Emanuela Bosco rewarded with ERC Starting grant

Emanuela Bosco. Photo: Angeline Swinkels

Emanuela Bosco (Associate Professor in Applied Mechanics at the Department of the Built Environment, TU/e) has been awarded an ERC Starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC) worth 1.5 million euros with the project VANGOGH. The project VANGOGH aims to integrate advanced computational and experimental mechanics strategies into the field of cultural heritage conservation.

Canvas paintings are an invaluable cultural legacy, holding artistic and historical value. At the same time, however, from an engineering perspective, canvas paintings are sophisticated multiphase hierarchical systems subjected to complex loading conditions triggered by the interaction between multiple physical fields. This complicated scenario may ultimately result in different degradation mechanisms, including wrinkling of the painting surface, cracking, delamination, and flaking of the paint, which affect the appearance, integrity, and longevity of the artworks. Predicting the degradation of canvas paintings is thus not only one of the grand challenges in the field of heritage conservation but also a major and exciting scientific problem.  

The project VANGOGH aims to develop a multiscale modelling framework that can predict the instability, fracture, and degradation of canvas paintings. The modelling strategy will describe the complex time-dependent constitutive behaviours of paint and canvas materials and their influence on the degradation of canvas paintings while considering the coupling of moisture diffusion, thermal conduction, mechanical deformation, and fracture and instability mechanisms. The modelling framework will be fully integrated with novel multiscale experiments combining quantitative mechanical testing and in-situ microscopic observations to characterize the response of original paint and canvas samples from masterpieces. This synergetic computational-experimental strategy will allow to quantitatively predict the degradation and the lifetime of historical canvas paintings. Beyond the theoretical challenges, the project VANGOGH will generate crucial knowledge for conservators to support informed conservation decisions and preventive conservation policies for museum collections.

V. van Gogh, Olive Trees (1889). Detail of the surface showing cracking mechanisms in the paint layer. Images elaborated from  https://nelson-atkins.org/fpc/post-impressionism/738/

Micro-mechanical test of an individual fibre from the canvas of the Night Watch, Rembrandt. Picture by Dr. S. Maraghechi. Image of the painting from https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/SK-C-5

In Memoriam

Herman Wijshoff

It is with great sadness that we learned that our advisory-board member Prof.dr.ir. Herman Wijshoff passed away on 10 May 2023. Herman joined the advisory board of Engineering Mechanics in 2012 as a representative of Océ (Canon Production Printing since 2020), and he actively participated in many of the EM symposia. In addition to his position at Canon, Herman held the chair “Fluid Dynamics of Inkjet Printing” at Eindhoven University of Technology. With his infectious passion for the application of fundamental research in fluid and solid mechanics in advanced inkjet-printing processes, Herman was a driving force behind the collaboration between academic researchers and R&D researchers at Canon Production Printing. Herman played an important role in the development of many public-private research programs, such as MicroNed, NanoNextNL, and FIP. We will miss his insightful advice, his no-nonsense attitude, and his positive personality. Our thoughts go out to Herman’s wife Jacqueline, his daughters Veerle and Jenske, and their loved ones.

The Graduate School on Engineering Mechanics embraces all internationally important research groups that are active in the field at Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology , University of Twente and at the University of Groningen

The prime objective of the Graduate School is:

“To establish a national high-level scientific education
of PhD candidates and Post-Docs.”

The constituting research groups are:

  • Applied Mechanics ( Prof. dr. ir. A.H. van den Boogaard, Prof. dr. ir. T. Tinga, Prof.dr.ing. B. Rosic), Twente University, Faculty of Engineering Technology
  • Production Technology (Prof. dr. ir. R. Akkerman), Twente University, Faculty of Engineering Technology
  • Multiscale Mechanics (Prof. dr. rer-nat. S. Luding), Twente University, Faculty of Engineering Technology
  • Soil MicroMechanics (Dr. ir. V. Magnanimo), Twente University, Faculty of Engineering Technology
  • Surface Technology and Tribology (Prof.dr.ir. M.B de Rooij), Twente University of Technology, Faculty of Engineering Technology

  • Micromechanics (Prof.dr.ir. E. (Erik) Van der Giessen & Prof.dr.ir. P.R. (Patrick) Onck), University of Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Computational Mechanical and Materials Engineering (Prof.dr. A.I. (Antonis) Vakis), University of Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Eindhoven University of Technology acts as the commissioner of the EM Graduate School, locating the EM Secretariat.