In the first year, you will get to grips with the basics of this programme’s science and technology disciplines: from mathematics to thermodynamics and mechanics, and from atoms, atom structures and quantum mechanics to electrical networks. In each of the four modules you will gain more insight into the various professional roles and themes in your academic discipline while learning how to develop practical solutions to complex problems.
In your first year you will follow these four 10-week modules:
In the very first module you get to step into the world of technology. You will be introduced to various disciplines, such as statics and dynamics. You will soon discover the importance of knowing, and being able to apply, mathematical methods. Using so-called ‘lumped element models’, you will learn to render the more striking details of dynamic systems in your surroundings in simple models. For this module’s team project, you will apply your knowledge of mechanics by tackling a research question: your team’s task will be to produce a solid model description and to validate it with an experiment.
In module 2, you will learn all about thermodynamics and thermodynamic cycles such as engines, refrigerators and heat pumps. In the lab, you will get to work with various methods of heat transport. The mathematics you need to solve thermodynamic problems is another part of this module. You and your project team will design, build and test a thermodynamic system: a cooling installation you power yourselves.
In order to predict how materials and their properties will behave, you need to know more about the material's atoms and atom structures. The central theme in this module is the relationship between a material's properties and its structure at atomic level. You will be learning about quantum mechanics and materials at a molecular level. In your team project, we will challenge you and your fellow students to come up with a possibility for using a certain material for a new energy application. You will do this by looking at what others have found and drawing conclusions, as a consultancy firm would do. The influence of technological developments on society will also come into view here.
The project in module 4 consists of designing and applying an accelerometer. In the design of your accelerometer you will start by specifying the application range of your device, which will require a certain time and frequency response. This response is characteristic of a certain system and in the subject Dynamic Systems you will gain the necessary theory to mathematically model such a system. You can use such models to analyse the behaviour of systems – such as your accelerometer. The practical assignment in Instrumentation is designed to familiarize you with analogue electronics and signal processing. You will apply this knowledge in the project to develop the electronic readout of the accelerometer system.