Materials scientist Hanka Becker from TU Bergakademie Freiberg has been awarded two million euros in funding from the DFG's Emmy Noether Programme for research into the recycling of aluminium. She will set up her new research group at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg from mid-2024.

After cast iron and steels, aluminium alloys are the most frequently used metallic materials. The young Freiberg scientist is now investigating the recycling of aluminium alloys. "Using recycled aluminium instead of primary aluminium saves 95% energy. I am particularly interested in how to deal with unavoidably introduced impurities and accompanying elements during recycling. This is because the quality of recycled aluminium alloys is critical for their subsequent use. I am delighted to be able to work on this highly topical issue with a research group in the near future," says Hanka Becker.

New research group at the University of Magdeburg from mid-2024

In the project "New alloy families from recycled aluminium for sustainability and resource conservation", Hanka Becker will put together and lead a research group that will investigate how impurities and accompanying elements in the material can be harmlessly tolerated. "The handling of impurities and accompanying elements will be groundbreaking for the future metallurgy of recycled aluminium alloys," the young scientist is certain. Specifically, the aim is to adjust the microstructure of recycled aluminium alloys using innovative grain refiners in such a way that these elements can be tolerated or even used without any disadvantages.

From studies in Freiberg to a career in science

Born in Eisenhüttenstadt, Hanka Becker studied materials science and materials technology at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. She received her doctorate there in 2018 with a thesis on intermetallic phases and their formation in ferrous aluminium-silicon alloys (supervisor Prof. Andreas Leineweber, Institute of Materials Science), which was part of the Collaborative Research Centre 920 "Multifunctional Filters for Metal Melt Filtration". During this time and a subsequent postdoctoral phase, she was involved in research stays at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway) and DTU (Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark). Following her success in the Emmy Noether Programme, she moved to Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg at the Institute of Materials and Joining Technology.