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Home > Job vacancies



Last updated: 10 January 2019

NEW : 3 PhD vacancies and 1 postdoc vacancy for 2019


Clearly mention in all your communication the number of the vacancy you are applying for !


Where ?

All vacancies are available in the "Mechanics of Materials and Structures" research group at Ghent University. The offices and laboratories of this group are situated in the south of Ghent (Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 903, 9052 Zwijnaarde).

Duration ?

All vacancies are full-time job positions. For the duration, see below.

Job description ?

  • Vacancy 1: PhD position (4 years) on Ultrasonic Characterization of the Internal Protection Layer in Industrial Lined Pipes

    We offer a 4-year PhD position in non-destructive testing (NDT) of lined pipelines using ultrasound. This project is in collaboration with a large industrial partner who needs an efficient in-situ non-destructive test method to assess the structural integrity of lined pipelines (with diameters up to 1 m) which transport heavy acids. Typically, those pipelines have an outer steel wall (thickness 15 mm) and an inner protective enamel coating (thickness smaller than 1 mm). The integrity of the pipeline is largely determined by the health state of the inner enamel coating.

    This 4-year PhD project involves mainly experimental research, and will use ultrasound waves to characterize inner enamel parameters (e.g. thickness, attenuation, wave speed …). Novel analysis and testing procedures will be implemented such that this ultrasonic inspection technique can be efficiently and robustly applied in an industrial environment.

    Who do we look for ?
    You have obtained a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar. You are interested to perform research on ultrasonic inspection of industrial lined pipelines. You have affinity with LabVIEW and/or MATLAB. You are interested to interact and collaborate with industry.


  • Vacancy 2: PhD position (4 years) on Air-coupled ultrasound for characterizing elasticity of wooden panels and composite materials

    We offer a 4-year PhD position in non-destructive testing (NDT) and characterization of (natural) fiber reinforced materials (e.g. wood and technical composites) using air-coupled (ultra)sound. The goal is to implement and investigate a low-frequency air-coupled Ultrasonic Polar Scan method in order to extract stiffness parameters of the insonified material. Alternatively to the air-coupled ultrasound system, the researcher will also work with a high-end 3D Infrared Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer (3D IR SLDV) for measuring guided wave phenomena. These guided wave phenomena can then also be analyzed and post-processed to extract different material parameters.

    This 4-year PhD project involves both experimental and numerical research on the characterization of (natural) fiber reinforced materials using air-coupled ultrasound and scanning laser Doppler vibrometry.
    This research is in close collaboration with KULeuven-KULAK, and you will collaborate with several other PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

    Who do we look for ?
    You have obtained a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar. You are interested to perform research on non-destructive testing of composite materials. You have affinity with LabVIEW and/or MATLAB. You are interested to interact and collaborate with other researchers.


  • Vacancy 3: PhD position (4 years) on Non-Destructive Testing of Mechanically Loaded Composites using the Ultrasonic Polar Scan Method

    We offer a 4-year PhD position in non-destructive testing (NDT) of composites using the Ultrasonic Polar Scan (UPS) method. The Ultrasonic Polar Scan has been developed in our research group, and is a sophisticated inspection method which provides a unique fingerprint of stiffness and/or damage parameters. The power of this method has been explicitly demonstrated on both metals and composites, yielding the full orthotropic stiffness tensor (2x9 stiffness parameters) from a single measurement. Apart from this, we also found that the UPS fingerprint is sensitive to damage features in composite materials, e.g. delamination, fiber distortion, etc.

    This 4-year PhD project involves both experimental and numerical research on the UPS method for the investigation of pre-stressed composites. By performing the UPS inspection during various mechanical loadings of the specimen, access is provided to nonlinear stiffness parameters as well as to damage parameters. This information is of crucial importance for a better understanding of the complex mechanical behavior of composites.
    This research is in collaboration with KULeuven-KULAK, and you will collaborate with several other PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

    Who do we look for ?
    You have obtained a Master degree in (Applied) Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering or similar. You are interested to perform research on non-destructive testing of composite materials. You have affinity with LabVIEW and MATLAB. You are interested to interact and collaborate with other researchers.


  • Vacancy 4: Postdoctoral vacancy (3 years) on automated software workflow for medical application of 3D printed technologies

    3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies carry the promise of revolutionizing the quality and efficiency of healthcare. However, the required technologies, even when available, are currently too fragmented to be integrated into routine, affordable and streamlined solutions that can benefit a large number of patients. The challenge thereby is to deliver 3D printing technologies that enable:

    • Patient-specific solutions: personalized medical devices that are designed using the images acquired for individual patients and best fit their treatment needs;
    • Complexity and miniaturization: complex shapes, articulations and miniaturized geometries of implantable medical devices and instruments have the potential to radically enhance treatment effectiveness and post-treatment recovery;
    • Streamlined care: the ability to integrate diagnosis, design and manufacturing of AM medical devices into a validated software platform is the key to delivering fast, affordable treatments with dramatic life-saving potential.

    The INTERREG project 3DMed aims to improve affordability and large-scale accessibility of medical treatment using 3D printed devices. This will be achieved by increasing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of state-of-the-art 3D printing technologies for medical applications and integrating them into a streamlined, fast, cost-effective software platform for use in routine clinical practice.
    This project contains 17 partners from The Netherlands, Belgium, France and United Kingdom, including universities, hospitals, software suppliers, 3D printing companies, clinical observers, manufacturers of medical devices and implants,... The project is coordinated by TUDelft.

