ERC Advanced Grant for Chiara Bisagni

The European Research Council has awarded an ERC Advanced Grant to Chiara Bisagni, Full Professor of Aerospace Structures and Computational Mechanics at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering TU Delft. The European grant enables internationally established research leaders to conduct a five-year research project. In her research proposal called NABUCCO Prof. Bisagni will embrace the effect of buckling - generally avoided in aerospace engineering as it can cause damage to materials and structures - as a design opportunity to develop composite structures that can adapt their shape to flight conditions. These adaptive concepts can significantly reduce the structural weight of aircraft, implementing wing morphing capabilities, and increase their efficiency, contributing to sustainable aviation.

The NABUCCO-project

In the NABUCCO project Prof. Chiara Bisagni develops radically new concepts of adaptive and buckling-driven composite structures for next generation aircraft. In aeronautics, buckling is generally avoided because it causes stiffness reduction, large deformations and can result in a catastrophic collapse. Instead, NABUCCO considers buckling no longer as a phenomenon to be avoided, but as a design opportunity to be explored for its groundbreaking potentialities. The idea is to use buckling drawbacks in a positive way, to conceive, design and realise adaptive structures and aircraft morphing wings. These new, lighter, flexible structures will be designed considering all the potentialities offered by composite materials, thanks also to novel manufacturing processes. Bisagni will also change the boundary conditions in order to govern when buckling occurs. This will enable her to obtain different new non-traditional post-buckling stable configurations. These structures will be able to adapt their shape during different flight conditions, acting on two of the biggest levers for the future of clean aviation: reduced weight and increased efficiency.

For NABUCCO Bisagni will develop radically new design, analysis and optimisation methods based on novel analytical formulations, artificial intelligence techniques and an integrated and multi-disciplinary design approach.

Knight in the Order of the Star

Professor Chiara Bisagni is an AIAA Fellow and a ’Knight in the Order of the Star of Italy’. She contributes a great deal to scientific collaboration between Italy and the Netherlands. She is the second female scientist at TU Delft to be awarded an ERC Advanced Grant.