TU Delft

Post-doctoral researcher in numerical modelling of cyclic soil-monopile interaction

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Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Department of Geoscience and Engineering encompasses 5 sections: Applied Geology, Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics, Geo-Engineering, Resource Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering. Within the department there is considerable scope and encouragement for inter-disciplinary research.

The Section of Geo-Engineering has 9 full-time and 5 part-time academic staff, and 25 PhD and post-doctoral researchers. Areas of expertise include soil mechanics, dykes and embankments, foundation engineering, underground space technology, engineering geology, and geo-environmental engineering.

The department is part of the Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences 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. The research covers global social issues and is closely connected to education as well as the work of a wide range of knowledge institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to realise these 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.

Functie omschrijving

The post-doctoral researcher will advance the knowledge of cyclic soil-monopile interaction in offshore wind turbines using state-of-the-art numerical modelling. Scientific challenges exist in the fundamental understanding and conceptualisation of cyclic pile behaviour, and its translation into engineering models (e.g., based on the well-known p-y approach).

The researcher will numerically investigate the cyclic behaviour of laterally loaded monopiles in sandy soil, under a variety of loading and geotechnical conditions. The work will include development, set-up and calibration of 3D FE monopile models, in combination with advanced constitutive modelling of cyclic sand behaviour. Design of the numerical simulation programme, and validation of obtained results, will be carried out in close collaboration with experimentalists and industry experts involved in the research project. The new knowledge gained from combined physical and numerical modelling will be oriented towards the formulation and implementation of a new engineering p-y model for the analysis of large-diameter monopiles in sand under cyclic loading.

This position is supported by MIDAS (Monopile Improved Design through Advanced cyclic Soil modelling), a research project funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland - RVO) and industry partners in the framework of the Dutch offshore wind program GROW. TU Delft is the leading institution of a team including Deltares, Eneco, IHC, Innogy, Shell, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Van Oord. More information about MIDAS can be found at: https://www.grow-offshorewind.nl/project/midas

Functie eisen

Candidates shall meet as many of the following requirements as possible:

  • PhD degree in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering or related areas;

  • proven experience in finite element analysis and constitutive modelling, especially regarding soil-structure interaction problems and cyclic loading conditions in sandy soils;

  • excellent knowledge of soil mechanics (including dynamics) and foundation engineering. Acquaintance with offshore wind geotechnics is also appreciated (but not mandatory);

  • high skills in 3D FE modelling and developing/using (open-source) FE software - such as, e.g., OpenSees;

  • experience in implementing and calibrating constitutive models for sand, preferably in the framework of bounding surface plasticity;

  • interest in contributing to the global success of the project, liaising with other team members responsible for different segments of the research;

  • appreciation of team work, good social skills, and ability to function in international circles involving experts from academia and industry;

  • high proficiency in spoken/written English, and proven experience in preparing technical publications and project reports;

  • interest in contributing to educational activities, including occasional teaching, student tutoring and co-supervision of BSc/MSc graduation projects.


The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. It is an option for the candidate to be employed directly by the Dutch scrap industry.

Informeren en solliciteren

For more information about this vacancy please contact Dr. Federico Pisanò, assistant professor, via F.Pisano@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 27 82844., or Dr. Amin Askarinejad, assistant professor, via A.Askarinejad@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 27 83326.

To receive full consideration, applications shall include in a single file:

  • CV (5 pages max.);

  • one-page cover letter, emphasising motivation and interest in the position;

  • up to three significant publications (co-)authored by the applicant, and relevant to the subject of the position;

  • contact information of max. 3 referees – reference letters will be requested as deemed appropriate while reviewing all applications.

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

Uren per week: 36-40 uur per week

Salaris: € 3.389,- tot € 4.274,- per maand


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