Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Design, Production and Management
Master programme Industrial Design Engineering

As part of his / her master assignment

Westerbroek, E. (Everhard)

will hold a speech entitled:

Integration of Computer-aided optimization into the conceptual phase of the design process of a bicycle helmet



Bicycle helmets are mandatory when competing against other athletes in organized cycling events and for sports used by more than 96% of the athletes. Helmets do start to appear in the street scene as well. The use of helmets increases the safety of the user by preventing over 60% of all head injuries. To stay competitive, innovation is the key. Therefore a lot of research and development is necessary to increase protection and performance. In collaboration with Lazer Sport, a Belgian bicycle helmet company and part of the Shimano Group, analysis and research have been conducted in order to find improvements in a helmet design.


The thesis focuses on creating a tool that integrates computer-aided optimization in the conceptual phase of the design. With the use of the tool, safety can become an integral part of the conceptual phase of design. This is done using safety parameters within the model that are based on testing methods. Instead of using a designers instinct for developing safe helmets, computer-aided optimization helps to design a structurally safe design, it also could result in geometries that are unconventional.


Within this process of optimization, the inputs are formed by the functional requirements of a helmet. This includes both functional requirements based on safety as well as other fields of designing a helmet. These fields are Design & Identity, Aerodynamics, Productions & costs and Comfort. The requirements are the variable inputs that can lead to different end results. The variable inputs are translated into a Siemens NX topology optimization plug-in. This plug-in translates these variables into a topology optimized model. This topology model is used to make design decisions or in the end, forms a basis for the realization stage of the design process.


The process of optimization is tested with the use of a design case. This process can be used as a tool for the future design process of Lazersport. The results of the design case could be further optimized and can form the start of a new road segment helmet.