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Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering education and research covers the key aspects of the complete product life cycle.

The overarching common theme of our research projects is “construction and design” of products with the focus on sustainability. We use scientific methods to solve both fundamental and applied mechanical engineering issues. The research topics originate from the close cooperation with our national and international industrial partners.

With a comprehensive Mechanical Engineering education at all levels, including Bachelor, Master, Doctorate (PhD) and Post-Doctoral education we prepare the young engineers for a successful career in academia or industry.

The Mechanical Engineering part within the DES divides itself in four research groups which cover the following topics: High performance manufacturing, Process engineering/chemical processes, Engineering design and product development methodology and Mechanical construction including biomechanics.

High performance manufacturing

The mission of theHigh performance manufacturing research team is to support industry to increase manufacturing competitiveness by investigating innovative assembly technologies and processes.

We aim for industrial applicability of the research results. In our pursuit of scientific excellence, we attract the best PhD candidates globally whom we provide outstanding work environment.

International cooperation, ensures the desired high level of both research and education

Our research priorities are:

 1) Laser joining of dissimilar materials:  we investigate joining material combinations, which are considered being non-weldable, or at least very difficult to bond thermally (eg. copper and aluminum, polymers and aluminum, steel and aluminum).

With temporal and spatial modulated laser energy we heat the materials in a very precise way to create the desired bondage of the dissimilar materials. We have different laser beam sources at our disposal to weld or braze samples and to ablate their surfaces.

2) Robotics research: our projects support the vision of versatile, automated assembly plants. To enable the migration towards robotic automation, we investigate cooperation of Human and Robot for assembly operations. With a special 3D camera, we generate the required knowledge about the changing work environment in order to redirect the robot dynamically. With the robot internal force sensors, we are able to distinguish contact states of robotic joined parts. Time variation of robot parameters, like stiffness and damping, enable stable assembly processes. The laboratory is equipped with industrial robots from KUKA and Fanuc.

3)  Lean Manufacturing Laboratory: the laboratory is composed of a complete manual assembly line. This learning facility is set up to assemble and disassemble complex products in 7 stations, including logistics, rework and quality control. We teach different lean management tools, like CIP, 5S, Kanban and educate Value Stream Method (VSM). The linked research eliminates waste along the intra-company supply chain based on lean VSM. In this project, we aim to optimize the use of resources along the complete value chain.

Peter Plapper, Claude Wolf, Slawomir Kedziora

Process engineering/chemical processes

Chemical or process engineering is the engineering of material conversion. It deals with biological, chemical and physical processes. On the basis of their knowledge of science and mathematics, chemical and process engineers develop functioning, economic and environmentally-friendly processes to convert raw materials.

Manfred Greger , Bernhard Peters

Engineering design

We oriented the major activities towards research and project-based teaching in 3D CAD modelling, numerical analysis and rapid prototyping using additive manufacturing. Our motto is project base learning at every level offered by the University of Luxembourg. We focus particular activities on two tracks, the first one towards CAD modelling, numerical analyses using finite element methods and structure optimisation, and the other on additive manufacturing technology.

Over the past years, many students completed their projects, including bachelor, master and doctoral theses, in our lab - Fab@Uni. They employed 3D CAD modelling and advanced numerical analyses to develop new products, validate them, and prototype using additive manufacturing methods. The laboratory was created in 2012, being a first-place dedicated to additive manufacturing at the University of Luxembourg. In the following years, we continue developing research and teaching in lightweight structures, biomechanical devices, implants, and additive manufacturing, further expanding the laboratory. 

Claude WOLFSlawomir KEDZIORA


Mechanical construction including biomechanics

The conception phase of a structural component is driven by intuition, experience and creativity though there are performant CAD-tools, helping the engineer today. In mechanical and civil engineering these software tools are available and are used at the University of Luxembourg. In a second step the structural component is calculated, i.e. subjected to static and cyclic loadings, assessed and eventually iteratively redesigned. Finite element method is used for all types of stress calculation in statics and dynamics. Multiple-body-systems dynamics are used for kinematic and dynamic analyses and fatigue assessment is done.

Two projects with EUROCOMPOSITES were done to assess the fatigue strength of honey-comp lightweight aluminum sandwich panels. The first one (PhD-thesis of Josef Bauer) investigated the fatigue strength of the cover plates, whereas the honey-comb core was analyzed in a second one (PhD-thesis of Laurent Wahl). In a project with company ROTAREX a high pressure aluminum valve for fluctuating high pressure hydrogen in automobile applications was conceived with the help of autofrettage.
Biomechanics may be considered as a special application where a special short term hip-prosthesis (PhD-thesis of Thomas Thielen) was developed with finite element simulations, after the muscle forces were calculated with specialized multi-body-systems dynamics. In a second project a new measuring device for the human tibio-femoral rotation in the knee (PhD-thesis of Simon Njiengoué/Nuemann) was built and analysed.

Stefan Maas