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uni'wissen 02-2015_ENG

natural or man-made disaster,” says Hiermaier – regardless of whether the system is intended for a car, a building, or an energy or communication network and whether the failure was caused by an earthquake, a terrorist attack, or a technical defect. The significance of sustainability research, which takes this aspect into account, should not be underestimated at the moment. It is a given for Hiermaier that climate change and the result- ing catastrophes will happen; the questions are only when and to what degree. This is where resilience research comes in: “We are preparing in advance for what can happen and developing measures to rapidly overcome critical situations.” The integration of engineering components makes the Performance Center for Sustainability unique, says Hiermaier. But just as important as techno- logical feasibility is acceptance: The center will need to gain the approval of society, a task in which ecological, legal, ethical, and economic aspects are decisive. Taking all of this into ac- count will require a comprehensive approach. “That is the scope within which the research con- ducted at the center will need to operate.” One of the topics Hiermaier himself aims to focus on at INATECH is bio-based composite materials. And he hopes that the full-car crash test facility at the EMI, which he also plans to use for projects at INATECH, will soon afford new insights: An x-ray apparatus will enable the researchers to view the interior of the car during the impact. “It will produce sharp images, even at high speeds, that show even more closely how the safety-related parts behave during an acci- dent.” This can be particularly informative in the case of materials that are glued, screwed, or riveted to the car. “The better we understand where these materials tear apart and how the cracks spread, the more precisely we can calculate and simulate the event.” Further Reading May, M. / Hesebeck, O. / Marzi, S. H. / Böhme, W. / Lienhard, J. / Kilchert, S. / Brede, M. / Hiermaier, S. (2015): Rate dependent behavior of crash-optimized adhesives. Experimental characterization, model development, and simulation. In: Engineering fracture mechanics 133, pp. 112–137. Hiermaier, S. (Ed.) (2012): Characterization, modelling and simulation of materials at high strain rates. Berlin / Heidelberg (= European physical journal special topics 206). Hiermaier, S. (2008): Structures under crash and impact. Continuum mechanics, discretization and experimental characterization. Berlin. Prof. Dr. Stefan Hiermaier studied aeronautical and aerospace engineering at the Bundeswehr University Munich, where he stayed on to complete his doctorate and habilitation and accept a position in 2008 as adjunct professor of high dynamics. In 1998 he became deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dy- namics, Ernst Mach Institute, EMI. Since the end of 2014 he has served as one of two coordinators of the “Perfor- mance Center for Sustain- ability” of the University of Freiburg and the city’s five Fraunhofer institutes. As professor of sustainable en- gineering systems, he is also coordinating the estab- lishment of the university’s “Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering” (INATECH). In his research, he studies and models the behavior of materials at high load speeds. Photo: Fraunhofer EMI 7uni wissen 02 2015 The researchers aim to improve future cars that run on alternative energy sources with the help of simulations. Illustration: Fraunhofer EMI 7uni wissen 022015