PhD: Integrated Microfluidic Sensors and Actuators Platform

Department/faculty: Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: University Graduate
Working hours: 38-40 hours weekly
Contract: 4 years
Salary: 2266 - 2897 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) focuses on developing knowledge and methods for innovative, high-precision devices and systems, such as precision equipment and scientific instrumentation for the high-tech industry. Increasing miniaturisation and function density, and improving precision, speed and reliability are the key topics in our work. Our approach is multidisciplinary, fundamental, and inspired by industry needs.

The vacant position is in the Micro and Nano Engineering (MNE) research group. This group investigates the scientific concepts at the micro and nano scale. Research topics include Micro-Nanofluidic manipulation, Scalable nanomanufacturing, Precision Scientific Instrumentation, Polymer microfluidics and Thin film growth & devices based on carbon materials like Graphene and Diamond.

Job description

Micro and nanofluidics are key enabling technologies for many industrial and scientific applications in health care, bio-nano-sciences, chemistry and catalysis. The existing methods to control fluid at the small scale always depend on external bulky peripheral control systems losing all the advantages of miniaturization. Therefore, there is a major need for novel active microfluidic elements, detection schemes, control strategies and integration methodologies.

As a PhD candidate your task will be to create an innovative platform for designing and manufacturing integrated, small footprint microfluidic systems. This should lead to compact components and systems for controlled steering and characterization of very small amounts of fluid flows (liquids, gases). Key innovations targeted are (1) novel designs and manufacturing methods for active components such as pumps, valves, (2) novel fluid flow sensing and analysing techniques and control strategies, (3) integrating (network of components and control) into closed-loop local fluidic handling systems. The development of suitable micro-manufacturing methods is an important part of the project. You will work in close collaboration with an industrial project partner who is a leading global player in low flow control and develop demonstrators. The project addresses the scientific challenges related to active microfluidics and their integration, and lays the foundation for breakthrough solutions for industrial and scientific markets. You write a doctoral dissertation and publish results in renowned peer-reviewed journals.


We are looking for candidates with:

  • A MSc university degree in one of the engineering disciplines or applied physics, and a relevant specialisation, e.g. micro/nano fluidics, lab-on-a-chip research, micro and nano engineering and manufacturing.

  • The ability to do explorative and experimental research.

  • Experience in fabrication and characterisation techniques for the small length scale are highly preferred.

  • Proven skills in team work.

  • Good communication skills.

Since the project is a collaboration with an industrial partner, sincere interest in the innovation of industrial applications is required.

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 Murali Ghatkesar, Assistant Professor, e-mail:, phone: +31 (0)15 27 82299.  For information about the selectionprocedure, please contact Irina Bruckner, HR advisor, e-mail:

For application, please send a detailed CV along with a letter of application (both in a single pdf file) by 1 September 2018 to
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE18-53.


Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
University Graduate
Working hours
38-40 hours weekly
4 years
2266 - 2897 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Sept. 1, 2018
Vacancy nr.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact: