Henning Friis Poulsen has received a second ERC Advanced Grant. Photo Lisbeth Holten

DTU professor secures yet another large EU research grant

Tuesday 31 Mar 20

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Henning Friis Poulsen
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DTU Physics
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For the second time, Henning Friis Poulsen has been awarded one of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants. His new research project could revolutionize our understanding and use of metals.

Professor Henning Friis Poulsen from DTU Physics has recently been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant of almost DKK 19 million (EUR 2.5 million) by the EU to develop a model that can predict how the strength of metals and their ability to be shaped is affected during use. Such knowledge can have a major impact on the development of new lightweight strong metal components with obvious applications in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries, for example 

Henning Friis Poulsen is thus the first DTU researcher and only the second Danish researcher to receive two ERC Advanced Grants which are earmarked for particularly talented researchers. 

First project realized

In 2011 Henning Friis Poulsen was given the first ERC Advanced Grant to develop a new X-ray microscope that not only examines the surface of materials, but also makes it possible to look inside them while they are being used. The microscope was completed last year and allows researchers to view materials in 3D films with razor-sharp images that can capture the rapid changes that occur when a material is affected during use.

“We can now look inside hard materials such as metals without first cutting them up and thus affecting their structure. This allows us to observe the dynamics that take place in the material while it is being used and thus gain an insight into the properties of the metals—something that was previously not possible,” says Henning Friis Poulsen.

Unique results

"Based on theory and experiments, our group will develop a new multiscale model that can predict how the internal structure of metals develops during use and thus affects its strength and bendability"
Henning Friis Poulsen

The new research microscope is the reason why Henning Friis Poulsen and his research group will be able to achieve results that no one else in the world will be able to at this time. 

“Based on theory and experiments, our group will develop a new multiscale model that can predict how the internal structure of metals develops during use and thus affects its strength and bendability,” explains Henning Friis Poulsen. 

Such a model would allow computer calculations in the future to be used to assess how metals react in different conditions. If successful, the research will revolutionize the development of materials that have hitherto taken place in laboratories and companies, and which to some extent have relied on trial-and-error testing to achieve the desired result. 

Two start-up companies

It is not only in the world of research that Henning Friis Poulsen’s unique efforts have garnered attention. His knowledge and insight into methods for examining materials has also resulted in two start-up companies. One company, Xnovo, was established in 2012 and markets innovative 3D X-ray methods. The other company is Exruptive (founded in 2014) which has developed a brand-new concept for checking in luggage at airports based on novel X-ray technology

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