In the second year of the programme you will continue to acquire essential skills and knowledge. As in the first year, your projects will be strongly embedded in the theme of each module.
During this fifth module you will learn about the principles of modelling and analyzing dynamic systems. Using basic principles, such as conservation laws and continuity relations, you will learn how to make a fairly realistic description of a system, or part of a system, by using a mathematical model. First you will get familiar with these principles through various examples taken from mathematics and physics. Then, using advanced mathematics and simulation techniques, you will study how to predict the behaviour of these systems. You will also learn how to analyze signals and models in the field of frequency, as systems can react very differently at different frequencies. You will discover how signal response is used to research system dynamics, how to solve linear differential equations using the description of signals in time and frequency, and how to describe and analyse stochastic signals.
In your team project during this module, you will design, build and test a measuring device. This allows you to apply all the knowledge on modelling and signal processing that you will have acquired during the module. Check the video below for an example of a measuring device built by Advanced Technology students.
During the sixth module, you are able to choose between the following modules.
a) Materials Science and Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering will familiarize you with the relations between the basic properties of materials and their functional application. Every piece of equipment, after all – whether it is an electronic transistor, an artificial hip or a pair of sunglasses – combines the properties of different materials to achieve a certain functionality. In this sixth module, you will attend lectures on material synthesis and characterization, while also gaining practical experience. You will discuss the mechanical, thermal and dielectric properties of materials.
In the second part of the module, you can choose a theme. For instance, you can focus on physics/electrical engineering and the use of charged particles manipulation in semiconductor applications. Alternatively, you might focus on the chemical aspects of materials, delving into catalysis, or the wetting of liquids in contact with materials – a field that is vital to many technological applications, such as print technology and self-cleaning surfaces.
b) Transport Phenomena
Transport Phenomena will teach you how to apply the fundamental aspects and basic equations for describing impulse, mass, and energy transport to situations in the real (engineering) world. The ability to formulate and resolve conservation laws (balances) is a core competence for (chemical) engineers. In the modelling project you will be immediately applying what you have learned. By experimenting you will verify the models and identify any unknown parameters within them.
c) Systems and Control
The module dives into the world of engineering systems design. The behaviour by a system can be tuned by the right way of controlling a system. It allows to compensate for external influences. In the part on control engineering design strategies to arrive at optimal controllers is outlined. In the engineering system dynamics part a more intuitive approach to modelling mechatronic systems is developed which is closely connected to simulation software. However, be aware intuitive approaches work great the moment you know what you are doing. Models 4 and 5 give the excellent basis to understand the shortcuts. The knowledge of these parts is applied in a mechatronics project, like building your own small Segway.
The module is completed with an electronics course which builds on the instrumentation part of module 4. You will experience that electronic components like resistors and capacitors behave very differently at higher frequencies. The ultimate goal of this part is that you are able to design, build and analyse your own 100 Mhz transmitter.
d) Software Systems & Introduction to Mathematical Analysis
In the Software Systems module, you will learn how to design and build software, from analysing the requirements to delivering a working programme. For the final project, you will programme a multi-player game according to a fixed structure.
Complex engineering problems – like describing a wing's airflow profile, or an electrical spool's magnetic field – require a 3D mathematical description. During the seventh module you will use this vector calculus formulations in the field of electromagnetism. You will learn more about fields (for example, vector and scalar fields), waves, electrostatics, magnetostatics and electrodynamics. The team project will be the final test of your knowledge and skills, as you design and produce an antenna that works as well as possible in the 100 MHz range. The design of such a complex system is aided by a finite element method analysis. To understand this method an introduction to the field of finite element methods and its simulation software is given.
The eighth module centres on the development and commercialization of a complex technological system. You will obtain hands-on project experience of the entire innovation process, from working on an initial technological idea to delivering a commercially viable product and/or service. You will learn key theories, tools and methods from systems engineering, entrepreneurship, innovation management, knowledge production and science and technology. You will be able to understand complex system design as well as the commercial, organizational and societal factors that are at least as important for success as the technology itself. Group work is a key element of the module, providing a substantial test of your capacity for effective collaboration, reflection and presentation skills.