PhD position – Mechanical Engineering – Failure analysis in forming of battery cans

University of Twente (UT)

The Netherlands

University of Twente invites applications for PhD position to develop the most sophisticated simulation techniques for production of battery cans (computational mechanics, materials science and production technology) at the chair of Nonlinear Solid Mechanics in close cooperation with the Materials innovation institute M2i and Tata Steel R&D in The Netherlands – Oct 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field:
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2.434 TO 3.111 Euro/Month

Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET)
University of Twente (UT)
University of Twente (UT)

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Qualification Details

  • MSc. degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related field with excellent results and special interest in modelling, materials and production processes.
  • Prior knowledge of nonlinear solid mechanics, computational methods and material forming.
  • Curious and highly motivated to do interdisciplinary scientific research with a clear industrial application.
  • Working independently and taking ownership for your own research.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency in English is required, both spoken and written. You need to provide IELTS test results (minimum score 6.5) or TOEFL-iBT (minimum score 90). The latter is not necessary for native speakers of English or whose MSc program was in English.

Responsibilities/Job Description

With the steep rise in sales of electrical vehicles the demand for batteries is growing rapidly. One of the battery technologies is to build the battery pack from cylindrical cells. The battery casing (the so-called battery can) is typically manufactured from steel by deep drawing and wall ironing. This forming process is very critical due to extreme deformations under high surface pressure, friction and temperature variation.

The process is complicated further by the unavoidable anisotropy of the steel sheet, that is reinforced by the large deformations. Under the high surface pressures, forming dies cannot be considered rigid anymore and friction coefficients are no longer constant. Standard simulation tools for sheet forming are therefore not applicable and new models must be developed.

Sometimes the battery cans split during production and currently the cause for this is not well understood. The scientific hypothesis is that material anisotropy plays an important role. The overall objective of this research is to be able to quantify the effect of anisotropy in the sheet material on this failure in battery can production and to optimise process and/or material parameters to minimise probability of failure.

For this project, we are looking for a PhD candidate with relevant expertise at the crossroads of computational mechanics, materials science and production technology. The candidate will report his/her research during bi-weekly meetings of our research group and quarterly meetings with the project partners. The candidate is expected to present his/her results at international scientific conferences and publish them in academic literature. Furthermore, the researcher will be encouraged to tutor MSc students who do their final assignment on sub-projects pertaining to the current research project.

The PhD research will be performed in the chair of Nonlinear Solid Mechanics in close cooperation with the Materials innovation institute M2i and Tata Steel R&D in The Netherlands

How to Apply?

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

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Documents Required

1.    Curriculum vitae

2.    Letter of motivation

3.    Grades of the BSc and MSc courses

4.    IELTS or TOEFL score (if necessary)

5.    Contact information of 2 references

A first selection will be made based on this written application. A selected group of applicants will be invited for an interview. A Game-Based assessment will be also part of the selection procedure.

About the Department

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

About the Employer: University of Twente (UT)

Note or Other details

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of € 2.434 gross per month in the first year and a salary of € 3.111 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

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Contact details

Additional information about this position can be acquired from Dr. Eisso Atzema, phone: +31 251 498 524, e-mail: or Prof. Ton van den Boogaard, phone: +31 53 489 4785, e-mail:


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