Bitzek, Erik

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Erik Bitzek, Privatdozent

Gruppenleiter Modellierung & Simulation (seit 01.09.2021 am MPI in Düsseldorf)

Department Werkstoffwissenschaften (WW)
Lehrstuhl für Werkstoffwissenschaften (Allgemeine Werkstoffeigenschaften)

Raum: Raum 3.41
Martensstrasse 5
91058 Erlangen 91058 Erlangen


Scientific Career:

Erik Bitzek studied physics at the University Stuttgart where he received his Diploma (Dipl. Phys.) with distinction in 2000. After starting his PhD in the group of Prof. Eduard Arzt at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research (now MPI for Intelligent Systems) in Stuttgart, he moved in 2002 with his advisor, Prof. Peter Gumbsch, to the newly founded Institut für Zuverlässigkeit von Bauteilen und Systemen (now IAM-CMS) at the technical university Karlsruhe (now KIT), from where he obtained his doctorate degree (Dr.-Ing.) with distinction in 2006. During his first Postdoc in the group of Prof. Helena van Swygenhoven at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland he was also visiting scientist at the Ohio State University, USA, in the groups of Prof. Peter Anderson and Prof. Yunzhi Wang. His second Postdoc with Prof. Ju Li brought him to the University of Pennsylvania, USA, to which he stayed connected as visiting professor after being appointed at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in 2009 as assistant professor (“Juniorprofessor”). Since winter 2015 he is full professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute I. Since 2013 he is furthermore Chair of the international Elite Master’s Programme “Advanced Materials and Processes (MAP)”.
Prof. Bitzek is co-initiator and 2. speaker of the research training group GRK2423 “Fracture across Scales” and member of the board of the research training group GRK1896 “In-Situ Microscopy with Electrons, X-rays and Scanning Probes” at FAU. He is PI in the SFB/TR103 Superalloy Single Crystals, SPP1594 Topological Engineering of Ultrastrong Glasses and part of the
SPP2074 Fluidfreie Schmiersysteme mit hoher mechanischer Belastung and the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Project Fracture Across Scales and Materials, Processes and Disciplines (FRAMED).

Erik Bitzek serves the scientific community amongst others as member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Materials and the Journal of Molecular Modeling, as coordinator of the German part of the International Research Network (GDRI) “Mechanics of Nano-Objects” (MECANO), member of the Executive Committee of the conference series “Dislocations”, and co-initiator of the working group 3D Materials Data Science of the German Materials Research Society (DGM). He is also member of the Consortium of the Nationale Forschungsdaten Infrastruktur Initiative NFDI4MSE, the European Materials Modeling Council (EMMC), the European Materials Characterization Council (EMCC) and expert on “Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AM&N) Modelling, Simulation and Design” for the LEIT programme of the European Commission. He furthermore serves as reviewer for the ERC, various organizations in Germany, Austria, Israel, Canada and the US, and for top-ranked journals in materials science and physics. He also has organized and co-organized more than 15 national and international workshops and symposia.

He is author and co-author of more than 50 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, of one patent application and has given invited presentation at more than 50 international conferences, workshops and seminars. In 2008 his work was designated as “Outstanding Research by Promising Young Researchers in Mechanics and Materials” by the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers, in 2009 he was awarded the Best Poster Award at the Gordon Research Conference on Physical Metallurgy and obtained in 2013 the starting grant of the Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials (EAM).

In 2016 he was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project Microscopic Origins of Fracture Toughness (microKIc).


Modeling and Simulation related to Mechanical Properties of Materials

Recent and upcoming organised events

  • DPG Spring Meeting 2020, Dresden, Germany, Co-organizer of the Topical Session on Data-Driven Materials Science and Member of the organizing committee of the Metal and Material Physics division
  • ISAM4: The fourth International Symposium on Atomistic and Multiscale Modeling of Mechanics and Multiphysics of materials, August 5-8, 2019 at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany (co-organiser)
  • DGG-USTV: 93rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Glass Technology in Conjunction with the Annual Meeting of French Union for Science and Glass Technology (USTV), 13th to 15th May 2019 at the Maritim Hotel Nürnberg, Germany (local organisation committee and symposium organisation)

In the media:

  • „Der Herr der Risse: Zerstoeren fuer die Wissenschaft“, TV report in Franken-Fernsehen
  • „Realistic simulations reveal atomic-scale details responsible for superalloy properties“, article in MRS Bulletin
  • „Superlegierungen“, article in Chemie in unserer Zeit
  • „Simulation am Supercomputer“, article in Maschine und Werkzeug
  • „Warum Dinge kaputt gehen“ in Laborpraxis
  • „Simulation: Den Superkräften von Superlegierungen auf der Spur“, article in
  • „Sinnvolle Zerstörung“, Nürnberger Nachrichten, 17./18. Juni 2017

















Notable publications:

  1. A. Prakash, J. Guénolé, J. Wang, J. Müller, E. Spiecker, M.J. Mills, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, D. Raabe, E. Bitzek [2015], „Atom probe informed simulations of dislocation–precipitate interactions reveal the importance of local interface curvature“, Acta Materialia 92 33 Link to article
    Featured in MRS Bulletin. The report can be accessed in its entirety here. It is also featured in a report in the June issue of the journal Chemie in unserer Zeit. The report can be accessed in its entirety here.
    It is also in the news at .
    This article is also among the
    10 hottest articles of Acta Materialia for the period April-June 2015
  2. A. Köbler, T. Beuth, T. Klöffel, R. Prang, M. Moosmann, T. Scherer, S. Walheim, H. Hahn, C. Kübel, B. Meyer, T. Schimmel, E. Bitzek [2015], Nanotwinned silver nanowires: Structure and mechanical properties, Acta Mater. 92 299 Link to article
    This article is also among the 25 hottest articles of the journal for the period April-June 2015.
  3. J.J. Möller, E. Bitzek [2014], „Fracture toughness and bond trapping of grain boundary cracks“, Acta Materialia 73 1-11 Featured in the Sciencedirect TOP 25 list of most downloaded articles (ranked 5 of 25) for Acta Materialia in the period April – June 2014 Link to article

Book chapters:

Conference proceedings:

  1. M. Mousavi, J. Guénolé, P. Baranova,
    E.Bitzek, A. M. Korsunsky, „ATOMISTIC SIMULATION OF CRACKS VERSUS GENERALIZED CONTINUA“, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Fracture (ICF14), Rhodes, Greece, June 18-23, 2017, Ed. E.E. Gdoutos.
  2. P.N. Baranova, E. Bitzek, „INFLUENCE OF ATOMIC-SCALE HETEROGENEITIES ON FRACTURE BEHAVIOUR OF B2 NIAL“, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Fracture (ICF14), Rhodes, Greece, June 18-23, 2017, Ed. E.E. Gdoutos.
  3. E. Bitzek, P. Baranova, J.J. Möller, „3D ASPECTS OF FRACTURE AND EFFECTS DUE TO CRACK FRONT CURVATURE“, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Fracture (ICF14), Rhodes, Greece, June 18-23, 2017, Ed. E.E. Gdoutos.


  1. M. Moseler, P. Gumbsch, E. Bitzek, P. Koskinen, „Method for calculating a local extremum,
    preferably a local minimum, of a multidimensional function E(x1, x2, …, xn)“,
    United States Patent Application 20070239809