Boom, Sanne van den

PhD Student

Sanne was born in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. After finishing high school, she moved to Delft for a Bachelor's in Industrial Design at the TU Delft, during which she was active as a teaching assistant in several mechanics courses.

Enjoying mechanics more than design, she decided to do a bridging minor to Mechanical Engineering, where she did her Master's as well. During her Master's, she did an internship project on topology optimization of electrode patterns on solar cells. She graduated cum laude with a project on topology optimization including constraints on the buckling load, working in the SOM group of Precision and Microsystems Engineering. Now, she is working on a PhD project on mechanical metamaterials.


Sanne's PhD project is on mechanical metamaterials, and the modelling thereof. Metamaterials are materials that obtain their bulk properties from a structure at a very small scale, rather than from their chemical composition. Extraordinary bulk properties, which are not normally found in nature, can be achieved, along with tunable or switchable material properties. Even smart materials, that are self-adapting and self-tuning, have been reported in literature.

In the field of electromagnetics, where metamaterials were first described, metamaterials are already well-known and used for their special properties in superlenses and antennas. The concept of metamaterials, however, extends far beyond the field of electromagnetics. In recent years, mechanical metamaterials have been receiving more and more attention.

Mechanical metamaterials open a new world of possibilities in a wide range of applications. Wave guides for acoustic, elastic or seismic waves offer prospects in cloaking devices, in noise and vibration control and in energy harvesting. Materials with negative Poison ratios are known to have applications in protective materials as well as shape memory materials, whereas thermo-mechanical metamaterials can be advantageous in high-precision applications.

Nowadays, the design of mechanical metamaterials is predominantly done by intuition, resulting in relatively straightforward designs and functionality. As metamaterials are especially useful for function integration in multi-physical situations, it is not always possible to create these designs by instinct alone. Especially where high performance is required, some optimization of the design will be imperative. Therefore, numerical design tools are needed to establish designs that are functional, and manufacturable.

In her project, Sanne aims to create these design tools, in the form of optimization algorithms. The focus in her research will be on the aspects of tuning of the material properties. In order to ensure the applicability and manufacturability of the designs, she will collaborate with the other research groups in PME; Mechatronic Systems Design and Micro- and Nano- Engineering.



  • Mechanical Metamaterials
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Buckling and Multi-stability
  • Topology Optimization
  • Multi-physics Modelling

Sanne van der Boom