Wim Desmet

“I fully believe in the support we offer companies to guide them on their path to the fourth industrial revolution”

Wim Desmet, Head of the research group ‘Dynamics and Mechatronics’ at the KU Leuven, heads one of four virtual Flanders Make departments, namely the one focussing on Mechatronics and Design Methods. Wim explains: “Within these virtual departments, several university research groups work together on a common topic. I already had experience with partnerships between companies and the university. I was, among others, involved with Flanders Make’s predecessors, Flanders' DRIVE and FMTC. So, for me it was the logical thing to do to remain active within Flanders Make.”

And Wim continues: “This interaction between the business and research community has always been a focus point of myself and our research group. I have a strong belief in organisations such as Flanders Make. Being part of this innovation network is a win-win situation for companies and research groups, it enables both to move to a higher level. And I like being able to contribute to this.”

“The interaction between the research groups and companies has shown that with eight roadmaps Flanders Make may initially have covered a bit too wide a range for the business community. It should be somewhat more specific. This strategic reorientation, Flanders Make 2.0 if you like, is now being implemented and should ensure a deeper focus and increased international visibility.  I fully believe in the future of the manufacturing industry and in the support we offer companies to guide them on their path to Industry 4.0. We are evolving towards a system in which the complete value chain will be supported digitally: from idea and customer requirement over production and after-sales service up to the final disassembly. Combine this with products that become ever more intelligent and you’ll have many ways in which to create added value. It gives me great satisfaction to cooperate to this through Flanders Make.”

 

Offering key technology

“Within my department, we want to be a guide for companies in the field of model-based systems engineering. With this, we try to capture the behaviour of a system as much as possible in (computer) models so that companies can get more out of their products and can make them more energy-efficient, improve their performances and/or decrease their noise level. We want to offer them key technology to be successful in this fourth industrial revolution.”

"For me, Flanders Make’s major added value is that, thanks to the synergies that we set up, we are able to demonstrate technology on vehicles and machines faster than we would have been able to do if we had worked as a mere research group. It is fascinating to see how our research results create new opportunities for companies. It is no wonder that many companies welcome our projects with great enthusiasm; I think, among others, of one of our projects in which we could calculate parameters that are difficult and practically sheer impossible to measure such as dynamic force and torque using targeted computing models and simple sensors. And, obviously, I fully agree with them.”

Wim Desmet

“I have a strong belief in organisations such as Flanders Make. Being part of this innovation network is a win-win situation for companies and research groups, it enables both to move to a higher level.”

Wim Desmet