Effective today, materials scientist Prof. Erica Lilleodden takes over as director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale). She replaces Prof. Matthias Petzold, who successfully served as acting director of the research unit since October 2019.
Prof. Erica Lilleodden most recently headed the Department of Experimental Materials Mechanics at the Helmholtz Center Hereon in Geesthacht for ten years. Her research focuses include the nano- and micromechanics of materials such as metals, ceramics and compound materials, for example, with regard to deformation and defect formation in use, as well as the targeted development of materials with specific properties for high-performance applications.
A native of the United States, she studied materials science at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and at Stanford University. She has been working in Germany since 2004. In 2019, Prof. Lilleodden was awarded the DGM Prize from the German Society for Materials Science.
Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, explains: “Materials science and materials engineering help to increase material efficiency and cost-effectiveness as well as to conserve resources. They are also fundamental to the success and further development of numerous important industries, such as photovoltaics, energy technology, automotive engineering or the chemical industry. The excellent development of Fraunhofer IMWS also illustrates the importance of materials research for Germany as a business location. I am very pleased that with Erica Lilleodden we have been able to attract one of the leading international materials scientists to head the Fraunhofer IMWS, someone who will continue and further expand the excellent development of the institute over the past years.”
“I would like to thank the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for the confidence it has placed in me with this appointment, and I look forward to my new role in Halle with great anticipation. It is particularly appealing because this is where solutions for society’s important challenges, such as resource efficiency, sustainability or smart materials, are developed. I would like to use my skills together with the entire Fraunhofer IMWS team to work to maintain the strong position of the institute in these areas,” says Lilleodden on taking office. “Under my predecessors, of whom I would like to thank Prof. Matthias Petzold in particular, the institute has become an important contact for applications such as mobility of the future, the circular economy and next-generation microelectronics. I would like to strengthen this role and provide new strategic stimuli in the interests of our clients.”
About Fraunhofer IMWS
With its expertise in the areas of microstructure diagnostics and microstructure design, Fraunhofer IMWS makes important contributions to the optimization of materials and the development of new materials. At a total of four locations and with an annual budget of around 27 million euros, about 350 employees are working on issues in the fields of microelectronics, polymer applications, health, photovoltaics, carbon cycle technologies, optical materials and luminescent materials, as well as on reliable materials for the hydrogen economy.
This article was first published on 1 February by Fraunhofer.