Academic Programs

DENS programme 2019-05-10T14:46:10+00:00

M2i programme will revolutionize advanced high strength steel production

Our partner Materials innovation institute (M2i) has been granted a new unique research programme that will revolutionise advanced high strength steel production. 16 PhD students, 2 PDeng students and 1 PostDoc will work closely together at TATA steel Europe to develop a fitting computational model to dramatically shorten time to market without compromising on steel production efficiency.

About the programme

The drive for lighter cars and less material in construction calls for the development of stronger steels. Complex, multi-phase, advanced high strength steels are exemplary for such purposes, however still require improvements in application performance and production yield. These modern steels require tighter control over micro- and nanoscale to achieve their properties. Consequently, such steels are less easy to produce demanding more knowledge and control over the production processes such as rolling and annealing. This initiated the Digitally Enhanced New Steel Product Development (DENS) programme, where fundamental science will directly benefit industrial application.

The key objective is to connect currently available state-of-the-art sub models in one through process model framework and to create simplified models, suitable for online control. The through process modelling chain will be calibrated by high throughput laboratory experiments at the production site, making it directly suitable for production.

Collaboration with TATA steel and Dutch Universities

This collaboration is with TATA steel Europe in Ijmuiden (the Netherlands), Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente and the Max Planck Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf (Germany).

16 PhD students will work closely together 70% of their time as a group on site at Tata Steel R&D in IJmuiden. Together they will build the digital twin. It is expected that many of the involved PhD students will develop extremely useful knowledge and skills across the process chain and at multiple length scales, which makes them very attractive candidates for top positions in steel industry. These are the projects that are being worked on.

  • Effect of Retained Austenite on macroscopic material behaviour
  • Microstructural aspects of damage and fracture for edge ductility
  • Edge ductility of AHSS in relation with localization and damage
  • Multi-phase interfacial models for multi-phase steels
  • Multi-field RVE simulation
  • Continuum modelling of recrystallization textures during CA
  • Prediction of local material response to welding
  • Modelling austenite decomposition: bainite, acicular ferrite, heat of transf. and effect of deformation
  • Austenite formation in steel: modelling and experimental validation
  • Dev. of a robust 3D model for the formation of martensite and associated stresses with a focus on dual-phase steels
  • Model dev. for softening in steel on a microstructural scale
  • Intergranular and interphase precipitation modelling
  • Model dev. for work hardening in steel on a microstructural scale
  • Full field simulation of Dynamic Recrystallization
  • Generic oxidation model of steels
  • Statistical Interpretation of microstructures


We have recruited 10 candidates for this DENS program. We took special care to select people that were able to work as a team as well as the best knowledgeable person for the single project. A total of 7 different nationalities have started on this new program and great advancement for the future in steelmaking.