PhD Position Computational Modelling of Metamaterials for Impact Protection

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Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

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Functie omschrijving

Mechanical metamaterials are man-made materials which derive their unusual properties from the geometry of their microstructure rather than their constituents/composition. Auxetic metamaterials (so-called negative Poisson’s ratio materials) have been demonstrated to exhibit a number of mechanical properties in the (quasi) static regime that are potentially very promising for impact protection, given these properties are preserved in the highly dynamic regime. In this regime it is an open question to which extent the mechanical properties are retained and can possibly be compensated for by adjustments in the microstructure, since the highly dynamic impact regime is typically accompanied by large plastic deformations, geometrical and material nonlinearities, as well as rate and inertia effects.

In this PhD project you will develop adequate computational models to guide the design of impact resistant metamaterials in the dynamic regime. These models should bridge multiple length scales, ranging from the 3D micro-structural scale (order mm) up to the homogenized, macro-structural scale (order m), in order to design impact resistant metamaterials for armor systems, such as helmets, knee caps and spall liners.The aim is therefore to adopt a multi-scale approach that links properties on the microscale to those on the macroscale, and which covers all aspects of the material behavior, such as geometrical and material nonlinearities and localized failure zones. This project will be financed by the Dutch MOD and will be carried out in collaboration with TNO, which has a strong expertise in impact and ballistic protection and which offers the possibility to validate the numerical models by performing experimental research on additively manufactured 3D microstructures. Currently, TNO has ongoing research projects on metamaterials based armor protection and upcoming research projects are scheduled.

The position is located within the department Mechanics, Management & Design (3MD). 3MD focuses on the design, mechanics, materials and management of civil infrastructures and buildings. A multi-scale research approach is followed, starting at micro-scale (materials), to meso-scale (structures) and to macro-scale (infrastructures/systems). The department governs the entire life cycle from develop, design, build, maintain, operate to demolish or reuse. The department has strong competences in modelling and design for both civil infrastructures as well as buildings.

Novel, advanced civil engineering materials offer solutions to current societal challenges regarding safety, durability and sustainability.

The group Applied Mechanics focuses on the computational analysis of multiscale failure processes in these materials. The analysis of failure processes involves many length scales and co-existing mechanical, chemical and physical processes. It is an interesting challenge to bridge the length scales through multiscale computational modelling and to couple the different processes through multi-physics computational modelling, which are core elements of this research programme. For this purpose, accurate, robust and well-founded models are developed for temporal and spatial discretisation, and algorithms are constructed for the efficient, accurate and robust solution of the ensuing non-linear algebraic equations. In recent research, there is a focus on the computational design of novel civil engineering materials such as polymers, ceramics, randomly fibre-reinforced materials and composite laminates through virtual materials testing. Furthermore, advanced nonlinear multiscale modelling techniques, and extreme computational mechanics problems (e.g. long-term variable amplitude fatigue loading, impact and blast loading) are investigated.

Functie eisen

The candidate should have experience with programming and mathematical modelling and have a strong background in computational mechanics. For this PhD position security screening by the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) will be performed. This screening requires nationality of a NATO country of the candidate (with preference for Dutch nationality).


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an offical go/no-go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 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.

We offer a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

Informeren en solliciteren

For information about this vacancy, you can contact prof. L.J. Sluijs, email:, tel: +31 15 27 82728.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Jaap Meijer, department secretary, email:

To apply, please send a detailed CV, along with a short letter of motivation, your graduate transcipts, proof of English language skills and an abstract of your MSc thesis, compiled into a single pdf file named TUD00446_YourLastname.pdf by October 31, 2020 to When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TUD00446. Please note that applications will not be processed if all documents required are not compiled into a single pdf document.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

38.0 uur per week
Type vacature:


  • Er is geen minimale opleiding vereist
  • Voor deze functie is er geen minimale werkervaring vereist

Wat wij bieden

€ 2.395,- tot € 3.061,- per maand

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