The Chair of Continuum Mechanics is part of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Ruhr-University Bochum.  Leader of the chair is Mr. Prof. Balzani, who has taken charge as the Professsor of Mechanics – Continuum Mechanics since October 2017.


Central research domains are biomechanics of soft tissue and simulation and modeling of micro-heterogeneous materials. Besides new modeling approaches, development of robust numerical methods also falls within the focus of the chair.
Main scope within the field of biomechanics is the development of material laws which describe the anisotropic and incompressible behaviour and account for microscopic damage under supraphysiological loading conditions, growth-based eigenstresses as well as fiber modeling.
Further topics are patient specific simulations of atherosclerotic arteries and development of computer-based diagnosis methods for diseased heart tissue and eyes.
The modeling of micro-heterogeneous materials is partly achieved by phenomenological models, e.g. textile membranes in the construction field. Here, special attention is paid to the analysis of the generalized convexity theory for a robust model development from a mathematical point of view. Another substantial part of the simulation of micro-heterogeneous materials is the advancement of methods that are based upon direct scale transitions using computer-based homogenization. Important material classes, which are examined further, are e.g. multi-phase steels and fiber reinforced concrete. In addition to quasi-static processes, dynamic effects like wave propagation and the related dissipation on the microscale are modeled. Additionally, research is also carried out for the development of numerical methods for mechanical problems, e.g. new finite-element formulations or approximation approaches for tensor-valued derivatives. Latest development among these is the consideration of uncertainty quantification in connection with numerically computed maximum of failure probability.

The interdisciplinary character of the chair’s research is crucial. This is expressed by the cooperation with various partners from different disciplines, e.g. biology, medicine, mathematics and psychology.

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The relation between forces and displacements is the basis for structural design in civil engineering. The Chair of Continuum Mechanics offers various courses for basic- and in-depth studies for the Civil Engineering, Environmental Technology and Resource Management, Mechanical Engineering and Computational Engineering departments. Research-based education and graduate education are the central goal of the chair. Besides third-party funding researchers, national or international post-graduates and scholarship holders are invited to bring their research projects to the chair. In this context the chair supports scholarship applications, e.g. for Humboldt-Society. If you have requests regarding research projects or scholarship, please contact the secretariat.

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