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Leibniz Universität Hannover - Institute of Materials Science

The Institute of Materials Science (IW) of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover was founded in 1905 and since then has been working in the field of basic materials research. Nowadays, the IW is structured into the following divisions: Biomedical Engineering and Lightweight construction (BML); Brazing, Surface Technology and Microcasting (FORTIS); Materials Technology (TW); Underwater Technology Center Hannover (UWTH) and Non-destructive Testing Methods (ZfP).

The IW is teaching knowledge of materials science and technology in 18 different lectures, two laboratory courses and course-related events to students of mechanical engineering, production and logistics, biomedical engineering, metal technology, mechatronics and industrial engineering.

In addition, the IW is working together with private companies in the field of basic research. It is assisting companies to solve practical problems and acts as a link between research and practical application. This close cooperation with our industrial partners enables us mediating between theory and application in engineering education. It also ensures the transfer from research results to products of practical applications.

The sector of decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear facilities, integrated in the Underwater Technology Center Hannover (UWTH), claims a special position within the IW. This division promotes the development and qualification of modern techniques for the application in the nuclear sector and develops container systems for the safe storage and disposal of nuclear wastes. The vocation of longtime institute's director Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Dr. h.c. Friedrich-Wilhelm Bach as „Niedersachsenprofessor für Werkstofftechnik und Rückbautechnologie“, a special professorship for materials engineering and decommissioning technology in 2012, underlines the status of this research area within the IW.

The aspect of the retrieval of disposed radioactive wastes examined under the ENTRIA research platform raises new issues. Whilst the integrity of the containers has to be ensured for a period of hundreds of years, retrieval techniques and monitoring systems have to be developed and compared to ensure save methods of recovering the disposed wastes from the disposal facility for a long time.

It has to be considered that the option of retrievability is always accompanied by the risk of unwanted access to the stored radioactive substances. This risk is, with regard to the acceptance of the population for a future repository project, a socio-political problem, which cannot been solved completely by technical developments. A multidisciplinary approach is pursued by the ENTRIA research platform for this reason. The goal is to resolve the socio-political conflict through a feedback process between technology and societal demands. A particular aspect of the ENTRIA research platform is the work of young scientists in a group with experts from all disciplines involved.