PhD position at Delft University of Technology TUDelft, The Netherlands

Ph.D. Position in Fluid Mechanics at TU Delft, Netherlands 2022

The Netherlands

Ph.D. Position Data-driven identification and control of hydrodynamically coupled floating structures is available for master’s degree candidates in Fluid Mechanics, Systems and Control, Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics at the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, TU Delft (Delft University of Technology), Netherlands 2022



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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: Subject to Norms
Salary: € 2,443.00 - € 3,122.00/month

Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands


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Qualification Details

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Fluid Mechanics, Systems and Control, Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or a closely related field. The candidate is expected to perform fundamental interdisciplinary research across fluid mechanics and system theory with relevance to applications in offshore wind energy, maritime structures, and biological propulsion.

The ideal candidate should have some or all of the following:

  • A strong background in fluid mechanics or aerodynamics (eg. turbulence, unsteady flows).
  • A strong background in control theory (eg. optimal control, system identification).
  • Scientific computing and programming skills are necessary (eg. C/C++, Python, Matlab).
  • Experience with experimental flow measurement techniques (eg. particle image velocimetry) is a plus.
  • Experience with data-driven analysis (eg. dynamic mode decomposition) is a plus.
  • Experience with or willingness to learn robotics (eg. ROS) is also a plus.
  • A good command of the English language is required.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

The TU Delft is an equal opportunity employer, and therefore we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Offshore wind farms, wave-energy converter arrays, and maneuvering ship convoys all involve hydrodynamically-coupled systems of multiple floating structures. The flow around each structure produces an unsteady wake that can impact neighboring structures, and cause force and kinematic fluctuations. These interactions may reduce operational efficiency, induce fatigue loading and thus maintenance costs, and can even lead to system failure.

This four-year PhD project will develop methods for the identification of such dynamic interactions and the design of controllers that mitigate the force fluctuations on hydrodynamically interacting structures. The ultimate goal is to leverage these results to develop harm-minimization strategies that prevent the potential deleterious effects of such wake-structure interactions.

The PhD student will work at the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime, and Materials Engineering (3mE) of TU Delft, within both the Fluid Mechanics group of the Process & Energy department and the Data-Driven Control section of the Delft Center for Systems and Control.

The identification of the hydrodynamically coupled system will be based on the generation and analysis of experimental data, using a unique unsteady flows facility which combines advanced flow diagnostic methods with industrial robotics hardware. The project will leverage data-reduction tools such as the dynamic mode decomposition to build a system model from the experimental data. The considerable nonlinearities inherent to the unsteady flow-structure interactions between floating bodies present a challenge for these analysis tools which will be overcome by exploring the use of recently developed nonlinear extensions to these methods. In this way the student will identify system models which are both physically interpretable and generalizable and are appropriate for the design of controllers that mitigate the unsteady loads on the hydrodynamically coupled structures. The approach will build on optimization-based control methods like model predictive control.


How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: TUD02182

Application Procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by May, 31th 2022 via the application button and upload:

1) a letter of motivation (max two pages),

2) a detailed Curriculum Vitae,

3) contact details or two professional referees,

4) a list of courses with grades from their BSc and MSc program,

5) a summary of their MSc thesis, and

6) a list of publications (if any)

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

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/Section/Group

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


About the Employer:

Note or Other details

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 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

For further information about this vacancy please contact  Dr. Abel-John Buchner (email: [email protected]) or Dr. Dimitris Boskos (email: [email protected]).

For more information about the selection procedure please contact Nathalie van Benthem, HR Advisor, email: [email protected]

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