PhD Position: Computational Modelling of 3D Printed Energetic Materials, Netherlands

TU Delft University
Study in:Netherlands
Deadline: 1 Oct 2017

PhD Position: Computational Modelling of 3D Printed Energetic Materials

Department/faculty: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.


The Department of Structural Engineering provides education and conducts research in the area of civil infrastructure and buildings. The department’s approach is based on science/fundamentals (mechanics and material science), deepened by engineering (concrete, steel, composite, timber, road and railway structures) and broadened by design (integral design, construction design, zero-material design and design-build). The department provides the basic education in the BSc civil engineering programme and three MSc programmes.


Within Structural Mechanics, research is performed into the analysis of solids and structures relevant to civil engineering. The research mission is to provide mechanics-based tools and solutions to civil engineering challenges. Novel computational and analytical techniques are developed for more reliable, efficient and effective analysis of materials and structures. There is a specific interest in new and innovative civil engineering structures and high-performance materials. The research work is fundamental and applied in nature, and has a mono-, multi- or transdisciplinary character.

PhD Position: Job description

Additive manufacturing provides the advantage of freedom of shape, customisation and on-demand production. The additive manufacturing of energetic materials has been explored by TNO for several years with good results. After initial, successful trials with 3D printed propellants, the next step is to gain detailed knowledge and tools in order to optimise the propellant composition for performance and safety. Besides the energetic properties, the mechanical properties have to be optimised as well, because damage, flaws and cracks affect the combustion process and therefore the safety and propellant functionality. The PhD project has been defined to develop computational models to study and predict the response and damage development in heterogeneous propellant materials with a special focus on the dynamic loading conditions during launching of rockets or missiles. This is a challenging project aiming at modelling discrete failure surfaces and fracture planes at the mesoscopic level, dealing with very different stiffness properties of the particles and matrix. The dynamic loading conditions during launching set additional requirements and make the research even more challenging. The aim of the proposed PhD project is to develop a computational platform to model the mechanical response of 3D printed propellant materials under launch conditions. This project is sponsored by the Dutch MOD and will be performed in close collaboration with TNO.


Applicants should have an MSc degree in Engineering with a specialisation in the field of computational mechanics. They should have good computer programming skills, good team spirit, and the ability to function in a multidisciplinary setting. In addition, an affinity for experimental work is desirable.
For this PhD position, a security screening by the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) will be performed. This screening requires the candidate to have nationality in a NATO country (with preference for Dutch nationality).

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Bert Sluys, phone: +31 (0)15-2782728, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV and a letter of application by 1 October 2017 to Bert Sluys,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG17-22.

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