PROFESSOR, FACULTY OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING AT THE DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY & AND IN THE MATERIALS DEPARTMENT, CATHOLIC LEUVEN UNIVERSITY
Adriaan Beukers is a full-time professor of Composite Materials and Structures at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and a part-time professor for Engineering with Composites at the Materials Department of the Catholic Leuven University. He is also former director of research and development strategies at the Centre for Lightweight Structures. This Center was a collaboration between the University and the National Institute for Applied Research (TNO) privatized since 2005. Since 1977 he has worked on the design, analysis and ‘materialization’ of novel composite structures for the University and industry with clients including Airbus, Bombardier, Boeing and Extra. In 2003 he received and accepted the invitation to become Visiting Fellow of the Composites Centre of the Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. The Fellowship came with an invitation to do research on topics concerning sustainable composites as durable materials for lightweight structures. In 2006, his group received an award as ‘The most Entrepreneurial Scientific University Group of the Netherlands from the National Board of Universities (VSNU/Science Alliance) for its great numbers of patented innovations (> 50) and utilizations (> 25 spin off companies) in the field of novel composite materials, lightweight structures and manufacturing processes. Adriaan’s approach to materials and structures development highlights the importance of using minimum material and energy to achieve the optimum physical and mechanical properties possible in a structure. An active application of both function integration and segregation as a design philosophy led to unusual and successful composite designs ranging from ultra lightweight rescue bags, beer kegs, pressure vessels to aircraft fuselages. As an author of the book ‘Lightness’ (1998) and ‘Flying Lightness’ (2005), he advocates the study of nature’s organic structures as an inspiration for the development of man-made polymeric materials, which can be shaped, reinforced and pre-tensioned.