Postdoc Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy as a Predictive Tool for a Ship’s Hull Corrosion Integrity

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 14 Mar 2024

This PD position offers a unique opportunity to apply fundamental research from the fields of data science and sensor fusion towards an innovative maritime application.

Within the dTHOR (digital ship sTructural Health mOnitoRing) project of the European Defence Fund, the aim is to develop next generation predictive Ship Structural Health Monitoring (SSHM) systems based on a digital framework complying with innovative utilisation of large amounts of load and response measurements from advanced sensor systems, and hybrid analysis and modelling (HAM) which combines physics-based and data-driven (AI/ML) models. These tools will be applied to achieve interoperable and evolving models facilitating a game change for SSHM.

One of the most important cost drivers and availability killers for a ship’s hull is corrosion. Within the framework of dTHOR, in order to predict the location, severity and consequences of corrosion damage, it is essential to monitor the state of the protective coating system. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is an electrochemical tool that is well suited for this purpose. This project therefore aims to investigate the applicability of EIS as a form of condition monitoring and to understand the evolution of specific EIS parameters over time.

Currently, much experience already exists with the relationship between coating condition and EIS data, e.g. the Bode plot. Using equivalent circuits, it is possible to quantify multiple different coating characteristics, including barrier properties and adhesion. It is therefore also possible to rank the corrosion protective condition of multiple comparable coatings of different ages. In reality however, a large variety of coating systems exists, with different chemical composition and functionality. This variety of coating systems will age differently, with a variable response to changing operating conditions and local damages. This is especially true in the presence of active corrosion inhibiting coatings. The remaining challenge is therefore the translation of the knowledge of specific EIS aging characteristics of standard coating systems into the remaining useful life of more complex coating systems, both damaged and in pristine condition, under various different loads. For this purpose, the next step in this project is to develop a degradation model that describes the degradation development over time, including variable loads, damage states and corrosion inhibition. With this knowledge, each EIS measurement could result in a reliable, updated lifetime prediction. Additionally, it could be possible to predict the effect of changing operational conditions onto the future corrosion protective properties of a coating system.

The ideal candidate should combine a strong affinity with electrochemistry with reasonable modeling skills. The candidate shall have a critical attitude and the ability to combine different fields of technology.

The candidate shall start as soon as possible. The candidate will be employed as a Postdoc candidate by TU Delft for a duration of 2 years.

A security screening is mandatory for this project. Application is only open for candidates from EU and / or NATO membership countries.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. 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!

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

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? These videos  will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 14 March 2024 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

The Netherlands Defence Academy and the Corrosion Technology and Electrochemistry (CTE) group of TU Delft will supervise the candidate together. The candidate is to be based at TU Delft.

For further information, please contact Dr. ir. A.M. (Axel) Homborg, [email protected] , or Prof. dr. ir. J.M.C. (Arjan) Mol, [email protected] .

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



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