Thomas Weinhart

Research Interests:

I am Assistant Professor in the Multiscale Mechanics group, part of the Faculty of Thermal and Fluid Engineering in the Department of Engineering Technology and the Institute for Nanotechnology, MESA+.

I develop numerical methods capable of predicting the behaviour of complex multi-physics systems on different scales. Specifically, I have extensive experience in modelling particulate materials, varying in size from nanometres (molecules) to micrometres (food/pharma/3D printing powders), millimetres (sand/soil) or meters (rocks). I have multi-disciplinary interests in this line of research, from numerical solvers, analytical modelling and granular physics to engineering applications.

I have developed microscopic contact models for frictional, wetted and sintered particles, as well as rheological laws for granular and atomistic flows and mixtures. My students work on applying these models to avalanche flows, 3D printing, tableting, extrusion, and many other applications.

To apply and validate these models, I cofounded MercuryDPM, an implementation of the Discrete Particle Method, of which I am the lead developer. As part of this software, I have developed an accurate and efficient technique to analyse discrete systems and to couple them with continuum models, MercuryCG. I further implemented a finite element solver and developed error estimators for hp-adaptive mesh refinement.

MercuryDPM has unique features specifically developed to allow the simulation of real machinery, which has led to several industrial collaborations. For experimental validation and calibration, I have developed close collaborations with several external partners.

For more details and publications, see:


In 2017, I have started a new research line on modelling agglomeration processes (tabletting and sintering) of particulate materials. Agglomerates will be modelled using a mesoscale approach.

MercuryDPM is available here. New features: More complex shapes and Lees-Edwards boundaries; reorganisation of the source files; and a better build system (cmake). Have fun with it, and, as always, give us feedback!

The University of Twente will proudly host the 8th conference on Discrete Element Methods in August 2019. I am co-organising the event with Anthony Thornton, Stefan Luding, and Donna Fitzsimmons.

In March 2018 MercuryLab will offer once again its popular courses on C++ programming and Discrete Particle Simulations. More information can be found here.

"Transport Phenomena" (Module 6), of which I am teaching "Numerical Methods", was recognized/ rewarded as the best TOM module in Chemical Engineering in 2017. Furthermore, the Keuzegids Universiteiten has appointed the Chemical Engineering bachelor's programme a "Top rated programme" for the fifth consecutive year. Time to celebrate!