Over the past decade and in close cooperation with AMAG, a world-class aluminium research group has been established at the University of Leoben in Austria. Now, another step has been taken towards expanding and consolidating this leading position, following the creation of the endowed professorship for aluminium materials engineering in 2014, currently filled by Prof. Dr. Stefan Pogatscher.
AMAG, Austria’s largest aluminium producer and the B&C Private Foundation, - a core shareholder of AMAG, - signed an additional partnership agreement with the Department of Nonferrous Metallurgy at the University of Leoben on December 9. This is linked to the financing of an “Aluminium Microstructure Analysis Gainhub (AMAGh)” to strengthen aluminium research in Austria.
In the spirit of the recently established endowed professorship, this investment will again support the advancement of highly qualified researchers to the post-doctoral level as well as the excellent research infrastructure, enabling AMAG research topics to be studied at the highest level at the Department of Nonferrous Metallurgy.
The focus of this cooperation agreement is research into the microstructure of aluminium to be able to control its properties in processing and applications. This includes, for example, the behavior of aluminium sheet during forming in the automotive and aerospace industries as well as the development of recycling alloys to meet future requirements regarding the circular economy and climate protection. The Aluminium Microstructure Analysis Gainhub will bundle expertise in the use of highly complex equipment, for example, high-resolution electron microscopes and pilot plant facilities specifically for aluminium.
The cooperation agreement provides for a financial contribution from the two foundation partners AMAG and B&C of more than one million euros over a seven-year period.
“For AMAG, as a premium supplier of rolled aluminium products with a very high number of specialties, innovation is a key pillar of its corporate strategy. A deeper understanding of the relationship between the microstructure and property profile of materials is the prerequisite for material and process innovations, and thus for strengthening AMAG’s competitiveness,” says Dr. Helmut Kaufmann, COO of AMAG Austria Metall AG.
“The financial support from AMAG and B&C enables the Department of Nonferrous Metallurgy not only to continue its high-quality research in the field of aluminium materials, but above all to guarantee a strategic buildup of highly qualified personnel in the field of aluminium research,” explains Prof. Dr. Wilfried Eichlseder, Rector of the University of Leoben.
“Promoting research and development is a central focus of the B&C Private Foundation. Innovation is a key factor in the competitiveness of developed economies. By continuing to support the endowed professorship, we would like to create the scope needed to advance and expand the specialist research areas relevant to industry, thus contributing not only to the growth of our core holding AMAG, but also to strengthening research excellence in Austria,” says Dr. Mariella Schurz, Secretary General of the B&C Private Foundation.