TU Eindhoven

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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD Position: Development of Sustainable Aero Gels as Building Material

Insulation is an important way to reduce energy consumption and therefore CO2 emissions in the built environment. Older houses especially are in need of renovation to achieve this goal. There are many insulation materials available but one of the most promising ones is silica aero gel, an ultra leightweight material that can contain more than 99% air. It also has the advantage of being safe in the case of a fire as it does not produce toxic fumes. However the aero gel that is currently available is expensive to produce and not very sustainable.

The goal of this PhD is the development of a green silica aero gel that is based on a new synthesis process to make nano-silica developed in the Building Materials Group at TU/e. Different industrial side products will be used as a raw materials. The side products of the synthesis itself will also be considered in order to design a zero waste process. The work will be supported by industrial partners as part of the project BRIMM (Bright Renovatie Isolatie voor woningschil door Advanced Materialen en Methodes).

The Building Materials group contains 23 PhDs, 2 postdocs, 3 assistant professors, 1 associate professor and 2 full professors. The BM group works on new, sustainable building materials containing or synthesised from secondary raw materials with good chemical, physical and aesthetic properties and added functionalities. Examples are fly ashes, nano-silica, aerogels, slags, agricultural and industrial wastes or recycled aggregates. Functionalities, including fire resistance, air purification, self-cleaning, high performance, hydrophobicity, are investigated and developed for these building materials. Moreover, durability, such as the degradation of building materials when exposed to aggressive service environments, is studied. The investigations are carried out based on experimental observations and modelling.

The research group possesses an well-equipped, state of the art building material laboratory for physical/chemical/mechanical/environmental testing, and has access to the structural design laboratory at the same department, and shares facilities with the sister Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. The group has close contacts with the building material industry and is frequently cooperating with other researchers, both domestic and international.


We are looking for:

  • a MSc degree in chemistry, chemical engineering or materials science. Similar disciplines with a focus on sustainability and chemical processes can also be considered.
  • able to work independently,
  • strong communication skills and the attitude to participate successfully in an international and multidisciplinary team.
  • professional working proficiency in English. A minimum grade of an independent language test is required (TOEFL or IELTS) for all non-native English-speaking candidates who hold a MSc degree from another program than the TU/e. IELTS: Overall grade 7.0 with a minimum sub score of 7.0 for both speaking and writing. TOEFL: Overall band score of at least 90 and a minimum score of 21 for each section. TU/e only accepts the TOEFL internet-based test. Proofs of English level (such as certificates, coursework followed in English, manuscripts written in English etc.) should be mentioned.

Any of the following could be considered an advantage and should be mentioned in the motivation letter:

  • Familiarity with analytical characterization techniques (such as any of: XFR, XRD, FTIR, TG/DSC, SEM, IC, ICP or related techniques)
  • Previous publications and scientific communications
  • Affinity/experience with materials research and/or laboratory experience

Candidates who already hold the title of PhD/Doctor will not be considered for the current vacancy.


We offer:

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after 9 months.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
prof.dr.ir. H.J.H. Brouwers, h.j.h.brouwers[at]tue.nl or dr. K. Schollbach, k.schollbach[at]tue.nl.

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.be[at]tue.nl

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter (2 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest and an explanation of why you meet the job requirements (see above).
  • Detailed Curriculum vitae
  • Copy (or a most recent draft version) of your MSc thesis
  • Transcripts of academic records indicating courses taken, including grades
  • Contact details of two references (e-mail, phone number).

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.

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