The institute

Profile of the institute

Fraunhofer Ernst-Mach-Institut is an institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V. Ernst-Mach-Institut has specialized in investigating physical-technical processes in materials, structures and components as they occur, for instance, during crash or impact. Our research contributes to increased safety and security, resilience and sustainability in our society.

We develop solutions within our business units Defense, Security and Resilience, Automotive, Space and Aviation. Our services build upon cooperations with our clients and range from R&D services, specific solutions for measurement and sensor technology as well as practice-oriented software products.  

View our detailed service offer



The spectrum of competences includes:

  • Characterization and modeling of material, composites and structural components behavior under dynamic loading
  • Development of numerical computing methods for material modeling in continuum, meso- and micromechanics
  • Development and application of new sensors and measuring techniques in high-speed physics (high compression, high strain, short time, fast pulse)
  • Development of numerical computing methods in structural dynamics, fluid mechanics and the coupling of fluid-structure interaction
  • Analysis of hypervelocity impact in experiment and simulation
  • Development of new methods of calculation and specialized user software for assessment and layout of structures, processes and systems
  • Physics of energetic materials
  • Physical modeling, simulation, visualization as well as experimental analysis of multi-technical systems regarding security and reliability issues

Integration into the academic research landscape, on the one hand, and networking with the development departments of the relevant industries, on the other hand, are prerequisites for pursuing the kind of applied research which is common standard for the institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in an economical way.

Positioned at the interface between basic research and systems development, EMI puts special emphasis on integrated experimental-numerical research. Nationally as well as internationally, EMI ranks among the best addresses concerning this claim.

Unique facilities enable our analyses and development:

  • Acceleration facilities for masses between a few grams and up to some hundred kilograms to velocities of up to 40,000 kilometers per hour
  • Test benches for materials of all kinds which enable the measurement of mechanical characteristics under loading of high strain rates in a very broad spectrum
  • Visualization of fast and high-speed processes. This includes optical techniques such as microscopy and high-speed cameras, as well as X-ray flashes with multiple anodes for computed tomography
  • Sensor systems for the measurement of physical parameters in rough and blast/shock-wave loaded environments
  • High-speed electronics for measuring and controlling high electric currents and voltages in highest time resolution
  • Particular test facilities for the analysis of vehicles and components with new propulsion technologies under crash loading, even allowing the release and possible chemical reactions of aggregate contents such as hydrogen and battery substances
  • Mainframe computers for the parallel and massive-parallel use of commercial and in-house software

The wide range of dynamic processes demands a high degree of flexibility as far as experimental facilities and the used software are concerned. This flexibility can only be achieved if the in-house development of test facilities, instrumentations, sensors and computer programs are rendered possible. Experienced senior scientists, PhD students, house-internal workshops as well as a high percentage of technical staff are committed to these in-house developments.

Mission statement

Board of directors

The advisory board