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Home > Job vacancies



Last updated: 4 June 2018

NEW : 2 PhD and Postdoc vacancies for Summer 2018


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 vacancy (4 years) on fatigue testing of composites with advanced instrumentation

    Composites are used more and more as structural components in aerospace industry, automotive sector, wind energy applications,… As a consequence, the loads on those composite components are much higher than for secondary components, and can lead to fatigue damage in the composite part. Moreover, the fatigue behaviour of fibre-reinforced composites is much more complex than that of metals, because of the many different fibre/polymer combinations, the heterogeneous nature of the composite, the anisotropic behaviour of the composite and the multitude of damage mechanisms.

    In this research project, it is the purpose to test the mechanical response of fibre-reinforced composites in fatigue, but at the same time monitor the micromechanical damage mechanisms that occur during fatigue. This includes matrix cracking, delamination and fibre failure. Besides that, the degradation of the stiffness properties and the possible occurrence of creep and visco-elastic effects should be measured. To that purpose, advanced online and offline instrumentation techniques have to be developed.
    UGent-MMS has already a very long tradition in fatigue testing and monitoring, and has extensive equipment for that. Composite specimens can be tested in various loading scenarios (tension-tension, tension-compression, bending, shear,...), together with online Digital Image Correlation (DIC), video-microscopy and post-mortem inspection with optical and SEM microscopy. The group has also acquired a high-end active thermography system which can be used to monitor fatigue damage.

    This PhD project requires a very good experimentalist, who has a thorough background in composites and has experience with fatigue testing and/or advanced instrumentation techniques. The PhD position fits into a larger project, funded by the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) in the Netherlands. Along with the experimental PhD track, a postdoctoral track will focus on the modelling of the fatigue damage in composites, based on the micromechanical observations from the experiments in the PhD track. There will be a close collaboration with this postdoctoral researcher and with the DPI industrial partners (Sabic, DSM, Shell, Akzo Nobel, Teijin) that will follow this project.

    Only candidates with a Master degree should apply. The candidate should have a strong interest in experimental testing and instrumentation. A background in composites is recommended.

  • Vacancy 2: Postdoctoral vacancy (3 years) on high-frequency vibration techniques for non-destructive inspection of 3D printed metal parts

    The use of 3D printed metal structures is taking a very fast ramp-up in industry. General Electric has demonstrated the possibility of printing titanium fuel injectors for their LEAP engine, EADS has printed a nacelle hinge bracket for the Airbus A320, Boeing is printing plastic inlet ducts for high-altitude aircrafts, hip implants and other prosthetics are exploiting the design freedom of additive manufacturing (AM),...

    Additive manufacturing of titanium alloys yields great potential for the aerospace industry (and others) as it allows the generation of geometrically complex structures with high specific strength, low density and high corrosion resistance.
    However the inspection of such 3D printed components is almost impossible with traditional Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques because of the typical complex geometries and internal cavities. A very interesting alternative is PCRT (Process Compensated Resonance Testing), a high-frequency vibration technique that tries to detect defects by isolating very small shifts in the resonance spectrum at very high frequencies.

    In this Postdoctoral position, it is the purpose to build a PCRT set-up for inspecting 3D printed metal parts with complex geometry, to implement the data-acquisition and to develop advanced post-processing tools for identification of defects in the frequency domain. The research is in close collaboration with Materialise and Siemens, two leading companies in the development of 3D printing. The project is funded by SIM-Flanders (Strategic Initiative Materials in Flanders).

    Only candidates with a PhD degree or equivalent experience should apply. The candidate should have a strong background in vibration techniques and data analysis in frequency domain.

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 computational techniques,
  • former experience with advanced computational mechanics is an advantage,
  • 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 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, your net income is about 1950 EUR per month. That is the amount of money that is deposited on your bank account every month. 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 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.