Post-doc: Numerical Models for Damaged RC Structures

Department/faculty: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Level: PhD degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 1 year
Salary: €2588 to €4084 per month gross

Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

The Department of Structural Engineering provides education and conducts research in the area of civil infrastructure and buildings. The department’s approach is based on science/fundamentals (mechanics and material science), deepened by engineering (concrete, steel, composite, timber, road and railway structures) and broadened by design (integral design, construction design, zero-material design and design-build). The department provides the basic education in the BSc civil engineering programme and three MSc programmes.

Within Structural Mechanics, research is performed into the analysis of solids and structures relevant to civil engineering. The research mission is to provide mechanics-based tools and solutions to civil engineering challenges. Novel computational and analytical techniques are developed for more reliable, efficient and effective analysis of materials and structures. There is a specific interest in new and innovative civil engineering structures and high-performance materials. The research work is fundamental and applied in nature, and has a mono-, multi- or transdisciplinary character.

Job description

Existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures may be damaged due to a specific loading history, deterioration mechanisms (e.g. reinforcement corrosion) and accidental loading. Hence, uncertainties regarding structural safety may arise. A detailed assessment by nonlinear finite element analysis is one of the possibilities to reduce these uncertainties.
This research aims to explore the capabilities of advanced numerical models for concrete fracture in the assessment of existing RC structures. For reliable predictions, existing damage should be taken into account. An ideal approach would be to include in the model the loading scenarios that caused the damage. However, this will generally not be feasible due to a lack of required data. The approach in this research is to take existing damage in concrete as a starting point of the structural analysis, i.e. existing damage is treated as an input variable for the analysis. The information on damage in a structure should be obtained from accurate measurement techniques (e.g. acoustic tomography). This assessment approach requires a coupling between advanced numerical models and measurement techniques for damage in concrete. “Advanced numerical models” for concrete fracture refer to the use of discrete models (e.g. XFEM) and nonlocal continuous models (e.g. gradient-damage models). The challenge is to apply these techniques, which are mainly developed for localised fracture problems in plain concrete, to RC structures.
This research is a joint activity of TNO and Delft University of Technology. The post-doc is sponsored by TNO.


Conditions of employment

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.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Bert Sluys, phone: +31 (0)15-2782728, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV and a letter of application by 1 October 2017 to Bert Sluys,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG17-23.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Civil Engineering and Geosciences
PhD degree
Working hours
1 year
€2588 to €4084 per month gross

Closing date
Oct. 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Bert Sluys, Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2782728

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Bert Sluys/Structural Engineering.