Organisation profile

Introduction / mission

The chair of Applied Mechanics (AM) examines the mechanical and physical behaviour of materials and structures at various length scales.

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Creating new solutions for design and engineering in the built environment

Organisational profile

The chair has a strong international reputation in the modelling of failure (plasticity, fracture, damage, phase transformations) and deformation of advanced engineering materials. The research examines and couples the mechanical behaviour of materials and structures at various length scales (macro, micro, nano), in order to improve material characteristics (high strength and toughness, low weight) and to pursue optimal structural and functional performances of applications in the built environment.

The coupled modelling of the mechanical behaviour of materials with other physical processes, such as the diffusion of moisture and/or chemical species, heat conduction, air flow, finds relevant applications within collaborative PhD research projects. Examples are the chemical degradation of concrete sewer systems, the damage development of historical museum objects under varying indoor climate conditions, the optimization and durability of wind turbines, and the thermal resistance of steel structures. In addition, multi-disciplinary optimization of buildings is researched via a combination of conceptual design process simulation and computing science optimization.

Our research themes

The group’s research is concentrated around the following three main directions:

1. Modelling of failure and deformation at various scales

Failure and deformation of structures and materials are modeled at the macro, meso and micro levels, with the aim of understanding how small-scale (microscopic) information affects behavior at larger (meso and macroscopic) scales. Activities focus on the development of robust and accurate computational models that closely follow the physics of the problem, and obey rigorous mathematical principles characterizing the separate scales and their couplings.

Collaborations: Delft University of Technology, Rijksmuseum, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Cambridge University, Getty Conservation Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art

2. Multi-physics modeling of structures and materials

In multi-physics modelling systems and processes referring to more than one physical field are studied, and their interactive phenomena are characterized. The research includes the mathematical formulation of the physical processes, the numerical discretization into robust and accurate numerical implementations, and the application of models to relevant engineering problems in the built environment.

Collaborations: Rijksmuseum, Mauritshuis, University of Amsterdam, Cambridge University, Getty Conservation Institute, Building Physics group at TU/e, Delft University of Technology, Deltares, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Queensland University of Technology

3. Optimization of structures and materials

The optimization of structures and materials refers to the study of structural shape, size, phase distribution and texture at the micro scale (morphology) and structural shape and space at the macro scale (topology). The aim is to optimize the performance and interactions of materials and structures during operation and manufacturing.

Collaborations: Concrete Structures group at TU/e, Building Physics group at TU/e, Delft University of Technology, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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