Postdoc Numerical Modelling of Cyclically Loaded Monopile Foundations for Offshore Wind Turbine

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 09 Jan 2024

We invite applications for a Postdoctoral position within the Offshore Engineering Group at TU Delft's Civil Engineering faculty. In this role, the successful candidate will contribute to advancing our understanding of the cyclic behaviour of offshore foundations both under environmental (wind-wave) and seismic loading conditions.

The selected applicant will explore and advance our understanding of cyclic soil-monopile interaction, working with state-of-the-art experimental data (geocentrifuge) and numerical modelling. Within this domain, there are scientific challenges in comprehending the fundamental nature of cyclic behaviour in both cohesive and cohesionless soils. Equally intriguing is the translation of this understanding into practical engineering models.

The role will involve the meticulous development, set-up, and calibration of 3D Finite Element monopile models, coupled with the implementation of constitutive models. The candidate will be immersed in projects with strong industrial support.

As a post-doctoral researcher, you will:

  • Lead research on cyclic soil-monopile interaction in offshore wind turbines using state-of-the-art numerical modeling.
  • Tackle fundamental challenges in understanding and conceptualizing cyclic behaviour of monopiles in cohesive and cohesionless soils. Translate this understanding into engineering models, including cyclic soil reaction modeling.
  • Explore the cyclic behaviour of laterally loaded monopiles in cohesionless, cohesive soils, and soil mixtures under various loading conditions (wind, wave, and seismic).
  • Develop, set up, and calibrate 3D Finite Element (FE) models. Implement constitutive models and finite elements for simulating geotechnical problems of offshore monopiles.
  • Contribute to projects involving experimental elements, including participation in centrifuge testing. Numerically reproduce and expand upon experimental results.
  • Collaborate on research projects, pushing the boundaries of offshore foundation design. Projects include MIDASclay (cyclic behaviour of laterally loaded monopiles in cohesive soils), DONISIS (seismic modelling of monopile-supported wind turbines in liquefiable soils), and GeoWin (tool development for soil investigation and offshore foundation design).
  • Engage with industrial partners, demonstrating excellent communication skills. Deliver project reports.

Candidates shall meet as many of the following requirements as possible:

  • PhD degree in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering or related areas;
  • High skills in 3D FE modelling and developing/using (open-source) FE software - such as, e.g., OpenSees. Experience in the implementation of constitutive models and finite elements is a big plus;
  • Proven experience in finite element analysis and constitutive modelling, especially regarding soil-structure interaction problems and cyclic loading conditions;
  • Excellent knowledge of soil mechanics (including dynamics) and foundation engineering. Acquaintance with offshore wind geotechnics is also appreciated (but not mandatory);
  • Experience in implementing and calibrating constitutive models preferably in the framework of bounding surface plasticity;
  • Interest in contributing to the global success of research projects, liaising with other team members responsible for different segments of the research;
  • Appreciation of team work, good social skills, and ability to function in international circles involving experts from academia and industry;
  • High proficiency in spoken/written English, and proven experience in preparing technical publications and project reports;
  • Interest in contributing to educational activities, including occasional teaching, student tutoring and co-supervision of BSc/MSc graduation projects.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The duration of the contract is 3 years with a possibility of extension. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

 For more information about this vacancy, please contact Evangelos Kementzetzidis at [email protected] .     

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 9 January 2024 via the application button. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. To receive full consideration, applications shall include in a single file:

  • CV (5 pages max.);
  • One-page cover letter, emphasising motivation and interest in the position;
  • Up to three significant publications (co-)authored by the applicant, and relevant to the subject of the position;
  • Contact information of max. 3 referees – reference letters will be requested as deemed appropriate while reviewing all applications.

Please note:

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.


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