The discipline Mechanical Engineering envisions a future society and industry that are able to realise value creation making use of sound, efficient and sustainable technology. The objective is to generate fundamental knowledge and to translate this knowledge into solutions for complex multidisciplinary technical problems to achieve the sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations, such as sustainable industrialization and production, increased energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, good health and to foster innovation. With excellent research and education the University of Twente has obtained leading positions in there important domains, i.e. Sustainable Energy, Smart Manufacturing and Robotics for Personalized Healthcare. Our fundamental strengths in these domains are in energy technology, materials and production process modelling and precision engineering.
We want to reinforce our strengths by investing in the following research core values (zwaartepunten) that form the basis of these domains:
- We aim to structurally strengthen our leading position in Transport, Conversion and Storage of Heat. To balance the supply of energy with the consumption, heat storage is required on different time scales (including daily and seasonal storage). For this purpose compact heat storage systems have to be developed making use of phase change materials and reversible thermochemical reactions.
- Manufacturing of Functional Material Systems. We are strong in additive manufacturing as well as in forming of metals and thermoplastic composites, machine dynamics and control. The focal point or this core value is on fundamental understanding and modelling of material in production processes for engineered structures with special emphasis on the relation between production conditions and the product’s mechanical properties.
- Next Generation Structural Materials. The focal point is a deep understanding of engineering materials design by multiscale computational analysis and data analytics.
- Smart Supporting Robots. Robots have to interact safely with humans, be it in an industrial setting, in agriculture or in homecare situations to support elderly. Flexibility of the robot not only applies to the control architecture but also to the mechanical structure. We are leading in the field of bio-robotics and we will strengthen our leading position by increasing and extending our expertise in the fields of bio-robotics, manufacturing and agro & food. Of key importance is the interaction of the robotics system with its surroundings.