ASIM 3 - Actuators and Sensors with Intelligent Material Systems 3

Module Description

This class provides the students with advanced theoretical and numerical tools to simulate complex engineering systems based on smart materials. Two specific types of smart materials are discussed, namely Shape Memory alloys (SMA), and Dielectric Elastomers (DE). Building upon on the theoretical fundations previously studied in ASIM 2, in which only basic actuator configurations have been discussed, more complex types of smart material systems will be studied in this class. The investigated systems cover a wide spectrum of real-life smart material applications, ranging from protagonist-antagonist actuators and robots to less conventional devices such as loudspeakers, energy harvesters, and refrigerators. For each type of system, the operating principle is first discussed. Subsequently, systematic approaches to derive the constitutive equations are discussed. Each theoretical lecture is followed by a tutorial session, in which the developed system model is implemented in Matlab/Simulink and used to simulate the complex system response. At the end of the class, it is expected that the students have gained a deep understanding of the state of the art of smart material systems and applications, and are able to simulate and optimize smart devices of various levels of complexity.

The teaching material will be distributed by the lecturer during the semester.



  • Introduction to complex smart material systems
  • Brief summary of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) actuators and sensor systems
  • Brief summary of Dielectric Elastomer (DE) actuators and sensor systems
  • Multi-actuated smart material systems:
    • Protagonist-antagonist actuators
    • Conventional robots
    • Continuum and soft robots
  • Multi-physics smart material systems:
    • Suction cups
    • Loudspeakers
  • Energy applications of smart material systems:
    • Ferroic cooling
    • Energy harvesting

Additional Info

Responsible Instructor: Jun.-Prof. Gianluca Rizzello​

Assign to Departments: Systems Engineering

Semester: Winter Semester

Admission requirements: no formal requirements, although it is stronhly recommended to take ASIM 2 first

Type of Course: Lecture / Exercise/problem-solving class

Examination: Oral Examination and Project Presentation

Weekly Hours: 3 h/w, of which 2 h/w Lectures and 1 h/w Tutorials

Credit Points: 4