Structural Optimization and Mechanics (SOM)


The future will exhibit increasingly complex, 3-dimensional micro-/nanostructures and devices for precision equipment. This development is driven by increasing demands on efficiency, functionality and/or sustainability, requiring ever denser functional integration and complex 3D architectures. With continuing advances in (additive) manufacturing technology, designing these complex structures becomes the limiting factor, as design challenges exceed the capabilities of established design approaches. Thus, novel (computational) design strategies will be key enablers for the realization of these structures via a symbiosis of fundamental and multidisciplinary knowledge and advanced manufacturing technology


Our mission is to develop advanced and globally relevant (computational) design strategies and techniques. Focus is on structures whose functionality includes challenging mechanical aspects and are relevant to industry. Next to the development of new knowledge, our mission also includes transfer and dissemination thereof through education and training of MSc and PhD students, and by close involvement of industry.


Our objective is to establish internationally recognized, relevant design methodologies and (automated) design techniques, which are used in practice and have positive societal and economic impact. For methodologies, we aim to translate fundamental knowledge in unique and innovative designs and design procedures. Regarding automated design techniques, we aim to play a key role internationally in topology optimization for additive manufacturing.


The main pillars of SOM’s research program are mechanics and structural optimization. Topic wise, projects must link to the mission outlined above and should always exhibit challenges in terms of mechanics and/or structural optimization.