The header shows some figures which are representative for the Research Area Strength of Materials and Biomechanics. On the left, a railroad tunnel is shown with the tunnel shell colored according to the stress distribution from numerical calculations. This figure is overlaid by the calculated tunnel load factor, the ratio of the actual load on the tunnel shell and the maximum load capacity. On the right of the header, a bone organ is shown, with the cortical and trabecular microstructure of the bone partially visible. Also shown is a representative volume element representing the microstructure of cortical bone consisting of bone matrix and Haversian pores. Next to the image of the bone are two cross-sectional images of the bone microstructure, again showing Haversian pores as well as lacunae. A DNA structure is shown at the bottom of the header. In the center of the header, mathematical formulas can be seen distributed over three lines. The formula in the first line represents the principle of virtual power, the formula in the second line shows the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic virtual velocities, and the formulas in the third line describe the relationship between macroscopic stress tensors and the associated microscopic quantities, once at the continuum level and once for beam systems.

© ÖBB (Tunnel), antonel – (Hintergrund), Ch. Hellmich, S. Scheiner

Research Unit Strength of Materials and Biomechanics

Since the fundamental contributions of Galileo and Cauchy, it has become impossible to imagine the broad field of applied physics and especially civil engineering without strength-of-materials theory. In the same pioneering spirit, the Research Unit Strength of Materials and Biomechanics has dedicated itself to the broadest possible understanding of the mechanical strength of materials and structures, starting with very classical (and extremely successful) concepts such as beam theory and macroscopic stress-based failure criteria, and linking them to microscopic and nanoscopic effects, including frameworks such as molecular mechanics and electron density functional theory. Especially in the broad field of multiscale modelling and homogenization theory, the Research Unit Strength of Materials and Biomechanics has established itself as a protagonist and pioneer in the international research landscape.

As an interesting feature of the Research Unit, new theoretical and experimental concepts are often developed from a variety of practical engineering challenges (including, but not restricted to, pitting corrosion, oil pipelines under rockfall, aging streetcar tracks, durability of tunnels), and of open questions in biomechanics in the broadest sense (hierarchical load-bearing behavior of bones and biological tissues in general, medical image-to-mechanical model conversion, deformation behavior of DNA macromolecules, systems biology description of cell populations and their bio-chemo-mechanical interaction, application of material mechanics concepts in epidemiology).



Christian Hellmich

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Christian Hellmich

Telefon: +43 1 58801 20220
Karlsplatz 13/202, 1040 Wien



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Research Unit Strength of Materials and Biomechanics
TU Wien
Karlsplatz 13/202-01
1040 Vienna, Austria

Access via:
Main building, staircase 2, 2nd floor

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