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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD Position - Lubrication with Complex Fluids

Are you a highly motivated student interested in lubrication with complex fluids?

Two teams, one lead by Prof. D. Bonn at the Institute of Physics (IoP) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and another lead by Dr. Dijksman at the institute Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter at Wageningen University and research (WUR) are looking for an ambitious student with excellent knowledge of complex fluids.

In this 4-year PhD project hosted at UvA we will perform lubrication experiments on 'clean' model systems to disentangle the different effects that arise in complex fluid lubrication. Specifically, we will link the complex macroscale rheology to the behavior in small lubrication gaps, allowing hopefully for a predictive approach to lubrication.

What are you going to do

You will perform lubrication experiments on 'clean' model systems to disentangle the different effects that arise in complex fluid lubrication. Specifically, link the complex macroscale rheology to the behavior in small lubrication gaps, allowing hopefully for a predictive approach to lubrication. Experiments will consist of a combination of custom rheology, where needed combined with microscopy methods. Clean model systems will consist of fluids of a well-known rheology and/or of surfaces with well characterized and pre-designed surface roughness.

The UvA Soft Matter group has developed several novel techniques to study friction and lubrication, notably using viscosity-sensitive fluorescent molecules that can be used in combination with confocal rheology. This work is also done in collaboration with Wageningen University, where custom tribology experiments and surface patterning techniques have been developed over the past years.

What do we require
  • MSc degree in physics, applied physics, physical chemistry, chemical engineering or a closely related field
  • Knowledge of fluid dynamics
  • Familiarity with polymer science or a clear willingness to learn about this topic
  • Experience with 3D printing and/or micromechanical/electronic equipment
  • Experience with rheometry and/or microscopy
  • Excellent communicative (writing/speaking) and organizational skills
Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be € 2,395 to € 3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

About us

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the University of Amsterdam is located in the centre of the Amsterdam Science Park. The IoP – as part of the Faculty of Science –is housed in a modern building with excellent labs and technical facilities. Surrounded by several national research institutes and with our partners at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam, the institute is part of a strong physics centre of international standing.

The Van der Waals - Zeeman Institute for Experimental Physics (IoP-WZI) is part of the IoP and home to three research clusters: Quantum Gases & Quantum Information (QG&QI), Quantum Materials (QMat), and Soft Matter (SM).

TheSoft matter group is a lively group comprising over 30 researchers that has excellent facilities and is active in areas located at the overlap between soft matter physics and engineering. The research is powered both by fundamental, knowledge-based drive and an ambition to maximize the transfer and exploitation of our results in industry and society in general. The main research areas include hydrodynamics and rheology, complex fluids (surfactants, colloids, and polymers), the glass transition and nucleation. There are many publications in top journals and several major national and International events in our field are organised by the group.

This project is done in collaboration with the Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter group in Wageningen University. This group is interested in phenomena at the nanoscale, where creative chemistry is essential, complex physics is a rule rather than an exception and biology comes to life. The laboratory works on Soft Matter in the broadest sense of the word, combining experiment and theory, chemistry and physics and fundamental and applied science. The laboratory has a large range of state-of-the art equipment.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Prof. D. Bonn
Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 31 July 2021. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae (including details for 2 referees)
  • a list of university courses taken with grades;
  • a single page maximum statement of motivation and research interests.

Please upload the requested documents as 1 pdf file in the field marked CV in the application form.

38 hours per week



Master's degree

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