Postdoc Structural Dynamics, Optimization and Fatigue Limit State Behaviour of Floating Offshore Solar Platforms

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 11 Jul 2023

A unique postdoc position for applied research related to floating offshore solar platforms, involving structural dynamics, structural optimisation and fatigue limit state behaviour.

Climate change comes along with major challenges with respect to energy supply. The transition to sustainable energy must be accelerated and scaled up, but the availability of suitable space is an important limitation, in particular because of the limited energy density of renewable energy projects in comparison to conventional technologies based on fossil resources. However, an enormous amount of available space is available offshore, meaning offshore floating solar, capable to provide high energy density, is extremely suitable for large-scale roll-out.

This postdoc position is meant to contribute to the technological development, testing and validation of a modular floating offshore solar platform. Your research can contribute to 3 aspects.

The first one is related to the slamming (i.e. green water) induced response of solar panels. Two-way coupling, fluid-structure interaction, can be required to model the physics. Validation of the model using experiments will be part of the job. Questions to address includes the relation between the slamming velocities, the structural response and ultimately the limit state behaviour of the solar panels.The second one is related to structural optimisation at topology, shape and size level for dedicated objectives (e.g. weight) and constraints (e.g. production and/or limit state defined).

The third one is related to the fatigue limit state behaviour of the platform structure and involves identifiction of the governing fatigue sensitive locations and the formulation of a dedicated fatigue strength criterion. Fatigue testing will be required for validation purposes and to obtain resistance information in order to setup a fatigue assessment concept for design.

This position fits in a larger project, aiming to develop, test and validate a modular floating offshore installation with a total power of 500 kWp, consisting of 13 coupled platforms, in offshore (i.e. North Sea) conditions. Aim is a prototype installation at TRL7 -  demonstrate a prototype in an operational environment - and MRL 6: pre-production phase. 

We are looking for an outstanding and enthusiastic postdoc candidate with a focus on formulation (modelling), validation (testing) as well as application (engineering). In particular:

With knowledge/expertise about at least 2 of 3 research pillars: slamming induced structural dynamics, structural optimisation, fatigue in structures and materials

With good mathematical skills and some experience in modelling of physics

With (finite element) programming skills (preferably in Matlab and Ansys).

With preferably some experience in fluid-structural testing.

You have obtained a PhD or equivalent degree or expect to maintain such a degree very soon. Excellent spoken and written English and the ability to work independently are expected. Note that a minimum TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS of 7.0 applies to all candidates wishing to pursue a PhD programme at TU Delft. 

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (salary indication: € 3.703 - € 4.670 per month gross). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. This position is a temporary assignment for two years.

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.

If you would like more information about this role, please contact Henk den Besten,

If you would like more information about the selection procedure, please contact Anita van Vianen, HR-advisor, email:

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by 11 July 2023 via the application button and upload a detailed CV including your contact information, academic record, and the contact information of at least two references.

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

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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