PhD position at Delft University of Technology TUDelft, The Netherlands

PhD researcher position in Reynolds number flows for wind turbines at TU Delft, Netherlands, Apr 2022.

The Netherlands

PhD researcher position to study the aerodynamic performance of air foils at representative Reynolds numbers for modern wind turbines by an experimental campaign in the low turbulence wind tunnel is available for applicants with master’s degree at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands-April 2022.

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: € 2.443,00 - € 3.122,00

Faculty Aerospace Engineering

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands


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Qualification Details

The candidate should have an MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering, or an MSc degree in related engineering disciplines such as mechanical engineering, applied science, applied physics or equivalent. You should have an excellent track record with proven experience (courses, projects, work experience, etc.) in the field of aerodynamics. Knowledge of airfoil aerodynamics, wind turbine aerodynamics and experimental testing is an asset. You should have attention for detail, have a problem-solving mindset and function well in a team. You should be able to work autonomously and be eager to learn. You are expected to have affinity with developing custom systems. You should also be willing and able to travel for around 3 months to the United States (Princeton University) to execute an experimental campaign.

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.

Responsibilities/Job Description

In the last decade, wind turbines experienced a significant evolution in size. While nowadays the largest wind turbines already exceed 14MW, the limit doesn't seem to be reached yet. The future generation of giant wind turbines, with long and slender blades, will bring new aerodynamic challenges.

Large wind turbines, with a rotor radius larger than 120m, are facing high (chord-based) Reynolds numbers exceeding even 15X10^6, as a consequence of their longer chord lengths and increased relative wind speeds. These Reynolds numbers are well beyond the reach of conventional wind tunnels, and hence, beyond the validation regime of the design and performance assessment tools.

The main objective of this project is to study the aerodynamic performance of airfoils at representative Reynolds numbers for modern wind turbines. The study will be initiated by an experimental campaign in the low turbulence wind tunnel at TU Delft, regularly used for this purpose. The pressure distribution, lift and drag of airfoils in different operational states (both clean and rough, steady and unsteady) will be obtained at medium Reynolds numbers, to gain insight in the behaviour and important parameters. The experimental campaign will be completed using a unique pressurized wind tunnel to provide novel data at ultra-high Reynolds numbers for a few selected interesting cases. The second part of this project will evolve towards understanding the physics of high Reynolds number flows and its role on the performance and load assessment of wind turbines. The limitations and applicability of the existing state-of-the-art (low-order) tools will be evaluated. Finally guidelines will be defined on how to incorporate high Reynolds number effects into the design process

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: TUD02090

Application Procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 15-4-2022 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

Applicants are invited to submit:

  • A detailed CV
  • An overview of followed university courses, including the obtained grades.
  • A motivation letter
  • A research proposal including background, research objectives and approach of maximum 1000 words
  • Names and contact details of two references that we may be approached as part of your application procedure.


  1. A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  2. 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.
  3. You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  4. 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.

The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing Aerospace Engineering. Fundamental research is performed in the Aerodynamics section. Aircraft design, propulsion systems and their integration are the main topics in the FPP section. Wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large offshore farms, are the objective of the research of the Wind Energy Section. The department operates comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems.

The Wind Energy Section facilitates the development of wind energy technology and the expansion of the use of wind power through research and education.

In its research activities there is a focus on large multi megawatt offshore wind turbines and offshore wind farms, though urban and airborne wind power is also addressed. Both technology development aspects as well as fundamental aspects are present in the research program. With respect to educational courses, the BSc and MSc level are offered for Aerospace students, SET students and for the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM) students.

About the Employer:


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 more information about this position, please contact Dr. Delphine De Tavernier, assistant professor at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering, [email protected]

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