Skip to main content

Nanomechanics of natural materials from combining tomography and finite element modelling


"Porous sedimentary rocks compose a large part of the European coastline and are major oil reservoirs in Europe, yet little is not known about their nanoscale structure and mechanical properties even though these parameters are linked to macroscale behaviour. The aim of TOMOMECH is to combine X-ray tomography and finite elements modelling (FE) on the nanoscale to make predictions about the stability of e.g. chalk cliffs and the remaining oil in depleting reservoirs. My model for determining stability will be versatile, which I will demonstrate by applying it to biomineralised shells as well, to elucidate nature's design strategies. The combination of tomography and FE has been employed successfully before to examine the structure and functionality in trabecular human bone on the microscale. A main objective of TOMOMECH is to transfer this approach to the nanoscale and adapt it for determining pore structure in sedimentary rocks. The results will be applicable to coastal protection, oil production and biomimetic materials. Through a direct connection to industrial partners, a focus on applicability is ensured. My background in Physics, combining X-ray techniques and modelling from the molecular to the continuum scale will underpin this project but I will also benefit from the training in new nanoscale characterisation techniques that I will receive. Interdisciplinary research has been a major topic in my career and TOMOMECH will give me the opportunity to further broaden my scientific background. The approach I will develop and the chance to run my own project will give a good push in my future career. Mentoring by my host, Prof. Stipp, who is an expert in nanoscale characterisation, and interaction with the Nano-Science Center, Copenhagen, will ensure progress, help increase my network and provide tremendous benefit."

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 228 082,20
Administrative Contact
Ivan Kristoffersen (Mr.)