PhD Position: Molecular Simulation of Nano-confined Fluids, Netherlands

TU Delft University
Study in:Netherlands
Deadline: 30 October 2017

PhD Position Molecular Simulation of Nano-confined Fluids

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

Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.


Research in the Process and Energy Department focuses on process and energy technology in a mechanical engineering context. We envision that a transition from fossil/conventional energy conversion towards full electrification will take place in society in the coming decades. Our objective is to develop processes supporting this transition by making existing processes more efficient and developing novel green technologies that use electricity as primary energy source to produce heavy transportation fuels and bulk chemicals. Research activities within the department cover the range from full equipment scale down to the molecular scale. Our laboratories have several experimental facilities that are unique in the world.

PhD Position Job description

Recent years have seen a trend of new and improved technologies based on miniaturisation of fluidic devices. Very small devices hold promise for medical analysis, drug delivery, or for mixing of toxic or explosive materials, for which it is undesirable to use large amounts. However, accurate flow control or sensing in nanofluidic devices is hampered by a limited understanding of fluid properties under strong confinement, which deviates from classical fluid dynamics. Molecular simulations are needed to provide valuable insight into the structuring and movement of fluid molecules very close to a solid surface.

Of particularly interest are ionic solutions, which form an electric double layer (EDL) that compensates for the bare surface charge. The structure and dynamics of this EDL is extremely relevant to sensing, electrokinetic transport, energy storage, desalination, catalysis, and various biological systems. In order to advance these applications and develop new ones, it is important to investigate how materials and environmental conditions affect interfacial fluid properties.

In this project, the local fluid structure and dynamics at the interface with charged surfaces will be investigated in depth through a combination of classical (atomistic) and ab-initio molecular dynamics simulations, and free energy sampling. Furthermore, state-of-the-art techniques will be used to investigate electrokinetic transport.


We are looking for an excellent PhD candidate with a strong background in (applied) physics, mechanical engineering, or a related discipline. Prior experience with molecular simulation will be considered an advantage but is not strictly required. Candidates with experience in scientific programming will be preferred. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, 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 childcare 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 Dr. R. M. Hartkamp, phone: +31 (0)15-2786674, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, transcripts, publication list and contact information of at least two references along with a letter of application by 30 October 2017 to Dr. Hartkamp,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME17-49.

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