Empa-Scientist Named Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb

Lukas Rohr Appointed to Assistant Professorship

Mar 20, 2006 | BEAT ASCHWANDEN

The Academic Council of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture of the University of Zagreb has appointed Dr. Lukas Rohr as Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, specializing in production engineering.


At the end of last year Lukas Rohr, Head of Empa’s Materials Technology Laboratory, gave his «habilitation-lecture» at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, the oldest university in south-eastern Europe with 50,000 registered students. This marked his achievement of the postdoctoral «habilitation» qualification necessary for appointment to a professorship. He has been giving a special lecture course on the basics of micromechanics there since the winter term 2005-06, revealing to his 40 odd students the secrets of metal-matrix composites. But how does an Empa researcher come to be lecturing in Zagreb? For a number of years the laboratory head from Thun has been in close professional contact with members of the Zagreb faculty. «I like being there, it’s a dynamic place» he says, referring to the current political situation with Croatia a candidate for EU membership. At the University of Zagreb, this is reflected in the keenness with which contacts with and integration into the highest levels of European science are pursued. Courses which are integrated into European Master’s degree programs have already been established. «It pays for our own research to be part of a wide ranging, international network too,» maintains Lukas Rohr. «We have a head-start in terms of infrastructure and equipment know-how.» The knowledge that he passes on therefore acts as the ideal complement to the traditional engineering education which the Croatian students receive.

A tradition of academic hospitality

The Empa Thun already played host last year to a Croatian student who performed excellent work in the field of nanomechanics, reports Rohr. «I hope that we will soon have more students from the University of Zagreb visiting us,» he adds. In the laboratory headed by the brand new professor there are twelve doctoral students from six different universities working on their theses. Rohr appreciates the interactive, animated exchanges of ideas which regularly occur, and from which both sides greatly profit. Further visits by young guest researchers and more cooperative research work on doctoral dissertations are already in the pipeline.
«During my frequent visits to the University of Zagreb I have always been struck by the engagement and enthusiasm with which Croatia strives to make progress,» say Rohr. «I am very much looking forward not just to profiting from this situation, but also make a contribution to it.»


Further information:

Prof. Dr. Lukas Rohr, Empa, Materials Technology Laboratory, (Thun), Tel. +41 33 228 29 59,

Martina Peter, Empa, Communication Dept. (Duebendorf), Tel. +41 44 823 49 87,