Erica Coenen wins ECCOMAS Award for best PhD thesis

Erica Coenen, alumni of the department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded with the ECCOMAS Award for best PhD thesis 2012. She received this award for her thesis “Multi-scale modeling of damage and fracture”.

The research of Erica focused on the failure behavior of novel structural materials, such as advanced high strength steels and composite materials. Fundamental knowledge on the failure behavior of these materials is expected to significantly boost the application of innovative material-product combinations. Erica developed a computational approach, which models the gradual degradation of a material under particular service conditions.

ECCOMAS, the European Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences, has established the Award for best thesis to highlight outstanding achievements of young scientists at the start of their scientific career. Each year two theses are awarded. The thesis of Erica is praised for being an outstanding work in Computational Methods combining excellent knowledge of both theory and practice. Besides winning this prestigious award, Erica is invited to give a semi-plenary lecture presenting her thesis work at the 2nd Young Investigators Conference of ECCOMAS in Bordeaux.

Erica got her PhD in 2012 in the research group Mechanics of Materials, department of Mechanical Engineering, under the supervision of prof. Geers and dr. Kouznetsova. Currently, she is working as a research scientist at TNO Technical Sciences.