Winner of the European Materials Medal for 2019

Ehrenfried Zschech is an outstanding materials scientist with high international reputation, who combines excellent science with the ability to transfer his scientific results into industrial applications. He consistently demonstrates leadership and strong engagement in the European and global materials science scene. Ehrenfried Zschech was awarded with the gold medal in recognition of his pioneering contributions to materials science and engineering, particularly targeted on characterization and design of advanced functional and engineering materials for applications in microelectronics, lightweight construction and energy technology. His main scientific achievements include the understanding of the precipitation kinetics in weldable Aluminum alloys for aircraft industry, the establishment of a microstructure-related model for the reliability-limiting degradation processes in thin metal structures, particularly the evolution of electromigration-induced voids in metal interconnects of integrated circuits, as well as the development of high-resolution laboratory X-ray microscopy using newly developed focusing optics.

The European Materials Medal was presented to Ehrenfried Zschech during the EUROMAT 2019 conference in Stockholm, at which he gave a Plenary Lecture entitled “The wonderful world of X-ray imaging: Laboratory X-ray microscopy in materials research and innovation”. He stated that laboratory X-ray microscopy at high photon energies has the potential to steal a “triumphal march” much like transmission electron microscopy did some decades ago. Ehrenfried Zschech provided insight into new technique and tool developments in nano X-ray computed tomography that are supposed to open the floodgates on fundamentally new knowledge in the physics and chemistry of materials as well as for applications in industry, e.g. for physical failure analysis in microelectronics.