The activities of the group encompass fundamental aspects of solid and computational mechanics applied for design of cost-effective, resource-efficient mechanical systems and products. The group has special research focus on analysis, design and experimental characterization of complex mechanical systems and products with high focus on lightweight designs including composite and sandwich structures, advanced finite element modeling and other computational techniques, advanced design optimization techniques, and vibro-acoustics and noise. The required integration of the traditionally distinct fields of multibody dynamics, solid and vibration mechanics, and systems control for design of mechanical systems is represented in the group competences.
Design of cost-effective, resource-efficient mechanical systems and products often lead to the use of advanced materials such as lightweight composite and sandwich structures. It is a key research area of the group to develop methods for analysis and design of composite and sandwich structures including better predictions of failure processes in composites in order to improve structural integrity and performance, including the manufacturing process in the design and analysis loop, development of data rich experimental tests for validating predictive models, and development of design-for-manufacturing concepts.
The systematic use of rational, computer based design optimization techniques is another key research area. Focus is on development of effective and rational methods for computer based analysis and optimization methods for design of load carrying structures where high performance, short development time, cost, and energy efficiency, often in terms of low weight, are some of the design drivers. The methods rely on efficient gradient based optimization formulations, and focus is on including all relevant structural criteria as well as other performance criteria and manufacturing constraints in the methods developed.
Energy efficient, high performance mechanical products and systems often lead to lightweight designs that may be prone to challenges regarding their dynamics performance. Therefore, vibro-acoustics and noise constitute one more key research area of the group. Analysis of generation and transmission of fluid- and structure-borne sound is based on advanced mathematical methods and models, which facilitate identification of scaling laws and, therefore, allow for tailoring/optimization of vibro-acoustic characteristics of mechanical systems. In the same generalised area, the group has built up experience in the field of transient dynamics and high-speed impact loads on structures over the last 15 years, with dedicated laboratory facilities for experimental studies.
Another research area is the dynamics and robot design. Focus is on the development of advanced mechanics principles (multibody dynamics, continuum mechanics, biomechanics) for the design and development of novel robots such as exoskeletons, continuum manipulators, parallel mechanisms, etc., to meet the increasing demands of robots for widespread applications in industry and our daily life. Moreover, focus is also on the optimization of robots, industrial manipulators and parallel robots, to make them lighter, faster and cost-effective.
The group is supported by well-equipped laboratories for static and dynamic testing and advanced characterization of structural components and mechanical systems. These are used for improved understanding of the performance, and for data rich experimental validation of predictive computational models of components and mechanical systems.