NWO honours innovative high-tech research with grant for two PhD positions

News - 21 December 2017 - Webredactie 3ME

The HTSM project entitled ‘Stable and Adjustable Mechanisms for Optical Instruments and Implants (SAMOII)’ of dr. Matthijs Langelaar, professor Fred van Keulen and professor Just Herder from the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering has been honoured with a grant for two PhD positions by NWO’s Applied and Engineering Science (TTW) domain. In partnership with international and innovative HTSM companies, the PME researchers are focusing their research on the development of more stable and more easily adjustable (optical) instruments for the high-tech industry, aerospace and healthcare. The research focuses primarily on systems that will be made with ‘additive manufacturing’. The unique thing about this project is the symbiosis between the design methods and the numerical tool designs, in particular topology optimisation. The outcomes of this project will reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of implants, instruments and optical systems. 

Matthijs Langelaar

Fred van Keulen

Just Herder

Stable and Adjustable Mechanisms for Optical Instruments and Implants (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

High-tech manufacturing equipment typically involves high precision and high throughput. The rapidly increasing product diversity requires frequent repositioning and realignment of optical components that are part of this equipment. This tuning using adjustable optical mounts is currently a time-consuming manual process, because the motions are not decoupled. This leads to significant labor and downtime costs. Moreover, current mounts are sensitive to thermal and mechanical disturbances, and are not optimized for dynamic performance, which form limiting factors in production environments. These aspects are also crucial in aeronautics and space applications. Finally, current mounts consist of many components which challenges stability and increases cost. Monolithic design concepts are also paramount for adjustable medical implants. This project will realize cost-effective design techniques to create print-ready optimized 3D monolithic instrument mounts and other adjustable structures, realized by metal additive manufacturing (3D printing). This will enable mounts with much better performance in terms of thermal and mechanical stability, bandwidth, ease of tunability and cost.

Nano Engineering Research Initiative (NERI)

The ‘Stable and Adjustable Mechanisms for Optical Instruments and Implants’ project fits within the PME Department’s Nano Engineering Research Initiative (NERI). Researchers in this initiative work together with companies and knowledge institutes to develop new machines, materials and functions, in which the small length scale makes the difference. Read more about NERI.

The annual HTSM call by NWO’s TTW domain is a consequence of the top sector policy implemented by the cabinet. It is challenging researchers and companies to jointly develop fundamental knowledge for technological breakthroughs and innovative applications. This call is open for research proposals that fall within the 17 roadmaps of the HTSM top sector. These roadmaps are Advanced Instrumentation, Aeronautics, Automotive, Components and Circuits, Embedded Systems, Healthcare, High Tech Materials, ICT, Lighting, Mechatronics/Manufacturing, Nanotechnology, Photonics, Printing, Security, Semiconductor Equipment, Solar and Space.