Thomas Weinhart

Research Interests:

I develop numerical methods capable of predicting the behaviour of complex multi-physics systems on different scales. I have extensive experience in modelling particulate materials, varying in size from nanometres (molecules) to micrometres (food/pharma powders), millimetres (sand) or meters (rock).

I am applying a multi-disciplinary approach to develop such solvers for a variety of systems: I have developed microscopic contact models for frictional, wetted and sintered particles as well as rheological laws for granular and atomistic flows. To solve these models, I have implemented a finite element solver and developed error estimators which I use for adaptive hp-mesh refinement.

I am cofounder and lead developer of MercuryDPM, an implementation of the Discrete Particle Method. Moreover, I have developed an accurate and efficient technique to analyse discrete systems and couple them with continuum models, MercuryCG. Both packages have unique features specifically developed to allow the simulation of real machinery, which has led to several industrial collaborations. For validation and calibration, I have developed close collaborations to several experimental facilities.

For more details and publications, see:


In 2017, I will start a new research line on modelling agglomeration processes (tabletting and sintering) of particulate materials. Agglomerates will be modelled using a mesoscale approach. Funding for this project has just been approved, and we are currently looking for suitable PhD candidates.

On 27th-31st March 2017, MercuryLab will offer once again its popular courses on C++ programming and Discrete Particle Simulations. More information can be found here.

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.

MercuryDPM 0.10 is now available here. New features: More complex wall 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!

"Transport Phenomena" (Module 6), of which I am teaching "Numerical Methods", was recognized/ rewarded as the best TOM module in Chemical Engineering during the informal closure of the academic year 2015/16. Furthermore, the Keuzegids Universiteiten has appointed the Chemical Engineering bachelor’s programme a ‘Top rated programme’ in its 2017 edition. Time to celebrate!