    In this postdoctoral position, it is the purpose to develop a streamlined, fast, cost-effective software platform to connect the design and production of 3D printed devices with clinical evaluation (pre- and postoperative). This involves data transfer protocols to link image acquisition, design and the manufacture (3D printing) of the device; software collection and evaluation; software development; software interfacing; process automation; protocol collection and validation of the software platform for the selected categories of medical devices.
    Interfacing various software tools also involves formatting the input and output of each software so that automated interaction with the other software components is possible. Each input and output must be expressed in a terminology that is understandable by both clinicians and engineers and uses a consistent set of variables and measures for defining the medical device under consideration.
    Setting up this tool chain of different (commercial) software packages and programming the necessary data protocols to achieve an integrated software platform is the goal, and to achieve this goal, a close collaboration will be required with the researchers at TUDelft, clinical observers, AM service providers and software companies.

    Only candidates with a PhD degree or equivalent experience should apply. The candidate should have strong programming skills (Python, C++, C#,...) and has experience with different software tools for patient-specific design of implants, for example: (i) medical image segmentation software (Mimics, SimpleWare, Amira,...), (ii) FE tools (Abaqus, Ansys, Simcenter,...), (iii) topology optimization (Autodesk Within Medical, Altair/Optistruct, Frustum/Generate,...). He/she will closely work together with the other postdoc in the team (see other vacancy) and is willing to travel frequently to meet and discuss with the other project partners in the neighbouring countries.


Contact person ?

The responsible person at Ghent University is Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM. He has 15 years of experience in mechanics of composites and finite element simulations. More information on the achievements of the research group can be found on http://www.composites.ugent.be/.

Who do we look for ?

  • you are interested in research and have obtained a Master and/or PhD degree,
  • you are interested to interact and collaborate closely with the industrial partners during the research period,
  • you have an education in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computational Mechanics, or similar,
  • you are familiar with mechanics of materials and experimental or computational techniques (depending on the specific vacancy requirement mentioned above),
  • mastering the Dutch language is not a prerequisite, but a good knowledge of English writing and speaking is absolutely required.

What do we offer ?

  • you will be working in a dynamic environment. Our group has expanded quite fast the last few years and currently, 14 postdoc's and 15 PhD students are working in our group. Besides, 18 PhD students have successfully obtained their PhD degree in the last five years,
  • we have extensive experimental and numerical facilities. You will have access to several Linux workstations and a high performance computing cluster to run finite element simulations on 2000+ cores,
  • we have good contacts with the regional composite and additive manufacturing industry and regional universities, so you will come into contact with industrial applications of composites and related research in other universities,
  • you will get the chance to attend international conferences (e.g. ECCM, ICCM,...) and to present papers on these conferences. For those who are interested, an international exchange with another university is possible. As publications are increasingly important (also for your career afterwards), you are encouraged to publish your results not only on international conferences, but also in peer-reviewed international journals,
  • you will have a personal laptop and a private workspace. All PhD students and staff have their office in the same wing of the building. The laboratories are separate in another wing of the same building,
  • if you are just graduated (junior PhD student), your net income is about 1950 EUR per month. That is the amount of money that is deposited on your bank account every month (after taxes). If you have a dependent wife/husband and/or children, the salary is raised. Also seniority can be taken into account if you can show former relevant experience. The salary for postdoctoral researchers starts at 2450 EUR net income per month (after taxes).
  • the cost for the PhD study itself is very limited. Our education system is very different from for example the system in the United Kingdom. When you start your PhD study, you pay a once-only tuition fee of ca. 1000 EUR, and the rest of your study is free of charge,
  • the university offers compensations for public transport (train) and bicycle. The work location can be reached easily by public transport (train and tram/bus),
  • a hospitalization insurance policy can be concluded,
  • there are a lot of sport accommodations and other benefits (reductions on computer purchase, internet connection, fitness,...) for university personnel,
  • there are specific organizations for the international student community in Gent. There are ISAG (International Students Association Ghent) and ESN (European Students Network). They are quite active in organizing all sorts of events (Student Unions and Societies for international students).
    Recently, a "China platform" and "India platform" have been founded for the benefit of Chinese and Indian students at Ghent University (see China platform and India Platform).

How to apply ?

  • you write a detailed Curriculum Vitae in Dutch or English, containing:
    • your personal details (name, address, date of birth, nationality,...)
    • your education, subject of master thesis and degrees
    • your work experience (previous jobs)
    • additional skills (finite element software, programming languages, communication skills, ...)
    • mastered languages (Dutch, English, French)
    • references (previous projects in the domain, published papers,...)

  • you send the C.V. by post or e-mail to the following person:
    Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM
    Ghent University
    Mechanics of Materials and Structures
    Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 903
    9052 Zwijnaarde
    Belgium
    Tel.: +32-(0)9-331.04.32
    Fax: +32-(0)9-264.58.33
    E-mail: Wim.VanPaepegem@UGent.be

Additional information ?

  • you can freely download our research brochure. This PDF-document contains a lot of pictures and impressions of our research activities. You can find it on the webpage http://www.composites.ugent.be/ftp/brochure_UGent_MMS.pdf
  • you can contact Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM for any additional information, either by phone or e-mail or a personal appointment.