PhD position in Thermoplastic Composite T-Joint Welding Process Simulations

University of Twente
February 20, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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As part of the Dutch National research program Aviation in Transition, the Production Technology group at the University of Twente has a PhD position on the simulation of a novel assembly technique for thermoplastic composites in a T-joint configuration.

Thermoplastic composite materials are considered a prime candidate for the next generation of commercial aircraft. Compared to thermoset composites, these materials offer improved toughness, improved recycling opportunities and dustless assembly through welding. Traditional welding techniques typically involve melting, pressurizing and consolidating the interface between the parts to be assembled. The resulting interfaces are resistant to shear loads, but often sensitive to peel loads. The University of Twente and the ThermoPlastic composite Research Center have developed in the past years an alternative to produce stiffened panels based on welded T-joints. The assembly technique relies on the combination of the extrusion of a polymer into a filler shape connecting the locally heated laminate and stiffener. The developments have led to a lab-scale T-joint welding set-up. The next step in the evolution of this technology towards utilization is to develop process simulation tools in order to provide a relation between process parameters and T-joint performance.

We are looking for a PhD candidate to strengthen our research team. Your research focuses on the development of a simulation model for the T-joint welding process. The work includes characterization of the thermo-rheological properties of the composite and filler material, a critical evaluation of the process and boundary conditions, and the implementation of a thermo-mechanical finite element model including the required constitutive relations. Within the project, you will collaborate with other researchers and share your results with the industrial partners.

Your profile

You are a highly motivated researcher who is driven by curiosity and has:

  • a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering or equivalent,
  • experimental and theoretical skills in polymers and fiber reinforced composites,
  • experience with the finite element method and programming experience in scripting languages like Python or Matlab,
  • proficiency in English, both spoken and written (we require a TOEFL > 90 or IELTS > 6.5 score).
  • Our offer

    We offer a full-time 4-year Ph.D. position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:

  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, and 29 vacation in days in case of full-time employment;
  • A training program, where you and your supervisors will settle a plan for education and supervision;
  • Excellent laboratory and support facilities;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
  • Information and application

    Please submit your application before 18th of February, 2024 using the “Apply now” button, and include:

  • A cover letter of at most 1 page A4, explaining your motivation for the application, and why you qualify for this project;
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including contact information for at least two academic references;
  • Transcripts from your Bachelor and/or Master degrees.
  • Additional information about this position can be acquired from Wouter Grouve, [email protected].

    The first round of interviews will be held in week 10.

    About the department

    We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The UT is the only campus university of the Netherlands. We have a strong focus on personal development and hardworking researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

    We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more Grouve, W.J.B. (Wouter)

    Associate Professor

    Grouve, W.J.B. (Wouter)

    Associate Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Wouter for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Akkerman, R. (Remko)
  • Personal page

  • Warnet, L. (Laurent)
  • Personal page

  • Soudant, R.M. (Renée)
  • Personal page

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  • At the UT it's all about people, in line with our university's High Tech Human Touch philosophy. In everything we do, the well-being and future of our students and staff are paramount. From research and teaching to personnel management, campus management and the use of new technologies.

  • Our mission We are a university of technology
  • Our university is a public institution that serves society. We are accountable to society for the ways in which we use our academic freedom. We are responsible for ensuring that the power of science and technology is harnessed to achieve the best possible impact in a changing world. We cherish our rich tradition of combining technical and social sciences in our five profiling themes: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

  • Our mission We help to strengthen society
  • We help society meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. But we are also transparent about what science and technology can and cannot do in finding sustainable solutions. And help translate these solutions into everyday life.

  • Our mission We are sustainable
  • We want our communities to flourish and show resilience, so we seize opportunities for innovation. We are knowledgeable and have an eye for what society needs. Our students and staff receive all the guidance they need in their quest for ecological, social and economic sustainability. “The University of Twente is all about people. Our sustainable technologies help to strengthen society.”

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