City:  Freiburg
Date:  May 24, 2024

Bachelor- / Masterthesis on »Design of bio-inspired metamaterials for sustainable adaptive damping«

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros. 

At the Fraunhofer IWM, 330 employees conduct research on materials and components with the aim of better understanding, developing, processing and using them. In our projects, we bridge the gap between the properties of materials and the durability, safety and function of technical systems. 
We show ways and solutions for more energy efficiency and sustainability. After all, materials are crucial for climate neutrality, for the careful use of our planet's limited resources and for the sustainable transformation of our economy.


What you will do

The Group of Micro- and Mesomechanics is capable of determining the material properties of samples with dimensions down to the microscale range applying self-developed test set-ups and experimental mechanics. In particular, our group is working on the development of mechanical metamaterials. 


A wide variety of tasks await you:

Inspired by the way in which the human intervertebral disc assumes the damping function in the spine, you will join us in driving forward research into metamaterials with adaptive damping. The objective of this thesis is to analyse and evaluate the impact of geometric parameters of fluid-filled metamaterial structures on their damping behavior. Your thesis can focus on (i) designing and simulating structures using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), (ii) on producing the structures using 3D printing and subsequent testing or (iii) on the development of test equipment, including the control of influencing variables and measurement routines. The obtained results will be used for adjustable damping, considering various influencing variables. By actively engaging with the topic, you will gain a deeper understanding of mechanical damping and interrelationships between design and simulation, for example.


What you bring to the table

Your professional background:

You are studying mechanical engineering, materials science, sustainable engineering, microsystems technology or a related subject and have a good knowledge of materials mechanics. You are familiar with CAD design and ideally you have good knowledge of CFD and a programming language. A high level of interest in the field of fluid mechanics is an advantage.


Qualifications that complement your profile:

You have a high level of teamwork, a strong sense of initiative and an independent way of working. You use your excellent German and English skills confidently and purposefully in your day-to-day work. Your profile is completed by your interest in fluid mechanics and innovative topics relating to materials mechanics.


What you can expect

Always something new: 

Working at the Fraunhofer IWM means researching innovative topics in an established research institute. Thanks to our flat hierarchies and open working culture, you will always have the right support at your disposal.


What we offer you:

In family emergencies, we offer emergency childcare and allow you to bring your children to our parent-child office if necessary, in order to react flexibly to unforeseen situations or childcare bottlenecks. You can also benefit from a wide range of employee discounts on events, furniture, clothing and much more.


This culture awaits you:

Our open institute culture aims to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable here. We pursue this goal, for example, through various leisure groups and our networking event as part of the onboarding process. 
Come and join us and see for yourself!


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. 


With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 


Apply online and shape the future of Fraunhofer IWM together with us!


Our recruiter Lea Hauserstein will be happy to answer all your questions about the position and our application process. 
You can reach us by e-mail at or by phone at +49(0) 761 5142-234.


Mario Schleyer will answer all technical questions under +49(0) 761 5142-569.

Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM 


Requisition Number: 72924 


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