The basic topics developed by the Advanced design research group are related to fracture and /or damage mechanics of materials, both composite materials (short and long fibre reinforced polymer matrices) and special metal alloys and the effect of surface treatments on the fatigue behaviour of materials. All these topics are developed both by means of extensive experimental investigations – carried out in dedicated laboratories – and in-depth theoretical and numerical studies, involving the development of numerical models. The main focus is on increasing the system reliability, particularly in order to increase its fatigue life and to reduce the environmental impact (reduced noise emissions and higher efficiency).