PhD - Multi-physics Design of Metamaterial-Based Measurement Systems

Department/faculty: Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: 2222 to €2840 per month gross

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) 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 Structural Optimisation and Mechanics (SOM) research group. This group investigates the combination of engineering mechanics and structural optimisation for application in precision systems as well as MEMS/NEMS. Research topics include advanced topology optimisation approaches for nonlinear and multidisciplinary problems, generalised Finite Element modelling, process modelling of Additive Manufacturing, the development of methods, and design and analysis of functional material structures such as metamaterials.

Job description

Unlike natural materials, whose properties are determined by chemical composition, metamaterials (MMs) obtain peculiar functionality typically not found in nature by means of their structure. Phononic crystals (MMs that interact with mechanical waves) are of particular interest because of their potential applications, which include energy harvesting, wireless communications, thermal barriers, elastic/acoustic filters, improved transducers, and waveguides.

As a PhD candidate, you will investigate phononic crystals (PnCs) for the design of vibration isolation for high-tech systems. The project is a cooperation with leading industrial companies, active in the field of cutting-edge flow measurement systems. Your tasks include:

• Creating a numerical model for designing PnC-based structures in order to filter a range of frequencies (bandgap). Due to their complexity, PnCs can only be designed by adequate numerical tools (finite element analysis coupled to optimisation).
• Validating the numerical designs, for which you will manufacture prototypes using suitable in-lab manufacturing techniques, including 3D printing and laser cutting. Design and implementation of an experimental setup required for validation is part of this activity.
• Research and develop PnC-based components from an industrial application perspective, as well as manufacturing methods for these components.
• Realisation of industry-oriented demonstrators, including performance validation.
• Writing a PhD dissertation, publishing in renowned journals, and presenting at international conferences.


You should have the following qualifications:
• MSc university degree in mechanical engineering, physics, or a related area, with a solid background in computational mechanics (finite element modelling).
• Experience in performing experiments.
• High motivation for teamwork and excellent communication skills.
• Experience with computer modelling of wave propagation is an advantage.
• Experience with Python (or other programming languages).

Conditions of employment

The 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, which 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 more information about this position, please contact dr. Alejandro M. Aragón, phone: +31 (0)15 2782267, e-mail: For information about the application procedure, you may contact Willeke Zeestraten, To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV along with a letter of application by 15 October 2017 to:
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME17-43.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
2222 to €2840 per month gross

Closing date
Oct. 15, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Alejandro Aragón, Assistant Professor.

T +31 (0)15 278 22 67

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Willeke Zeestraten/HR.