PhD Position Computational Design of Mechanical Metamaterials for Controlling Fracture

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 15 Mar 2024

8 Feb 2024
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

15 Mar 2024 - 22:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Modern design paradigmns can no longer rely on intuition, but instead on advanced comptational tools. We are particularly interested in mechanical metamaterials, which exhibit unusual mechanical behavior not found in nature by means of an engineered structure. For instance, metamaterials can be designed so that at bulk they have an effective negative Poisson's ratio (auxetic metamaterials), or they attenuate waves with subwavelength structures (acoustic metamaterials). However, the creation of metamaterials with unusual fracture behavior is yet to be explored. The design of a new class of mechanical metamaterials with tailored fracture behavior could have a large set of applications, ranging from dissipative wearables to customized food. In fact, together with the University of Amsterdam (UvA), we recently pushed forward the first generation of edible metamaterials with tailored fracture (see BBC article at ). As a PhD candidate, you will be in charge of the design of the next generation of mechanical metamaterials by means of topology optimization. In this joint project with UvA, your tasks will include:

  • Mastering concepts from fracture mechanics and structural optimization (i.e., topology optimization).
  • Extending our existing framework that uses topology optimization for designing metamaterial unit cells for fracture.
  • Coordinating with the team at UvA for the realization of optimized prototypes and their validation with experiments.
  • Writing a PhD thesis, publishing in renowned computational journals, and presenting your research at international meetings.

Specific Requirements

You should have the following qualifications:

  • A strong background in computational mechanics, particularly fracture mechanics. Background in implementing the finite element method and/or topology optimization is also highly desired.
  • A MSc degree in mechanical engineering (or a related area such as civil engineering, aerospace engineering, or applied mathematics).
  • Programming experience (Python or a related language).
  • Knowledge of optimization.
  • High motivation for teamwork and excellent communication skills (high level of English).

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 .

Additional Information

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 € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 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.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 15 March 2024 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • 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.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Linda Verhaar, [email protected] .

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Alejandro M. Aragón, phone: +31 (0)15 278 22 67, e-mail: [email protected] .

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

Where to apply



Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD


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