LAMD – Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design

Research at the Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design (LAMD) is focused on the design and experimental investigation of small scale turbomachinery for decentralized energy conversion. Typical applications range from small scale gas turbines, compressors for domestic heat pumps to high speed expanders for waste heat recovery using Organic Rankine Cycles. Particular emphasis is given to the domestic and the transportation sector.

Scaling laws for turbomachinery dictate increasingly small tip diameters and rising rotational speeds while lowering conversion powers. Hence, key research activities include thorough theoretical and experimental study of high-speed bearing technologies and their effect on dynamic rotor behavior. A particular emphasis is put on dynamic, gas lubricated bearing technologies. Furthermore the laboratory specializes in integrated mechanical design and optimization methodologies.

The LAMD seeks strong ties with industry as well as with other academic institutions connecting its research with “real world” problems through collaborative projects. From an educational perspective, links to the industrial world enable a vivid exchange of knowledge and ideas, and give the students an opportunity to work directly for outside sponsors.


© 2022 EPFL

LAMD and the SCI STI JVH Group granted by a Bridge Discovery Grant

— Prof. Jürg Schiffmann (LAMD) and Dr. Jan van Herle (JVH Group) were awarded with a highly selective Bridge Discovery grant for the project "Clean highest efficiency hybrid power generation". This 4-year project aims at experimentally validating a power generation system aimed towards decentralized building scale power supply, based on a micro gas turbine driven by solid oxide fuel cell exhaust heat (~800°C).

© 2021 EPFL

Keynote at the 4th Gas Bearing Workshop 2021

— Prof. Jürg Schiffmann has given a Keynote at the 4th Gas Bearing Workshop 2021, where he highlighted the advancement of research on herringbone grooved journal bearings applied to small-scale turbomachinery.

Cyril Picard © 2021 EPFL LAMD

Congratulation Dr. Cyril Picard!

— Cyril Picard has successfully defended his thesis entitled “Automated Design: A Journey Across Modelling, Optimization and Education” on Friday June 25th.

Jürg Schiffmann © 2021 EPFL

Prof. Schiffmann in CIS – “Get to know your neighbors” Seminar Series

— Prof. Jürg Schiffmann, Head of the Laboratory of Applied Mechanical Design (LAMD) took part in the CIS – “Get to know your neighbors” Seminar Series on June 21, 2021. His presentation, entitled “Steps towards automated design“ can be found on the CIS webpage

© 2021 EPFL/ /Alain Herzog

The secret to acquiring professional skills

— While it is important for students to work in groups during their studies, that is not enough for them to acquire many of the transversal skills needed in the professional world. A recent EPFL study highlights the need for engineering courses to explicitly address professional skills through a combination of theory and feedback.

Slow motion microturbine wheel

Falling liquid water droplet next to a microturbine wheel running at ~65 kRPM (~1100 revolution per second, 30% of the maximal speed of the turbine). The frame rate is 15000 fps