Our mission statement

The Institute for Applied Materials - Computational Materials Science (IAM-CMS) engages in research and teaching in the area of safety and reliability assessment of component parts.

The IAM-CMS preferentially uses methods of model building and numerical simulation. It combines atomistic methods with microstructural specifications and continuum mechanical analysis. In the field of tribology, we carry out both basic and applied research on a cross-scale basis, combining experimental investigations with high-resolution electron microscopy and analysis to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms in frictional contact.

We conduct our research work in close collaboration with national and international partners and with a very tight connection to the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials, IWM,  including our joint activity, the MicroTribology Center, µTC.


Institute management

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christian Greiner

Additively manufactured components and microstructure design

Personal page
2017_091_Britta Nestler erhaelt Leibniz-Preis_72dpi(Foto: Markus Breig, KIT)
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Britta Nestler

Microstructure simulations in materials engineering

Personal page

Points of Pride

Federal Order of Merit


As the only general award of merit in Germany, the Order of Merit is the highest recognition awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany, for outstanding personal services to the common good. Since 1951, when it was founded by President Theodor Heuss, the Federal Republic of Germany has honored German and foreign citizens for political, economic, social and intellectual achievements.

Britta Nestler

n 2019, Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler is awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for her scientific merits, which is awarded under the motto "Courage for the Future: Overcoming Borders". The award is based on the combination of basic research and practical application, in the field of materials research, which Nestler has promoted significantly.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize


Since 1985, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize has been awarded annually by the German Research Foundation (DFG), to support outstanding scientists from all disciplines. The objective of the funding is to improve the working conditions of the award-winning researchers by expanding research opportunities, reducing administrative costs and enabling the employment of particularly qualified younger scientists. The most important research award in Germany is endowed with 2.5 million euros and is only granted on the advance of third parties.

Britta Nestler

In 2017, Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler is awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, for her research in the field of computer-aided materials research and the development of new material models, using multi-scale and multiphysical approaches. In addition, her further development of the phase-field method and the creative use of this method are also honored. The possibility of designing and simulating processes, materials or components with the aid of a computer reduces the number of necessary experiments, saves energy and resources and enables weak points to be identified at an early stage.


Peter Gumbsch

In 2007, Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch received the award for his work in the field of materials science, including his developments in the field of multi-scale material modeling. Furthermore, Gumbsch has contributed a great deal to the current understanding of fracture and deformation processes by, among other things, investigating dislocations in more detail, which underlie deformation processes. He has shown that dislocations behave differently, depending on the velocity, as their motion generates different amounts of heat and can even reach supersonic speeds.

State Research Prize


Every year, the state of Baden-Württemberg awards the State Research Prize in recognition of basic and applied research. A prize of 100,000 euros is awarded for each of the two research fields. The objective of the prize is to increase the public awareness of research and to promote innovation in Baden-Württemberg.

Britta Nestler

n 2008, Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler received the prize for applied research, for her work in computer-aided material development with new simulation techniques and modeling methods, at the Institute for Computational Engineering (ICE), located at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.