Ragnhild Elizabeth Aune

Professor and Program Director at Materials Science and Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering Faculty of Natural Sciences
+47 91897663
Alfred Getz vei 2, Bergbygget * E-217

Background and activities

Research Overview

Dr. Aune’s research interests include Materials Process Science, which covers the study of high temperature reactions towards the processing, refining and recycling of different materials. The research strategy is based on gaining an understanding of the fundamentals of the different processes, as well as the kinetics of the relevant reactions. Focus is on traditional- and medical grade materials, as well as advanced materials like nano-materials, intermetallics, bulk metallic glasses and rare earth elements. Development of new process routes towards the synthesis of these materials, as well as for heat capturing from industrial processes and renewable/environment-friendly energy, is also an essential part of Dr. Aune’s research. 

In the area of metal production and recycling Dr. Aune is focusing on the identification of the different phenomena and mechanisms of interest for refining, retention and recovery of metal values, as well as modelling and verification in order to streamline processes/process steps, or for further development of the same. In order to meet the future product and process requirements of metallurgical industry her intention is to direct the research towards finding appropriate process routes in order to achieve new product features and/or production requirements. Multi-disciplinary approaches and new forms of cooperation are key components in Dr. Aune’s research.

The role of Materials Science in the treatment of cancer has also caught Dr. Aune’s attention, and efforts are made to improve the standards for eliminating side effects caused by deployment from and degradation of medical devices, as well as in identifying important criteria’s for evaluating loss of performance due to material-drug-biological system interactions base on in-vito simulations.

Through multidisciplinary research projects Dr. Aune has established scientific collaboration with a number of universities, institutes and industries both inside and outside of the Scandinavian countries. She is presently the main supervisor of 6 PhD student working within a divers filed of research all having connection to resource efficient metal production/recycling, new material design, characterisation of material properties, recovery of heat/energy during metal production, environmental impact etc.

Dr. Aune is the author/co-author of  > 100 journal publications with referee system, reports, books and conference proceedings, and 1 patent (the patented technology is licensed by Pyrotek – EMP Technologies Ltd., UK).


  • TMT4166 Experimental Materials Chemistry and Electrochemistry

Review of HSE and procedures for work in the laboratory. Measuring and analysis techniques with focus on:

  • Image analysis (optical and confocal microscope, SEM/EDX, SPM, AFM, TEM)
  • Surface analysis (AES, XPS, TOF-SSIMS, LEED)
  • Structural analysis (XRD, XAX/EXAFS, Raman spectroscopy, TEM, EELS)
  • Organic analysis (FTIR, GS/MS, HPLC, Raman spectroscopy)
  • Elemental analysis (ICP, XRF, PIXE, Optical atomic spectroscopy, CHN)
  • Failure analysis.

Thermal analysis (TGA, DTA, DSC and DIL in combination with MS), and X-ray diffraction (qualitative, quantitative, Rietveld, HTXRD). The general principles for measurement and control of temperatures will also be presented.

Error analysis with focus on uncertainty, accuracy, precision, resolution and reproducibility introducing Gauss' law on error propagation.

Dr. Aune’s role: One of several lecturers

  • TMT4206 Fluid flow and Heat Transfer, Introductory Course

Part 1: Introductory theory of mechanics, fluid statics, principles of fluid motion. Viscosity, Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, viscous incompressible flow. Mechanical energy balance and momentum balance in one dimension. Drag and pressure loss in pipes and fittings. Compressible flow in pipes and nozzles. Flow around complex geometries.

Part 2: Heat transfer: Fourier's law. Steady-state conduction. Forced convection heat transfer. Natural convection heat transfer. Radiation heat transfer. Transient heat transfer. One-dimensional heat transfer in semi-infinite bodies with finite heat transfer coefficient. Solutions for plates, cylinders and spheres. Two- and three-dimensional transient heat transfer. Numerical solutions to stationary and transient heat transfer problems by finite difference methods.

Dr. Aune’s role: Course leader, examiner and lecturer

  • TMT4276 Basic Thermodynamics

The course consists of a theoretical part, as well as practical tutorials. The theoretical part covers the first and second law, chemical equilibrium, colligative properties, thermodynamics of mixtures, phase diagrams, basic electrochemistry. The tutorials contain a review of the most important fundamental thermodynamic phenomena.

Dr. Aune’s role: Course leader, examiner and lecturer

  • TMT4326 Refining and Recycling of Metals

The fundamental thermodynamic, kinetic and technological bases as applied to refining of metals are reviewed. The origin of particles and impurities in metals are discussed. Issues regarding production, refining and recycling are very different for different metals depending on their chemical properties. Processes, unit operations and technology status for recycling of steel and aluminum as well as refining of aluminum and silicon for solar cells are used as examples in the course.

Dr. Aune’s role: One of several lecturers

  • TMT4330 Resources, Energy and Environment

Overview of the mineral based industry, its role in the world and outlines the sustainability issues facing the minerals based industry and how they might be addressed today and in the future. The exploitation of minerals and mineral products and the implications for sustainability of the consumption of finite mineral resources and the wastes associated with their production and use is examined. The course provides a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates the physical and earth sciences with aspects of the social sciences, energy, ecology and economics.

Dr. Aune’s role: One of three lecturers

  • TMM4852 Experts in Teamwork - Biomaterials: Body Parts of the Future

Experts-in-Teamwork is a course in which students apply their academic competence in interdisciplinary project work to learn cooperative skills that can be transferred to the workplace. Relevant issues from society and working life form the basis for the project work, and the student teams should work together with external partners. The student team must adapt the project that the team members choose, to suit their combined competence and the theme of the village.

This village focuses on issues like quality of life, health and materials technology/design. The main objective of the village is to convert ideas into research, and research into solutions.

To be successful in modern implant/device development extensive technological capabilities covering electronic-, mechanical-, material- and control technologies, along with the evaluation of medical implications, patient related outcome and the ability to attain the required level of reliability are required. The economic aspect related to the development of "new" concepts/solutions is also of importance. In other words, multidisciplinary alliances need to be formed to harness the diverse skills and technologies needed to deliver effective outcomes.

Dr. Aune’s role: One of three-course leaders and lecturers

Present PhD students (main supervisor)

  • David Dominikus Eide Brennhaugen, Design and Production of a New Soft Magnetic Glassy Material for Magnetic Applications
  • Daniel Perez Clos, Scaling in Heat Recovery Systems for Aluminium Production Off-Gas
  • Massoud Hassanabadi, Electromagnetically Enhanced Priming of Surface Modified Porous Media
  • Tianming SunRecovery of Rare Earth Elements from Industrial Waste
  • Ali TabeshianZr-Based Metallic Glasses as Biomaterials – Design, Production and Characterization
  • Maren Kirknes Fossum, Chemotherapy and Blood Induced Degradation of Surface Modified Intravascular Catheters

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications