Mechanics and Physics of Structures

Section description
Our scientific team aims at developing new physical insights and know-how in the field of mechanics and physics of structures by using a strongly interdisciplinary approach. Our general focus lies on two intertwined aspects:

  • different spatial scales: ranging from structural interfaces to large-scale structures.  
  • different timescales: considering short-term and long-term dynamic processes on structural performance caused by environmental and operating conditions, leading to damage, aging and degradation.

Our research strives to identify and improve the critical small-scale processes in the structural response that govern the lifecycle. We mainly employ analytical or semi-analytical approaches to extract new physical insights, supported by field, lab and/or scaled-model experiments.

When addressing larger structures and longer timescales, our aim is to propose new physics- and data-based modelling approaches and monitoring strategies aiming to develop efficient decision-making strategies for extending the residual life of structures, while minimising unplanned maintenance. In general, we address uncertainty and variability in our models to improve their predictive value. 

The main research themes of our group are:   

  • Time-variant mechanics of interfaces: experimental contact force and wear characterization, development and validation of analytical and phenomenological interface models.
  • Metamaterials: acoustic and vibration mitigation, metasurfaces to enhance or reduce friction, surface optimization.
  • Condition monitoring: damage characterization, destructive and non-destructive testing, innovative and efficient monitoring methodologies, and residual life assessment.   
  • Uncertainty quantification and data-driven analysis: grey-box models (combination of physics-based and data-driven models), uncertainty quantification (probabilistic and non-probabilistic), manufacturing variability assessment, model updating, sensors placement, decision making.
  • System-structure interaction: operationally and environmentally induced vibration assessment, source characterization, identification of interfaces and model embedding, short- and long-term dynamic processes.

We actively seek to collaborate with other sections within the Department of Engineering Structures, throughout the faculty and TU Delft as a whole, and with other groups in the Netherlands and around the world.

If you are interested in finding out more about our research, please visit our Publications page, or visit the individual research pages of our section members.


Scientific Staff
Dr. Alessandro Cabboi
Dr. Alice Cicirello (Head of the section) MichaĆ«l Steenbergen 

Research Assistant
Christos Lathourakis

PhD Students
Enxhi Sulollari
Jan Koune
Yi Zheng

Jacqueline Barnhoorn