The Faculty of Engineering Technology has identified five research themes to stimulate and align the research within the five departments. For each research theme the societal challenges, research facilities and example projects are described.
Among the cornerstones of a society in transition are reliable, available, and cost-effective technical systems. By controlling functional performance, asset & maintenance engineers can support operational systems against uncertainty, fostering both a resilient and a circular use of precious resources.
SAFEGUARDING RELIABLE, AVAILABLE, COST-EFFECTIVE TECHNICAL SYSTEMS
We focus our asset & maintenance engineering work at the Faculty of Engineering Technology on capital-intensive infrastructures. The work includes predictive maintenance strategies for large assets, process industry, and infrastructure in a circular economy. We encourage a multidisciplinary approach to maintenance engineering, delving into the physics of failure and condition monitoring to data analysis, maintenance process optimisation, and logistical challenges. All of this is set in a double context of education and research.
Collaboration is fundamental: we partner with UT’s Asset Management and Maintenance Innovation Centre and the ‘Asset Management and Maintenance’ department of the Netherlands’ Royal Institute of Engineers, KIVI, alongside other faculties and national and international universities. Our research groups are aligned with UT’s drive towards a sustainable society, prioritising several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 9, ‘Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure’.
Manufacturing the goods people and society need in intelligent ways is a key to improving sustainability. In fact, smart manufacturing can help us to tackle many societal challenges, from climate change, resource scarcity and social welfare to global competition and profitability issues.
BUILDING INTELLIGENT MANUFACTURING SOLUTIONS TO ADVANCE SOCIETY
In the search for intelligent manufacturing solutions, the Faculty of Engineering Technology fuses knowledge of future-oriented processes with the unique ability to design, test, and integrate solutions across a variety of product, process, and system-level applications. We do this in close collaboration with many hands-on industrial partners. By seizing digital opportunities, we strive toward solutions that impact productivity, flexibility, and sustainability. In combination with tailored data acquisition, we´re establishing digital twins that enable advanced planning and operations in manufacturing, for example through model-based inline control of processes and systems. Our work contributes to several United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 9, ‘Industry, innovation, and infrastructure’, and SDG 12, ‘Responsible consumption and production’.
Personalised health technology is transforming healthcare in many ways. This revolutionary technology targets precise individual needs, making medical treatment both more effective and more accessible, thereby supporting public health and the well-being of our society.
A MEDICAL REVOLUTION WITH PERSONALISED HEALTH TECHNOLOGY
Operating where technological and medical sciences meet, our faculty’s work in the field of Personalised Health Technology centres on real-world health applications that target the needs of both patients and health professionals. Our teams support projects like disease prevention and detection, improved rehabilitation, surgical interventions, characterisation of biological tissue and fluidic flows, and healthcare design, including physical interaction and services.
With solutions like these, we are blazing new trails into the future of healthcare. Personalised health technology helps people to stay healthy, helps clinicians identify which diseases individuals are prone to, making diagnoses faster and minimising the effects of disease.
Our work on Personalised Health Technology ties in with the United Nations’ 3rd Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): ‘Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being’.
In an interconnected and digital global society, even small disruptions can have far-reaching impacts. A society that faces complex challenges demands solutions not seen before: today’s engineers must engage in developing ‘anti-fragile’ systems that are prepared for the unexpected and become stronger under stress.
RESILIENT SOLUTIONS FOR A CONNECTED WORLD
We embed Resilience Engineering in a triple context of education, fundamental research, and beneficial real-world solutions that make our society stronger, safer, and more sustainable. At ET, we focus on remodelling energy, water, and transport infrastructure networks and supply chains. Within this framework, we prioritize integrative approaches. These include systems engineering and integration, nature-based solutions, water footprint assessment, decentral and decarbonised energy systems, and circular constructions for served and under-served communities.
As we work towards resilient solutions, we place people and the planet at the centre, linking to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, including the 9th: ‘Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation.’
Over three earths would be needed to meet the material, water, and energy demands of today’s global population if we continue to live the way are doing, according to UNICEF data published in 2022. Reducing our environmental footprint is a vital step toward a better future for all. Within our research theme sustainable production, energy, and resources (SuPER), our faculty faces this challenge head-on.
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS MUST BE THE GOLD-STANDARD
Sustainable Production, Energy, and Resources (SuPER) at the ET faculty centres on exploring multidisciplinary approaches to sustainable ways of living. These include design processes, material development, and smart energy and resource integration. Our research focuses on assessing resource use, promoting sustainable energy in all forms, and understanding material flows.
From this research, we look to develop and implement real-world solutions. Examples include databases for water and land use of global crop production in high spatio-temporal resolution; circular products and systems; and parametric and prospective life cycle assessment methodologies for emerging technologies.
Through this work, we can foster a society founded upon circular resource management and sustainable solutions. SuPER contributes to several United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6: ‘Clean water and sanitation’, SDG 7: ‘Affordable and clean energy’ and SDG 12: ‘Responsible consumption and production’