Dr.ing. R. (Roland) Schmehl

Dr.ing. R. (Roland) Schmehl



Roland Schmehl graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1994 and received a PhD degree in 2003 from Karlsruhe University. He continued his research on computational modeling of multi-phase flows as post-doctoral research fellow and then as propulsion engineer at the European Space Agency, investigating, among others, a start-up anomaly of Ariane 5’s hypergolic upper stage engine. In 2005, he started as software architect with TNO Automotive Safety Solutions in Delft, developing a simulation tool for airbag deployment, and in 2009, joined the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of Delft University of Technology as associate professor. Leading the pioneering Kite Power research group, he focusses on the multi-disciplinary challenges of airborne wind energy. In 2016, he co-founded with Johannes Peschel the university spin-off company Kitepower BV that develops a 100 kW kite power system.


Dr. Schmehl has been involved in many national and international research projects, including

  • NUMIWING (FP7-CIG-618159): Numerical modelling of inflatable airborne wind energy systems,

  • AWESCO (H2020-ITN-642682): Airborne Wind Energy System Modelling, Control and Optimisation,

  • REACH (H2020-FTIPilot-691173): Resource Efficient Automatic Conversion of High-Altitude Wind

  • VTOL (NWO-Takeoff-17015): Rigid Wing for Airborne Wing Energy

  • NEON (NWO-Crossover-17628): New Energy and mobility Outlook for the Netherlands

Public Professional Profiles


Dr. Schmehl’s areas of expertise are

  • airborne wind energy systems,

  • airborne wind energy resource and performance modeling,

  • flight dynamics of airborne wind energy systems,

  • aeroelasticity of flexible membrane wings,

  • multi-phase flows.

Starting with his work at TU Delft, Dr. Schmehl has contributed in many ways to the development of the emerging airborne wind energy technology sector. He organized the 6th International Airborne Wind Energy Conference (AWEC 2015) in Delft, and co-organized follow-up conferences in Freiburg (AWEC 2017) and Glasgow (AWEC 2019). He has co-edited and edited two Springer books about the airborne wind energy, published in 2013 and 2018, and is author of more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He chairs the technical committee “airborne wind energy” of the European Academy of Wind Energy (EAWE) and is a founding director of Airborne Wind Europe, the association of European airborne wind energy industry. He is member of the core team that launched the International Energy Agency’s Wind Task 48 on airborne wind energy in October 2021.


  • Book “Airborne Wind Energy” on place 10 of “100 Best Renewable Energy Books of All Time”, BookAuthority (2021)

  • Kitepower featured as one of the ten PostNL & TU Delft Innovation Stamps (2021)

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More media


  • 2021

    Innovation stamps

    This new stamp sheet from PostNL and TU Delft focuses on the innovative capacity of our country. The illustrations on the stamps refer to various innovations developed by scientists from our university in collaboration with the government and businesses.

    The 10 stamps of the Innovative Netherlands stamp sheet show a cheerful illustration about a special innovation project of TU Delft, made by cartoonist Erwin Suvaal.

    On the stamps is clearly shown that innovation can be found in a wide range of fields, ranging from energy saving projects, smart transport solutions and flexible production possibilities to effective water management and innovations in healthcare.

    To celebrate the launch of the stamp sheet we interviewed the people behind the innovations, you can read these stories below.

  • 2021

    Rhizome: Development of an Autarkic Design-to-Robotic-Production and -Operation System for Building Off-Earth Rhizomatic Habitats

    RB team of students and researchers in collaboration with partners from 3ME, CiTG, and AE at TUD have received a grant of 100K from ESA to further develop the Rhizome idea for habitats on Mars

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