PhD Position Corrosion Monitoring and Lifetime Prediction of Civil Infrastructures

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 15 Feb 2023

PhD Position Corrosion Monitoring and Lifetime Prediction of Civil Infrastructures
PhD Position Corrosion Monitoring and Lifetime Prediction of Civil Infrastructures
Published Deadline Location
today 15 Feb Delft

Interested in understanding degradation and lifetime prediction of civil infrastructures and enhancing their service lifetime? You have a role to play!
Job description

Your research project will be an integral part of the NWO Key Technologies programme named SUstainaBle and reLIable Macro stEel infra-structures (SUBLIME). Large steel infrastructures (bridges, sheet piles, lock doors) degrade in time through corrosion and fatigue. The goals of this project are to increase the reliability and circularity of these infrastructures and to develop governance recommendations that operationalize the technical knowledge. Predictive digital twins will be developed that integrate structural health monitoring and prediction models. This enables a much longer – but safe – use of these infrastructures. The consequent socioeconomic and environmental benefits will be assessed as well and this unique combination of scientific expertise will result in specific technical and governance recommendations to achieve sustainable and reliable steel infrastructures.

The two main sources for increasing prediction accuracy are Structural Health Monitoring (SHM – based on sensors that measure response) for current state evaluation and Structural Prediction Models (SPM – e.g. a finite element model and a degradation rate model) for future state evaluation. Key is the integration of these two sources.

Your tasks will be to (i) provide an overview and predictive-usability assessment of currently available corrosion health state data as well as of inspection, corrosivity and corrosion sensor configurations from asset owners and open literature, (ii) establish reliable and accurate accelerated and in-service corrosion testing configuration for immersed (sheet pile) and atmospheric (bridge) conditions, and (iii) correlate corrosivity data from literature, asset owners and own measurements to accelerated and in-service corrosion performance of steel pile and bridge structures, and (iv) translate the multi-disciplinary knowledge basis into principles for prognostics and structural health monitoring and degradation sensors. Furthermore you may be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students (up to 10% of your working time).

The project will be executed at Delft University of Technology within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, in particular the Corrosion Technology and Electrochemistry research group led by Prof.dr. Arjan Mol.

  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Delft View on Google Maps

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


It is expected that you will:

  • Execute a thorough literature study as well as database desk research at consortium partners, in particular asset owners and inspection companies, on available sensor, inspection and monitor technologies and corrosion degradation data of infrastructural works
  • Design and setup an experimental and analysis plan for lab and in-field measurements required for this project
  • Correlate and integrate the available data towards reliable structural health monitoring, prediction models and sensor, inspection and monitoring principles and strategies
  • Efficiently communicate, verbally and in writing, the scientific results with supervisor and consortium parties involved during regular progress meetings as well as in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

You should have the following qualifications:

  • MSc in materials science, chemical engineering, physics, chemistry or a related area.
  • Experience with material degradation / environment-material interactions, corrosion, (electro)chemistry and physics
  • Eager to conduct a multidisciplinary project
  • Excellent experimental skills based on a thorough theoretical understanding of material degradation, corrosion, chemistry and physics
  • Excellent written and verbal English communication skills and ability to be a key team player in a multidisciplinary and academic-industrial setting.
  • Excellent fundamental research mind-set with clear application affinity
  • Self-starter with initiative and ability to set up, organize and execute your research.

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 .

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology

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!

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

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.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Prof.dr. Arjan Mol, Full Professor (Department of Materials Science and Engineering), email: .

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Anita van Vianen, HR-advisor, email: .

Working at TU Delft

Join the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Work on clever solutions for worldwide challenges, to change the world and make an impact. Ready to bring your energy to our research?

Challenge, change, impact!

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by 15 February 2023 via the application button and upload a letter of motivation, a detailed CV including a publication list (if any), a summary of academic record or research experience, and names and contact information of three references.

Please note:

- 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.
- Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

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