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PhD Position – Computational Fluid Dynamics, Artificial Intelligence for Fluid Mechanics

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

The Netherlands

TU Delft offers a Ph.D. position with a scholarship to work in the project Artificial Intelligence for Fluid Mechanics.

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 5Years
Salary: 2325 EURO /Month

Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Qualification Details

  • An MSc degree in applied mathematics, engineering or physical sciences.
  • Demonstrated competences in one or more of these categories: AI, computer or data science, numerical methods, computational fluid dynamics.
  • Affinity with teaching and guiding students.
  • A background in fluid mechanics.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English.
  • The ability to work in a team, take initiative, and be results-oriented and systematic.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The DAI Lab AIFluids is led by Davide Modesti and Anh Khoa Doan. You will work in the deaprtment of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy, Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (AE).

The Aerodynamics, Wind Energy, Flight Performance & Propulsion (AWEP) Department contributes to the future of aircraft and wind turbines, with a nucleus in Aerodynamics. The future sustainability of air transport depends greatly on innovations. We need to reduce significantly our energy consumption, our emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels. A good proportion of the innovations we need, are in the fields of aerodynamics, flight performance and propulsion. The relationship between aircraft and wind turbines is reflected in, for example, the fact that aircraft propulsion systems and wind turbines are both rotating wing systems with inverted operations. The turbine design directs towards huge, robust machines for application offshore and in energy-generating kites.

How to Apply?

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

Reference Number: TUD01394
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Submit the following in two pdf files:

  • (pdf 1)   1-page Motivation letter, your CV
  • (pdf 2) a (part of your) M.Sc. thesis or a paper that you have written, in which you demonstrate your writing skills. Screening of the applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Please highlight in your motivation letter and/or CV examples of projects and achievements that demonstrate your relevant competences

About the Project

  • Challenge The prediction and the control of complex, transitional and turbulent flows
  • Change Combining human and machine insights to get to the essence of complex physical flows
  • Impact Design of more efficient aircrafts and windfarms by improved aerodynamic performance

TU Delft is a top tier university and is exceedingly active in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The AIFluids lab was recently established to foster the use of AI in the Aerospace Sciences. Designing more efficient aircrafts and wind farms requires a deeper understanding of complex flows. The AIFluids Lab is focused on two major challenges of fluid mechanics: the prediction and the control of complex, transitional and turbulent flows.

New experimental techniques and high-fidelity flow simulations are providing larger and more detailed datasets. Using AI algorithms, the AIFluids Lab leverages numerical and experimental data to build interpretable models of transition and turbulence. Our objective is to combine human and machine insights to get to the essence of complex physical flows.

This research project focuses on the modelling and prediction of roughness-induced transition by using high-fidelity numerical simulations.

Correct prediction of laminar-to-turbulent transition in boundary layer flows is crucial for estimating aerodynamic forces and heat transfer. The presence of surface imperfections, such as rivets, misalignment of surface panels, dirt and insects can cause laminar-to-turbulent transition. The aim of this project is to investigate this multi problem using direct numerical simulation (DNS) and artificial intelligence (AI). During the project, the PhD candidate will first generate a very large DNS database for different flow conditions and roughness geometries, creating a first of its kind DNS database covering a wide range of physical phenomena involved in laminar-to-turbulent boundary layer transition. Then, the PhD candidate will leverage hybrid physics-informed AI algorithms to develop correlations for modelling and predicting transition over complex surface patterns from this database.

About the Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab

AIFluids is a Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab. Data, Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence are becoming increasingly important when dealing with major scientific and societal challenges. DAI labs are co-run by experts in ‘the fundamentals of AI technology’ and experts in ‘AI applications’. As a PhD student, you will work with at least two members of the academic staff and three other PhD candidates. In total, TU Delft will establish 24 DAI Labs, where 48 Tenure Trackers and 96 PhD candidates will have the opportunity to push the boundaries of science using AI. You will be a member of the thriving DAI Lab community that fosters cross-fertilization between talents with different expertise and disciplines.

Each team will be driven by research questions which arise from scientific and societal challenges, and contribute to the development and execution of domain-specific education. You will receive a 5-year contract, one year longer than that of a standard PhD. The extra year accounts for an increased educational load in addition to your normal research tasks, and is to be used for introducing new AI, Data and Digitalisation education related activities within our BSc and MSc programs. All team members have many opportunities for self-development.

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

TU Delft offers DAI-Lab PhD-candidates a 5-year contract (as opposed to the normal 4-years), 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 € 2325 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fifth 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 information about this vacancy and the selection procedure: please contact Davide Modesti, Assistant Professor, email:   or Anh Khoa Doan, Assistant Professor, email

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