Environmental & Reliability Engineering

New products and technologies have to comply with an increasing range of strict specifications, and at the same time have to be cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. The Department Environmental and Reliability Engineering supports technological developments until they reach market maturity with environmental and reliability analysis reaching from nano-characterisation level to evaluation and optimisation at the system level. Under the leadership of Dr. Nils F. Nissen, a unique combination is achieved between the established cross-sectional specialist fields of reliability and sustainability.

In view of worldwide extending markets and limited resources, every new generation of products and technologies must generate more functionality and assured reliability while consuming fewer resources. Without adequate reliability, the commercial success of an application is anyway endangered, and at the same time the environmental impact of typically production-intensive microelectronics increases furtherby premature failures or the need for replacements. Sustainable electronic technologies must therefore be reliable and have a low environmental impact.

Key Research Areas


Materials Characterization and Modeling

A comprehensive thermo-mechanical reliability assessment of complex electronic systems in the micro/nano range requires extensive experimental back-up for the use of simulation tools. We provide full material characterisation and examination in combination with simulation and optimisation.

Reliability: simulation, test and optimization

Thermomechanicallife-time models are required for a simulation-based "Design for Reliability". The basis is provided by combined, accelerated stress tests in combination with simulations and modern analysis and optimisation processes.


Application-specific system evaluation

The reliability of electrical, electronic and mechatronic systems require a comprehensive consideration of products, production processes and business processes. Therefore expertise and management knowledge need to be applied, together with suitable management tools/methodologies.


Corrosion, electrochemical migration, moisture diffusion

Investigate moisture-based failures of electronics such like corrosion or migration damage.


Condition monitoring of electronics

The prediction and calculation of failure rates and lifetimesof electronic systems due to ageing and overload requires a top-down evaluation of the reliability of entire systems. The system includesthe superordinate system, sub-systems, the components and connection technologies.Therefore it is necessary to take the environmental conditions and intrinsic interactions into account.


EcoDesign and circular technologies

Step by step towards sustainable innovation within the ICT value chain.


Environmental assessment for electronic systems

The Environmental evaluation and eco-design group is working on the methodology of the evaluation and environmental optimisation of electronic products.


Environmental Legislation: RoHS, WEEE, EcoDesign

The requirements of environmental legislation can place considerable demands on product development, but they can also open up market opportunities for forward-looking companies.


The Department Environmental and Reliability Engineering has laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced test environments at its Berlin location. In addition to a high degree of flexibility in the combination of test parameters (vibration, shock, temperature, humidity, power cycles, etc.), we offer you a broad spectrum of analysis of environmental parameters as well as simulation of the interconnection technology of your electronic applications. In addition, with the Micro Materials Testing Lab, we have a test portfolio that enables material-side predictions about the reliability of complex systems in the micro/nano range.


Active Power Cycling Lab

Quality assurance of power electronics is an essential factor in product reliability. The active power cycling test provides instant lifetime data for power modules.


Corrosion Analysis Lab

Electrochemical characterization of materials and their composites with regard to their corrosion behavior depending on the electrolyte exposure occurring in the application.


Electronics Condition Monitoring Lab

Vibrationmeasurement and testwith electronic components, if required in combination with humidity and temperature loads. Contactless vibration measurements withlaser vibrometer. In-situ monitoring of the failure of electronic components.


Micro Materials Testing Lab

Mechanical forces, temperature changes and moisture effects can impair reliability considerably. For successful optimisation of the reliability of complex systems inthe micro/nano range it is necessary to have knowledge about the failure behaviour of materials and of damage development.


Thermal & Environmental Analysis Lab

In order to characterise thermal interface materials (TIM) a system was set up for determining heat conductivity and thermal resistances dependent on compression force. Infrared imaging measurement techniques make it possible to measure temperatures without contact, and to detect errors in systems or components.

High Performance Computing Cluster

Increased demands on the robustness and durability of electronic components, as well as increasingly short innovation cycles mean that development methods are required which can lead to a reliable overall system in a short time. The use of simulation models offers the opportunity to visualise interrelationships.

Working Groups

Policy, Ecodesign and Circular Materials


Circular electronic products and devices are the focus of the Policy, Ecodesign, and Circular Materials group. The Circular Design Lab was set up as a store of the applied competences and technological knowhow that can be used to make applications and services more sustainable. We are working on a more circular life for the materials that make up our electrical and electronic applications, and we can reconcile the tenets of good product design with the need for meaningful and effective recycling.

Team Leader: Dipl.-Ing. Karsten Schischke

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© Fraunhofer IZM

Sustainable Networks and Computing


The Sustainable Networks and Computing group is active in applied research into environmental assessments for com-mercial ICT (Green ICT) systems and their implications for eco-design. Its technical focus lies on the equipment used in telecommunication and data center hardware, with analyses conducted for mobile communications (antennas, radio and baseband), network coordination (switches, routers, or gateways), and wired data transmission technology (optical transponders and multiplexors).

Team Leader: Dr. phil. Lutz Stobbe

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Fiber Optic cables connected to optic ports and UTP, Network cables connected to ethernet ports.
© xiaoliangge - stock.adobe.com

Life Cycle Modeling


Lifecycle assessments (LCA) and environmental assessments not only help quantify a product's environmental impact. They also inform and guide meaningful ecodesign that can cover the crucial hotspots in the product's operational life and beyond. The Lifecycle Modelling group can contribute its competences for the entire life of individual electronic components or complete products and systems.

Team Leader: Dipl.-Ing. Marina Proske

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View of a Technology ecologic interface with icon displayed on a technology interface
© Production Perig - stock.adobe.com

System Reliability Assessment


In transdisciplinary teams, we develop innovative, customer-oriented solutions for robust, energy-efficient and sustainable electronic systems. We ensure their reliability through application-specific system design, qualification, weak point analysis and optimization both at the system and technology level.

Team Leader:
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Wagner
Dr.-Ing. Johannes Jaeschke

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Machine Deep learning algorithms, Artificial intelligence (AI), Automation and modern technology in business as concept.
© Fraunhofer IZM

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Projects of the Department of Environmental and Reliability Engineering


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