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Prof. Dr.

Peter Gumbsch

Year of election: 2008
Section: Engineering Sciences
City: Freiburg (Br.)
Country: Germany
CV Peter Gumbsch - Deutsch (pdf)


Peter Gumbsch investigates materials, their internal structure and their properties. His research is directed towards the understanding and the mathematical modeling of deformation and fracture processes with the aim of making materials and components safer, more reliable and durable. His concepts of multiscale materials modeling, which link mechanisms at the nano-, micro-and macro-scale, are internationally recognized.

He and his team are pioneering the integration of material modeling into the product development process. His current interests are directed towards the investigation of friction and wear processes, where complex interactions of mechanics, physics and chemistry are important. The aim is to improve material and energy efficiency in technical systems.


  • 2012 Guest professor, Department of Materials and Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2006 Guest professor, School of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • since 2001 C4 Professorship at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT,  Institut für angewandte Materialien IAM-CMS
  • since 2001 Head of the Fraunhofer Institut für Werkstoffmechanik IWM, Freiburg and Halle (Saale)
  • 1997-2001 Head of the research unit „Modellierung und Simulation von Dünnschichtphänomenen“, Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart
  • 1993-1996 Researcher, Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung
  • 1992 Guest scientist, University of Oxford, UK
  • 1991-1992 Research Associate, Imperial College for Science, Technology and Medicine in London, UK
  • 1991 Ph.D., Universität Stuttgart  
  • 1988-1991 Ph.D. student, Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, and guest scientist, Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore
  • 1982-1990 Studies in Materials Science, Universität (GH) Hagen
  • 1981-1988 Studies in Physics, Universität Stuttgart


  • since 2017 Speaker of the Scientific Committee of the German Science Council
  • since 2015 Member of the Scientific Committee of the German Science Council
  • since 2011 Obmann of the Section Engineering Sciences and member of the Senate, National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • since 2011 Advisory Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • 2004-2013 Member, project committee „Komponentenverhalten“, Gesellschaft für Reaktorsicherheit (GRS)
  • 2008-2012 Elected member, Fachkollegium 405: Werkstofftechnik, German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • since 2002 Member, Wissenschaftlich-Technischer Rat der Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, since 2013 Member, main committee
  • since 2001 Member, Fraunhofer-Verbund Werkstoffe, Bauteile – MATERIALS, since 2012 Deputy head
  • 1999-2001 Elected member, Wissenschaftlicher Rat and Chemisch-physikalisch-technische Sektion (CPT), Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Honours and Memberships

  • since 2019 Member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering
  • since 2016 Member, US National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
  • 2013 DGM-Preis, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde
  • 2009 Hector Fellow
  • since 2008 Member, National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2007 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 1998 FEMS Lecturer, Federation of European Materials Societies
  • 1998 Masing-Gedächtnispreis, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde (DGM)
  • 1997 Peter Haasen Preis, Institut für Metallphysik, Universität Göttingen and Peter Haasen-Stiftung
  • 1992 Otto Hahn Medaille, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org