PhD position: Exploring new machine learning and optimization approaches for materials science

Department/faculty: Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: University Graduate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: Temporary, 4 years
Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in ground breaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, that contributes to demonstrable economic and social benefits.

The Department of Materials Science (MSE) focuses on developing knowledge and methods for creating new materials by finding synergies among experimental, analytical and computational approaches. The vacant position is in the field of Computational Mechanics and Materials Science, within the research group led by Miguel Bessa.

Job description

At the TU Delft, we are using state-of-the-art machine learning methods to create new materials with practical relevance. These methods help uncover new designs and properties. This research aims at exploring recent A.I. methods and potentially develop new ones that can assist our research group in discovering new materials and structures.

As a PhD researcher you will be working on: (1) finite element simulations for a problem of interest; and (2) new machine learning methods.  We encourage originality and value independent thinking.


Applicants should be interested in working with machine learning algorithms and have a strong interest in the development of new methods. The ideal candidate has:

  • strong background in engineering, physics or mathematics

  • demonstrated interest in computational analysis

  • willingness to work as a team

It is considered a plus if the candidate has simulation experience (Finite Element Method, Density Functional Theory, or Molecular Dynamics) and/or experience with one or more machine learning or optimization techniques (machine/deep learning, genetic optimization, Bayesian optimization, etc.)

We are looking for a candidate with high intellectual ability and creativity. We favor diversity and encourage every individual who resonates with the job description to apply for this position.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, 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 childcare 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.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Miguel Bessa, Assistant Professor, email:, tel: +31(0) 15-278-1933.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Hilma Bleeker, HR advisor, email: .

Please apply by submitting a one-page cover letter (stating your personal interest in pursuing a PhD at TU Delft and your research interests and ambitions) and a Curriculum Vitae.

You can send your email by January 15, 2020 to, using the vacancy number as subject.  All required documents should be combined to a single pdf file. The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e. once a suitable candidate is found). This means that the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
University Graduate
Working hours
38.0 hours weekly
Temporary, 4 years
2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Jan. 15, 2020
Vacancy nr.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact: