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Netherlands – PhD position in Mechanical engineering, Control engineering, Aerospace engineering

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

The Netherlands

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Oct 31, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology invites applications for a PhD position in End-to-end Opto-thermo-mechanical Modelling, at the Netherlands

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: October 31, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2.434,00 to 3.111,00 Euro/Month

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Delft University of Technology
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Qualification Details

Applicants should have a Master degree from a renowned institution in physics or in mechanical, aerospace, energy or control engineering or another technical area deemed relevant for the proposed research program. Strong motivation, creativity, and proactivity are required. The PhD position is focused on analytical and modeling work, with a final part centered on laboratory experiments. Capacity for complex theoretical interpretation of results is required. Good interpersonal communication skills are necessary in order to properly integrate into the fairly large, diverse and international team. The candidate is expected to be experienced in programming in MATLAB and C/C++. Hands-on experience of using optical testbenches is an asset. The candidate must have strong analytical skills and must be able to work at the intersection of several research domains. A very good command of the English language is required, as well as excellent communication skills.

Responsibilities/Job Description

In the NWO-funded Perspective program Optical Wireless Superhighways, new perspectives can be opened for wireless communication which will offer unprecedented capacity, connection density, privacy, and energy efficiency. Five universities and a variety of knowledge Institutes and industries are joining forces to explore these opportunities at all length scales: ranging from ultra-long links between satellites, to short links within indoor rooms. We are looking for enthusiastic PhD students to join our program.

Effective and efficient transmitters and receivers of free space photons for communication require proper operation in their respective environment and face challenging conditions such as mechanical launch loads, radiation and rapidly changing thermal conditions. Therefore, the scientific challenge is to concurrently design the optical, thermo-mechanical and active optics systems using cutting-edge technological solutions in a harmonized bottom-up versus top-down system engineering (BU-TD SE) approach. Specifically, the scientific challenges are given by e.g. miniaturisation, enlarged aperture and stable thermo-mechanical performance in a harsh space environment. The project partners Airbus Defence Systems Netherlands(ADS-NL) and the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Center (NLR) have extensive experience e.g. in advanced structural and thermal modelling of space structures.

Besides Systems Engineering, a System-of-Systems approach is a necessity as well as a process to strictly control the BU-TD SE budget compliance. In this class the pointing of antennas and the stability of deployable structures like telescopes with segmented primary mirrors need to be aligned from micro- to nanometer-class precision in the dynamic space environment. This level of alignment cannot be achieved with solely deployment mechanisms. An active (optics) mechanism is required for such development and pushed by the development of innovative 3 degrees-of-freedom mechanisms. An advanced End-to-End Performance (EtEp) model of the opto-mechanical-thermal actuator system design is required. The research is strongly connected to refined breadboard designs enabling new iterations of the design to be quickly produced and evaluated. Moreover the SE space instrumentation and its terrestrial spin-offs focusses on a multi-application and cross-domain approach executed within a joint team at ADS-NL, the NLR and the faculty 3mE of the Delft University of Technology. The concurrent design engineering approach is focussed towards downscaling the technology and paving the way to cheap innovative applications within the space sector and the terrestrial domain. The main deliverables of the research are:

  • Study of the thermo-mechanical-optical-elctronic (EtEp) system design
  • Pushing critical TRL's to comply with the TD-BU SE budgets
  • Design and optimization of the complete system
  • Manufacturing and testing of critical miniaturization parts

To model the system and its components we will use our specialized (within the chair developed) software suite. Existing experience with ultra-low mechanical hysteresis, novel actuation and calibration approaches and optimization of phase diversity methods will be used.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: TUD01526
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 31-10-2021 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

About the Department

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

About the Employer: Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Note or Other details

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

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Contact details


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