Chair of Applied Mechanics and Design

The chair of Applied Mechanics and Design (AMD) has a strong international reputation in the modelling of failure (plasticity, fracture, damage, phase transformations) and deformation of advanced engineering materials. The research examines and couples the mechanical behaviour of materials at various length scales (macro, micro, nano), in order to determine optimal material characteristics (high strength and toughness, low weight) for challenging applications in the built environment. The coupled modelling of the mechanical behaviour of materials with other physical processes finds relevant applications within collaborative PhD research projects, such as on the chemical degradation of concrete sewer systems, the damage development of historical museum objects under varying climate conditions, the optimization and durability of wind turbines, and the thermal resistance of steel structures. In addition, multi-disciplinary optimization of buildings is researched via a combination of conceptual design process simulation and computing science optimisation.

Research Areas of Applied Mechanics and Design

Modelling of failure and deformation at various scales 

  • Modelling failure and deformation of structures and materials at various scales for understanding how small-scale (microscopic) information affects the behaviour at larger (meso and macroscopic) scales. The activities focus on the development of robust and accurate computational models that follow the physics of the problem closely, and obey rigorous mathematical principles characterizing the separate scales and their coupling.

Multi-physics modelling of structures and materials 

  • Modelling processes characterized by the interactive phenomena originating from multiple physical processes, such as thermo-mechanical processes that define the failure response of metals under varying temperatures, or thermal-chemical-mechanical processes that define the fracture behaviour of brittle coating systems under thermal oxidation.

Morphology and topology optimization

  • Studying structural shape, size, phase distribution and texture at the microscale (morphology) and structural shape and space at the macroscale (topology) for optimizing the mechanical properties and interactions of materials and structures.