No structure is indestructible. Time, environment, repeated use, and misuse all take their toll on everyday structures, taking advantage of their inherent weaknesses and bringing them closer to failure. This is not the most comforting thought when walking onto an airplane, or driving over a bridge, but it is a reality that structural designers must face; how do you design something that you don’t want to fail while accepting that it eventually will? The answer is: very carefully!

The challenge structural engineers are faced with is as follows. First, they must understand the raw materials and the level of engineering already applied in their creation. Second, they need to synthesize material behaviour and required structural function into a working design. Third, compromises in the working design need to be made to address manufacturability. Finally, all of this must be completed while continually assessing the impact on the durability and longevity of the final structure.

The Aerospace Structures and Materials (ASM) MSc track aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge and practical skills necessary to tackle this challenge in an industrial or research environment. From an educational standpoint, students will be exposed to a broad range of courses examining this entire process in the context of the design, manufacturing, and analysis of a composite aircraft wing. This will provide the foundation for subsequent specialization in one of the thematic profiles mirroring the steps in the design challenge described above: Material Analysis, Structural Analysis, Manufacturing, and Durability. From a research standpoint, students will have the opportunity to carry out high-level research and development in fields directly relevant to aerospace industry and that improve our capability to design the next generation of aerospace structures and materials. Thesis projects can be carried out with any of the research groups within the ASM department, regardless of the thematic profile selected by the student. Additionally, numerous opportunities exist to carry out research within industry under the close supervision of an ASM staff member.

The ASM Track is committed to making your MSc experience a memorable one. Next to offering a world-class education we also offer lots of opportunities to expand your horizon through industry involvement, visits and guest lectures. Our students have organized themselves in their own ASM student society, “Enlightness” which organizes lunch lectures, company visits, drinks and the annual ASM career event.

The track programme is built up of a common core of 15 EC followed by a selection from one of our 4 thematic profiles after which you can further specialise or widen your horizon by choosing from a large selection of electives. In the 4th period you complete your courses and work on your literature study in preparation of your thesis. In the second year you first go on your internship after which you will have an option to graduate within one of the four identified themes, which are not bound to a certain research group.

Our 4 thematic profiles are:

I. Materials – if your intention is to be involved in developing materials.
II. Structures – if your intention is to become structural designers & stress engineers
III. Manufacturing – if your intention is to work in a production surroundings and translate the needs of the designer to production and vice versa
IV. Durability – if your intention is to work for OEM, and regulators and design for and monitor the structural health of structures & materials or work as certification engineers or crash investigator.

More information about this Mastertrack can be found at the Master track website.

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