice versa.