PhD Position Digitally Fabricated Flexible Construction System

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Job description

Applying the principles of efficiency, economy and elegance in designing structures that intelligently include structural performance and architectural geometry makes it possible to significantly reduce the amount of material used in a structure and its embodied emissions. Their expressive, intricate and bespoke geometries can be challenging to build with traditional methods. Alongside design, the fabrication and construction process play an important role in reducing the impact of buildings on the environment.

The research is aimed at developing digitally driven (pre)fabrication systems that combine flexible construction systems consisting of individually fabricated, highly customised building components and streamlined assembly approaches. In this PhD research you will focus on the development of knitted textile membrane systems with varied material local properties. This includes investigating and designing functionally graded materials that can be used within flexible construction systems. The project work will include physical prototyping, material testing, and the development of appropriate computational models for the prediction of material properties.



  • A Master's degree in Civil Engineering, Architecture or a related field
  • Good computational and modelling skills (e.g. Python + Rhino3D or similar) or willingness to learn/improve
  • Independent, self-motivated, curiosity driven, openminded and can work well in collaborations
  • Interest in applied and experimental research
  • Excellent communication skills(oral, written, presentation)

Note: If your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.


  • Experience with design and fabrication of membranes, knitted textiles, digital fabrication and working with programmable (CNC) machinery is a plus
  • Aptitude to help in teaching activities
  • Relevant experience in R&D activities/software development is a plus
  • Experience in data science is a plus
Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 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.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

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.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Mariana Popescu (

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before November 1st, 2021 via the application button and upload:

  • a detailed CV (max. 2 pages),
  • a motivation letter, including a description of previous experience
  • portfolio of previous work if applicable
  • Msc thesis abstract
  • your graduate transcripts
  • contact details of two references

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post. A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure. Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

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