Join Us

Looking for a challenging and practical Master Thesis topic ?

Our team offers topics to make your Master thesis in our MaTCh department at UGent.
Get advantage of developing your thesis project with us:

  • Put in practice essential concepts of mechanics and composite materials
  • Learn state-of-the-art CAE simulations demanded by industry
  • Combine simulation and experimentation
  • Cooperate and interact with companies

Here there are some examples of successful Master thesis topics developed in our team:

Strength and elasticity of automotive composite materials under high deformation rates

This master thesis investigated the strain-rate effect on polymers and composite materials for automobile components. The study utilized a hydraulic pulse machine to conduct tensile tests at varied strain rates. A new isotropic strain-rate dependent model that incorporates anisotropic properties to represent fiber effects was initiated in this thesis. The model was validated against experimental tests and used to simulate fracture in a car component under impact. This thesis was supported by Arkema, BATZ and Leartiker.

Delamination and fracture process in advanced composite materials used in aerospace and automotive industry

In this master thesis a method was developed to evaluate the fracture toughness of materials, whether pure or composite, under quasi-static or dynamic loading that causes crack growth. The implementation utilizes data from FE modeling or experimental Digital Image Correlation (DIC). A multi-scale FE simulation with a micro-scale orthotropic model to inspect the micro-failure mechanisms in composites was created. These developments allow for a detailed correlation between the real-time evolution of fracture energy and the stress at each material point, as well as comprehensive tracking of dynamic crack progression. This work was published in Journal of Mechanics and Physics of Solids .

Experimental and numerical characterization of impact on composites for automotive applications

This master thesis explored the impact resistance of Carbon/Epoxy and Glass/PA6 composites to out-of-plane forces in compliance with ASTM D7316 standards. A drop tower test setup delivered varied impact energies for experimentation. Numerical simulations were carried out using an explicit FE solver, integrating a custom Hashin-Puck material model to predict intraply (within plies) damage. Interply damage (between plies) was modeled using cohesive zone models. This work was supported by the M3Strength project, led by Siemens and funded by SIM Flanders, with materials provided by TenCate and HONDA.

Combined numerical-experimental development of a composite bi-stable blade for portable wind turbines

In this thesis the bi-stable behavior of Carbon/Epoxy composites is used to produce a small-scale wind turbine blade capable of rolling up into a coil. This property is unique to composites with an anti-symmetric layup. Starting from a simple cylindrical slit tube, the blade geometry was optimized through finite element simulation and experimental validation. Instead of an extensive mathematical deduction, the influence of each parameter is analyzed by successive numerical simulations. The focus lies on limiting the force necessary to trigger the bi-stability while maintaining a level of stiffness fit for operating in normal to high wind conditions.

Impact-proof battery casing for electric cars made of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites

This thesis investigated the impact resistance of a battery casing for electric vehicles after replacing metal elements by fiber-reinforced thermoplastic, with the aim of reducing its weight as much as possible. Focusing on crashworthiness, FE simulations were used to optimize the design for impact energy absorption without compromising the integrity of the battery. This research, conducted in collaboration with automotive industry partners Leartiker and Yesilova , has informed future product designs by offering insights into fracture mechanics and valuable CAE simulation practices.


Mechanics of Materials and Structures research group
Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Ghent University
Tech Lane Ghent Science Park – Campus A Technologiepark Building 46
B-9052 Zwijnaarde (Ghent)

Scan to obtain the indoor route