SIM² KU Leuven is happy to share the wonderful news that its EU MC-ITN EREAN colleague at the Technical Unversity of Darmstadt (Germany), Prof. Oliver Gutfleisch, has been granted a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant on magnetocaloric cooling. The project acronym for this ERC Grant is “Cool Innov”: Turning the concept of magnetocaloric cooling on its head. Following the ERC Grant for EREAN coordinator Prof. Koen Binnemans, the  EREAN team now hosts two ERC Advanced Grant holders.

Cool Innov

Twenty years of research in magnetocaloric materials have not resulted in a breakthrough leading to more efficient refrigeration, with a commercially viable technology that could satisfy the urgent global need. The Cool Innov project will attempt to achieve this step change by rethinking the whole concept of caloric cooling. Prof. Oliver Gutfleisch from Technische Universität Darmstadt will reconsider the conventional idea of squeezing the best out of magneto-structural phase-change materials in relatively low magnetic fields, introducing a second stimulus in the form of pressure. Prof. Gutfleisch’s team aims to develop new magneto/mechanocaloric materials and start to fabricate novel heat-exchanger structures of complex geometry using 3D printing. The success of the project promises to be game-changing, possibly initiating a revolution in cooling technology with a huge positive impact on global energy consumption.

Key data ERC Grant

  • Project: Turning the concept of magnetocaloric cooling on its head – (Cool Innov)
  • Researcher: Oliver Gutfleisch
  • Host institution: Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • ERC funding: € 2.5 million for 5 years


Prof. Oliver Gutfleisch

Prof. Dr. Oliver Gutfleisch is a full Professor for Functional Materials at TU Darmstadt and a scientific director at Fraunhofer IWKS. His scientific interests span from new permanent magnets for power applications to solid state energy efficient magnetic cooling, ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, magnetoelastomers for adapted damping and actuation, magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications, and to solid state hydrogen storage materials with a particular emphasis on tailoring structural and chemical properties on the nanoscale.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Gutfleisch is also the PI for Fraunhofer in the EU MC-ITN EREAN project on rare-earth recycling of magnets.