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Machine Design

With a background in computer-aided calculation methods, we have a research profile that supports simulation driven design. Our research areas are modelling, simulation and product development.


Machine Design has a longstanding history of cooperation, both national and international, with different companies. Since the start, on 1 January 1989, we have carried out research and education related to product development and we now have a well-established position in this field.

In 1994, we were selected by NUTEK (The National Board for Industrial and Technical Development) to start one of 30 competence centres that would operate for ten years. This attested to our success in the field of product development, and on 1 March 1995, the Polhem Laboratory began operating as the first NUTEK/VINNOVA centre of excellence in the country. Further confirmation of our strong position came 12 years later (on 12 March 2007), when, as the only leader of a successfully completed competence-centre programme, we also became the first to start a VINN EXCELLENCE CENTER, the Faste Laboratory, of which the focus is on functional products.

Parallel with the work of the Polhem Laboratory and the Faste Laboratory, the SIRIUS course has been developed. The course is intended partly for students specializing in design/product development in the Mechanical Engineering MSc programme but is also open to students in other programmes. In the SIRIUS course, product development projects are initiated and financed by our industrial partners, which gives students a unique insight into leading-edge industrial projects and provides them with an education that leads directly to employment. The companies not only receive assistance with the actual work of developing products, they also create a network for future recruiting.


Jan-Olov Aidanpää, Chaired Professor, Machine Design

Autonomous soil preparation and planting tested in the field

In the collaboration project Autoplant, participating parties have now demonstrated that it is possible to prepare land and plant completely autonomously. In September, the various partial solutions developed in the project were integrated on Luleå University of Technology's autonomous research platform.

First in the world with autonomous forwarding

The autonomous terrain vehicle that was designed and built at Luleå University of Technology can now also handle autonomous forwarding, ie collection and transport of round timber. It is the first time in world history that forwarding is done completely without human intervention. The researchers behind the successful trial see it as an important step towards more sustainable forestry.

Photo: Sofia Stridsman
Autonomous vehicle ready for the terrain

An autonomous terrain vehicle, designed and built at Luleå University of Technology, is now ready to be tested in the field. – It is a unique machine – there is no one similar in the world as far as we know, says professor Magnus Karlberg.