PhD scholarship in Efficient Numerical Optimization for Acoustics with Viscous and Thermal Losses and its Application to Acoustic Micro-Devices

Updated: about 1 month ago

The Department of Electrical Engineering invites applications for a 3-year PhD position in efficient numerical optimization for acoustics with viscous and thermal losses and its application to acoustic micro-devices within the Acoustic Technology group (ACT).

ACT conducts research in architectural acoustics, vibration, transducers, sound field analysis, measurement techniques, acoustical-mechanical interaction, numerical methods and optimization. The Center for Acoustic-Mechanical Micro Systems (CAMM) is linked to ACT and has a special focus on micro-devices, such as hearing aids, combining expertise in acoustics, optimization, fabrication and materials.

ACT and CAMM maintain a research line based on the modelling of visco-thermal losses in acoustics, with extension on shape optimization, acoustic-mechanical coupling and its application to a variety of macro- and micro-devices such as acoustic transducers, acoustic metamaterials and hearing aids. You will contribute to this line with improved methods and support to related projects.

This PhD position is part of a collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where another PhD candidate will develop a complementary project. You will collaborate with the TUM PhD candidate and his/her group, the Chair of Vibroacoustics of Vehicles and Machines, Department of Mechanical Engineering. This collaboration will include stays in the partner institution.

Responsibilities and tasks
Viscous and thermal acoustic losses are relevant in the close vicinity of boundaries and determine the behavior of small acoustic devices such as e.g. hearing aids, microphones, couplers and intricate structures based on local resonances (metamaterials). The project aims at extending numerical techniques that have been developed in recent years and are based on the full-linearized Navier-Stokes equations. Recent research at ACT and CAMM is focusing on the Boundary Element Method with viscous and thermal losses. The technique uses Kirchhoff’s dispersion law to decouple the acoustic, viscous and thermal wave fields. Additionally, contributions at DTU have shown that the BEM with losses can be used as a basis for acoustic shape optimization in 2D and rotationally symmetrical problems. The combination of acoustics with losses and optimization is a powerful tool whose full possibilities are starting to be explored for practical applications.

Your work will include:

  • Improved optimization algorithms.
  • Application of model reduction techniques such as the H2-matrix method and the fast multipole method.
  • An efficient three-dimensional formulation.
  • Validation of the methods using measurements of test setups where issues like sensitivity and manufacturability can be evaluated.

Your overall goal will be a more streamlined numerical formulation that is efficient enough for attacking a wider range of large problems with optimization. Applications will focus on micro-devices and structures where the viscous and thermal losses are relevant. The optimized structures will be incorporated in the designs of sound absorbing building elements, inside transducers, couplers or hearing aids, in collaboration with other group members.

You will work in an international research environment with several related projects and you will benefit from the accumulated expertise of ACT, CAMM and the partner group at TUM. You are expected to exchange results and support with your colleagues. You will have the chance of disseminating your contributions in scientific conferences and publications.

You will have the opportunity of extending your expertise in the areas:

  • Numerical methods in acoustics
  • Acoustic devices
  • Numerical optimization
  • Fabrication and measurement

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in engineering, physics,

acoustics, or related fields. Only candidates with documented experience in at least one and preferably multiple of the following areas will be considered: numerical modelling and optimization techniques, computational acoustics, acoustic measurements and/or acoustic metamaterials. Moreover, high-level programming skills in languages such as Matlab and C++ and advanced use of numerical software packages are needed for the project.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the
DTU PhD Guide

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assoc. Prof. Vicente Cutanda Henríquez and Assoc. Prof. Niels Aage.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Vicente Cutanda Henríquez, , tel.: +45 4525 3938 or Niels Aage, , tel.: +45 4525 4253. You are very welcome to write or call if you have any questions about the position or the recruitment process. 

You can read more about the Acoustic Technology Group and the Centre for Acoustic Mechanical Micro Systems on and .

You can read more about DTU Elektro at .

Please submit your online application no later than 1 June 2020 (23:59 local time)
Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and participate in joint international programmes. We conduct state-of-the-art research within antenna and microwave technology, robot technology, power and physical electronics, acoustic environment, electro-acoustics, electric power and energy. Our department has more than 200 members of staff.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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