Research on the understanding and improvement of design processes (and consequently also manufacturing processes). Design is an integrated part of engineering; focal point is the development of methods and tools for scenario-based, user-oriented product design against the background of the requirements and constraints of the entire product life cycle. 'Integration' and 'synthesis' are important topics for design engineering research, the focus is on understanding and improving the design process irrespective of the product. Research on how interactions between people and technology (embedded in products and services) influence cognition, affect and behaviour is strongly embedded in the research. A human-centred design approach is essential to make technology available for people.
Technology for future manufacturing processes and new products is developed by a science based engineering approach focused on material behaviour, unit operation, system behaviour, robust optimization and (model based) control. Manufacturing new products and/or developing new processes requires a profound scientific understanding of (functional) materials (e.g. elastomers, polymers, composites, metals, bio-materials) and their interactions throughout the complete life cycle: during design, production, use and after service life.
Modern engineering challenges concern the design and development of processes and equipment with high performance and minimal environmental impact, i.e. effective use of resources, energy and minimal generation of waste products and noise. The developments in theoretical, numerical and experimental fluid dynamics and thermal engineering are driven by applications in fields such as mechanical engineering, maritime engineering, aerospace engineering and process technology. Research themes are aero-acoustics, fluid mechanics of rotating flow machinery, multi-phase flows, transport phenomena, thermo-chemical conversion, sustainable fuels, turbulent combustion, heat transfer, cryogenic cooling and superconductivity.