PhD Position on Dense Inertial Suspension Flow

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 22 Mar 2024

15 Feb 2024
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

22 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

Dense suspension flows play a key role in many engineering applications. Examples include the manufacturing of batteries and other devices enabling the energy transition, but also the handling of waste slurries and the recycling of critical materials. Furthermore, suspension flows are encountered in natural processes, such as blood flow and sediment transport. While we can predict the properties of these suspensions with reasonable accuracy for viscous flows in simple systems, this is not the case when inertia starts to play a role. A prime example is the migration of particles towards the core, observed in pipe flows with volume fractions of 10-20% and higher. The exact mechanisms are poorly understood, yet we can readily see the global effect: a suspension exhibiting this ‘core peaking’ has a considerably lower friction factor compared to a uniformly distributed suspension.

In this project, the flow of suspensions of particles will be investigated experimentally. As the flows are opaque, conventional measurement techniques (such as PIV) will be supplemented with more advanced tools, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound imaging.

The role of particle size and volume fraction will be investigated, by documenting the migration speed and steady-state concentration profiles. The results will be used to formulate a predictive model, e.g. based on a Suspension Balance Model. The goal is to link microscale phenomena to macroscale behavior and to explore the limitations of formulations based on a single, complex fluid.

You will be part of the department of Process & Energy (P&E) in the faculty of Mechanical Engineering (ME). The research will be conducted in the P&E laboratory, which has a range of advanced measurement modalities, including MRI and ultrasound systems dedicated for multiphase flow research.

The outcomes of this project will be disseminated to the scientific community and to a general audience through presentations at (inter)national conferences and through publications in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, you will be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students.

Specific Requirements

We are looking for a enthusiastic candidate to conduct doctoral research in the field of experimental fluid mechanics. The potential candidates are expected to:

  • Have a strong interest in multiphase fluid dynamics.
  • Hold or about to obtain a MSc degree from a technical program such as mechanical engineering, applied physics, aerospace engineering or equivalent.
  • Proven experience in setting-up and conducting experiments.
  • Have a strong theoretical background in fluid dynamics.
  • Have an interest in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and/or Ultrasound imaging.
  • Be creative, eager to take initiative, and a team player.
  • Have good communication skills, and be fluent in both written and spoken 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 22 March 2024 via the application button.

Please upload the following documents when applying:

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Motivation letter highlighting your relevant research skills and motivation for doing this PhD project.
  • Diplomas and transcripts of your BSc. and MSc. studies, including a certified list of grades.
  • Name and contact details of at least two academic referees (preferably your MSc. thesis supervisor).


  • 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.

Additional comments

For more information about this specific position, the research project or the application procedure, please contact prof. dr. ir. C. Poelma ([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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