Research Themes

The Faculty of ET has identified five research themes to stimulate and align the research within the five departments. The four departments of ME contribute to these 5 themes. For each research theme a landmark project is selected to stimulate focus and active collaboration.  

Health Technology

With this theme, the Faculty aims at the interface of technological and medical sciences to improve rehabilitation of patients with sensory or motor disorders, surgical interventions, characterisation of biological tissue behaviour and fluidic flows, and healthcare design (physical interaction and services). The landmark project of the Faculty within this theme is Biorobotics.

Biorobotics: Physical interaction between human and robotic devices. The focus is on support of human locomotion and surgical robotics (invasive and non-invasive). The Faculty has cutting edge expertise in modelling, designing and building robotic devices


Maintenance is vital in ensuring the availability, reliability and cost effectiveness of technical systems. The research in the Faculty ranges from physics of failure and condition monitoring to data analysis, maintenance process optimisation and logistic challenges. Integration of these disciplines is key as maintenance is a multidisciplinary and dynamic process, based on changes in both the system and its environment. The landmark project of the Faculty within this theme is Maintenance of capital intensive infrastructure.

Maintenance of capital intensive infrastructure: Predictive maintenance strategies for large assets (ships, trains, etc.) and infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) towards a circular economy. The strength of the Faculty is in the combination of expertise in both the logistics side as well as the physics of failure, combined with the design for maintenance to extend the lifetime of products.

Smart Regions

Urban development research to acquire knowledge on the life cycle of civil engineering systems and objects, including the initiative phase, the phase of conceptual or functional design, and the operation and maintenance phase, all in a societal and environmental context. Research concentrates on cyber physical systems in the field of construction management and engineering, transport studies and water engineering and management. The landmark project of the Faculty within this theme is Personalised Smart Solutions.

Personalised Smart Solutions: Smart solutions for cities and rural country such a way that each inhabitant of a smart region can experience the benefits of smarter society. The Faculty focuses on technological solutions for mobility and energy storage.

Smart Industry

Smart industry is about future-proof manufacturing systems which are smart, interconnected and make use of new manufacturing technologies. Innovations in the manufacturing industry are required to secure the welfare and wellbeing of the Dutch society. The Faculty brings together expertise in the field of robotics and high precision mechatronics, human centred design, virtual prototyping, predictive modelling, zero defect manufacturing, additive manufacturing, integrated life cycle management and new business models. The landmark project of the Faculty within this theme is Smart Factories for personalised products.

Smart Factories for personalized products: The Faculty integrates state of the art design, production management, full process modelling and new business models to achieve high performance and quality with cost-effective productivity, allowing small-series customization at large-series manufacturing cost level.

Sustainable Resources

The research in the Faculty is based on fundamental understanding and developing new technologies for sustainable resources (energy, water and materials). The focus in energy is on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage. For water the research is focused on the behavior and management of water systems and the physical and socio-economic aspects of water management.  Materials research aims at recovering materials from end-of-life products to be returned to the supply chain as input for new value-adding activity, and creating a value chain in which materials and energy are used at their highest utility. The landmark project of the Faculty within this theme is Materials and Recycling.

Materials and Recycling: Research focuses on energy and material savings (by new and improved separation methods and an increased use of sustainable energy), reduction of byproducts and scrap, and recycling of key components from waste streams (e.g. minerals from paper sludge, carbon black from used tires).