The research activities are organized along 4 research topics: Energy Conversion; Advanced Engineering Systems; Structures and Vehicle Engineering; Food Technology and Wellbeing.
Energy conversion. The work will be oriented in the development of processes of energy production; valorization of biomass and wastes; bioremediation of soils and effluents; sustainable production of crops to bioenergy and biomaterials in marginal land, to limit the land use. Biomass combustion will focus on optimization of air supply staging while preventing or mitigating the ash sintering through the temperature control in the fuel grate and on the devolatization mechanisms of biomass. Furthermore a project is being organized to develop a gasification reactor combined with torrefaction. Enhanced heat transfer through jet impingement and the application of nano-fluids (NF's) in heat transfer for both the electronics cooling and energy systems will be developed by using NFs from "green routes" or biosynthesis. Optimization concerns the development of thermodynamic and economic models coupled with optimization techniques of energy systems.
Food Technology and Wellbeing. Food Technology will focus on innovation on food preservation: substitution of synthetic additives by natural ingredients; improvement of the mechanical and bioactive properties of biodegradable polymers; plant mechanisms designed to counteract fungus in order to prevent fungal infections. The effects of the different technologies applied to the food quality and safety, will be studied. Wellbeing will consist on the mechatronic design, development and production of assistive products, instruments, devices, equipment and systems useful for elderly and disabled persons, where the main goal is the improvement of their quality of life.
Advanced Engineering Systems. Highly skilled researchers in mechanical, mechatronic, fluidic and microfluidic systems design will develop their work on Advanced Engineering Systems mainly studying modelling, simulation, behavior analysis, development and construction of Cyber-Physical systems, on the context of Industry 4.0. Additionally, advanced micro/macro-cooling systems based on innovative NFs and acoustic streaming will be developed to accelerate the translation of NFs to many industries including microelectronics, transportation and renewable energy.
Structures and Vehicle Engineering. The research topic on vehicle engineering and structural development will focus on light-weight applications wherein weight reduction contributes to lower fuel consumption and reduction of emissions. Such approach encompasses a variety of studies dealing with: advanced numerical simulation tools, light-alloys, cellular materials, innovative cooling systems, high-strength steel and its applications; conventional, hybrid and electric vehicle development; vehicle-road modeling and simulation; accident reconstruction; development of hybrid and electric vehicles, namely through the use of computer models for vehicle simulation; development of computational tools for the assessment of accident reconstruction; development of devices to aid accident reconstruction; improvement of powertrain efficiency by waste heat recovery.