Post-doc: Nano-mechanical sensors for environmental and agricultural monitoring

Department/faculty: Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: Doctorate
Working hours: 38-40 hours weekly
Contract: 2 years
Salary: 3303 - 4166 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 groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits. 

The Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) of the 3mE faculty focuses on developing knowledge and methods for small, innovative, high-precision devices and systems, such as precision equipment and scientific instrumentation for the high-tech industry. Increasing miniaturization and function density along with 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 Dynamics of Micro and Nanosystems (DMN) research group ( The group focuses on exploiting the dynamics and electromechanics to create technologies for the extreme miniaturization of sensors and actuators. Our research topics span from the implementation of new nanoscale materials, to the modeling and characterization of their high frequency dynamics, towards their implementation in small and accurate sensors and actuators for new applications. You will be working in a challenging international environment in one of the best technical universities of Europe, with access to the state-of-the art micro-nano testing facilities and advanced numerical modelling tools. You will participate in a large team with strong industrial and academic collaborations (Plantenna research program, and will be part of a new research program in the group, focused on developing sensor technology that will offer novel physical, gas and biosensing functionality for determining parameters related to the environment and food quality.

Job description

Within the Plantenna project, new nanoscale materials, like graphene, will be utilized for resonators to create novel sensor functionalities. As resonator properties such as resonance frequency and quality factor can be read-out electrically, these materials are ideal candidates for nanoelectromechanical systems. Within Plantenna, we aim to bring these nanosystems out of the lab to measure parameters of the environment and of plants, such as temperature, gas composition, pressure, and humidity. Your task as a post-doc will focus on developing and investigating new sensor concepts for detecting these properties, and to develop a modular sensor system for practical applications.
It is expected that you will:

  1. Develop, conduct and supervise research on nanoscale resonators.

  2. Study the interplay between different environmental parameters that affect nanoscale resonators, develop reduced-order models, and develop an on-the-fly analysis tool.

  3. Perform experimental research, including the implementation of electrical read-out schemes.

  4. Calibrate environmental parameters for sensing applications.

  5. Engage in the writing of scientific articles and proposals to secure funding for further work on the topic.


Applicants should have the following qualifications:

  • PhD in mechanical engineering, physics or a related area with a solid background in micro- and/or nano-mechanical resonators as well as electronics.

  • Experience in the fabrication and/or characterization of nano-mechanical devices.

  • Modeling and nonlinear dynamics skills are appreciated.

  • A good publication record.

  • High motivation for teamwork and good communication skills. Additional valued knowledge includes experience in experimental dynamics at the microscale, and/or experience in nanosensor technology, and/or experience with ultrasound sensing.

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.

Information and application

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Gerard Verbiest, Assistant Professor, email:, tel: +31 (0)15 278 6504, or  Prof.dr. Peter Steeneken, email:
For information about the selection procedure, please contact Irina Bruckner, HR-advisor, email:

Applications should include: a letter of motivation, a detailed CV including publication list, summary of academic record or research experience, abstract of PhD thesis (1 page), preferred starting date, proof of English language skills (if applicable), and names of three references. When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE18-66.
Please e-mail your application by 26 November 2018 to Irina Bruckner, email: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Working hours
38-40 hours weekly
2 years
3303 - 4166 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Nov. 27, 2018
Vacancy nr.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact: