True to our mission statement "From raw material to finished component", the main objectives of our research are: 

  • the development of methodological competencies
  • meeting industrial requirements and
  • making a contribution to solving societal challenges.

To achieve these goals, we are already focusing on the following key topics and will intensify this focus in the future.


Elastomer and thermoset technology 

Here we see the consistent further development of what has been built up in recent years as part of our injection molding activities and what has been supported by chemistry and materials science work.

Hybrid structures    

Multi-materials make it possible to meet requirements that cannot be fulfilled by single materials. Challenging aspects, such as the large differences in thermal expansion behavior, must be analyzed and require intelligent solutions.

Energy and Energy Storage

Whether wind energy, photovoltaics or thermal collectors, polymers are the material of choice and sometimes even the only ones that can be used (e.g. rotor blades for off-shore windmills). Research is needed here, both from a materials science perspective and in terms of design and processing.

Polymers in medicine

 Polymers are the most important group of materials in medicine,therefore we plan to further expand our research activities significantly.

Additive manufacturing of polymers

This rapidly growing research area will continue to expand and we believe it will be necessary to teach and expand our research activities in this area.

CPS (Big Data) 

In addition to a wide range of other processing-related topics, the possibilities of inline sensor technology and the need for model-based processing approaches require dealing with Big Data and cyber-physical systems in the processing environment.

Functionalization of Polymers

A broad field for optimizing polymer materials and enhancing their capabilities.

Circular economy

Working on solutions to achieve a circular economy is a key element for long-term sustainability. Here, much more work is needed.

Polymers in (micro)electronics

Polymers are one of the key materials needed in electronics and we want to increase our efforts in this field. Material-based electronic devices and smart systems are a topic of great interest at Montanuniversität Leoben, not only at the Department of Polymer Engineering and Science. The combination of material design with additive processing as well as side-resolved patterning techniques are contributions we will focus on. This area is attractive for both basic and applied research in the future and has innovation potential regarding collaboration with the electronics industry.

Bio-based Polymers

The department already does research in the area of bio-based materials, such as polymers or reinforcing materials used in composites though we acknowledge that much more effort is needed, especially in terms of sustainability.