News articles

Highly endowed ERC grant for frontier research goes to Christian Hellmich

Funding for fundamental pioneering research has evolved to become a key focus of the European Union in recent years. This was the reason for establishing the European Research Council (ERC), which awarded the first of its sizeable "ERC grants" in 2007 with a third round following in 2010, in accordance with a scrupulous selection process undertaken by international panels of experts.

Portrait: Christian Hellmich

One of this year's "ERC Starting Grants" for consolidating career development was awarded to Prof. Christian Hellmich at the Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures in the Faculty of Civil Engineering at TU Wien.

In his international activities, and as the holder of a number of national and international awards for excellence in engineering in the field of applied multiscale mechanics, Christian Hellmich works mainly on the quantitative survey of mechanical systems based on their chemical, nano-, micro- and macro-structural composition. His work has a wide range of practical applications, from tunnel construction to biomedicine, in which mechanical engineering as a means of determining structural integrity is becoming increasingly important - not least thanks to the work of Christian Hellmich. This work is receiving an additional boost thanks to the ERC grant of around 1.5 million euros for research into the "Poro-Micromechanics of Bone Materials, with Links to Biology and Medicine", which is likely to bring groundbreaking results through experimentally validated, theoretical and mathematical stability projections from the micro- and nanomechanical "structural designs" of bones. Not only should this mean the ability to develop brand new diagnosis and therapy methods in the medium term, but will also provide important motivation for the field of bionics, where biological solutions are applied through technology.