together unique

IMT 10-21 Master Thesis: Miniature Shape Memory Shock Absorber for Robotics

Organizational unit

Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)

Job description

Various sensory elements are currently being incorporated in miniature robots resulting in a large demand of remote data acquisition. In particular, optical sensors are adversely affected by the movement of the robots and/or surface conditions. Therefore, novel miniature shock absorbers need to be developed to compensate for this drawback. As commonly used hydraulic dampers are not suitable for miniaturization, a novel concept of shock absorption is required. This interdisciplinary work focuses on the development and characterization of a miniature shock absorber using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) devices.

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are special materials capable of recovering their original shape after large deformations. During cyclic loading, a large amount of energy is dissipated. Based on the operating temperature, SMAs typically show Superelasticity (SE) or the One-Way Shape Memory Effect (OWSME). In OWSME, shape recovery is achieved by heating the material above its phase transformation temperature to Austenite. This behaviour can be utilized to develop an active shock absorber allowing for large degree of miniaturization.


  • Characterization of SMA material properties (structure, mechanical, thermal)
  • Lumped element modelling (Matlab/Simulink)
  • Design of an integrated test system (shock loading mechanism, SMA device, controller)
  • Control strategy
  • Characterization of shock absorption

To carry out the work, the IMT has extensive state-of-the-art equipment (600 m² clean room, rapid prototyping processes such as 3D printing and laser cutting, assembly and joining technology laboratories, various metrological laboratories). Intensive support ensures that the work can be carried out within the desired time frame.

Further information on the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT):

Starting date

as soon as possible

Personal qualification

  • The candidate should be self-motivated, independent and responsible
  • Experience on Matlab/Simulink is favourable
  • Experience/Knowledge in data acquisition using Labview is an advantage
  • Field of study: Master student in Mechanical / Electrical /Physics/Mechatronics or similar disciplines

Contract duration

6 months

Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Kiran Jacob, Tel. +49 721 608-22759 (e-mail:


Please send your application in electronic form to:

vacancy number: IMT 10-21

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.