Thermoplastic composites are gaining more and more interest in automotive, aerospace and sports applications, because of the short cycle times and recycling possibilities. Besides short fibre-reinforced thermoplastics, also continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites are being considered for load-carrying structures. However, their behaviour during manufacturing and during in-service use is very different from the traditional thermoset composites (typically epoxy-based). The mechanical properties of thermoplastic composites are much more sensitive to temperature and loading rate. The combined effect of temperature and loading rate complicates the modelling of the elasto-plastic response of thermoplastic composites. Moreover, thermoplastic composites with a semi-crystalline polymer matrix can have varying degrees of crystallinity, depending on the processing conditions.
UGent-MMS has a PhD vacancy for 3 years on a large research project with a strong industrial consortium. The purpose is to characterize the thermomechanical behaviour of thermoplastic composites, by combining a diverse set of experimental testing methods (DSC, DMA, mechanical testing at different temperatures and strain rates). Those tests should be combined with dedicated instrumentation methods to provide valuable insights into the thermomechanical behaviour of thermoplastic composites.
Only candidates with a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar should apply. You are interested to perform experimental research and to interact and collaborate with industry.
The responsible person at Ghent University is Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM. He has 20 years of experience in mechanics of composites and finite element simulations. More information on the achievements of the research group can be found on http://www.composites.ugent.be/.
Who do we look for?
- you are interested in research and have obtained a Master and/or PhD degree,
- you are interested to interact and collaborate closely with the industrial partners during the research period,
- you have an education in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computational Mechanics, or similar,
- you are familiar with mechanics of materials and experimental or computational techniques (depending on the specific vacancy requirement mentioned above),
- mastering the Dutch language is not a prerequisite, but a good knowledge of English writing and speaking is absolutely required.
What do we offer?
- you will be working in a dynamic environment. Our group has expanded quite fast the last few years and currently, 16 postdoc's and 15 PhD students are working in our group. Besides, 18 PhD students have successfully obtained their PhD degree in the last five years,
- we have extensive experimental and numerical facilities. You will have access to several Linux workstations and a high performance computing cluster to run finite element simulations on 2000+ cores,
- we have good contacts with the regional composite and additive manufacturing industry and regional universities, so you will come into contact with industrial applications of composites and related research in other universities,
- you will get the chance to attend international conferences (e.g. ECCM, ICCM,...) and to present papers on these conferences. For those who are interested, an international exchange with another university is possible. As publications are increasingly important (also for your career afterwards), you are encouraged to publish your results not only on international conferences, but also in peer-reviewed international journals,
- you will have a personal laptop and a private workspace. All PhD students and staff have their office in the same wing of the building. The laboratories are separate in another wing of the same building,
- if you are just graduated (junior PhD student), your net income is about 1950 EUR per month. That is the amount of money that is deposited on your bank account every month (after taxes). If you have a dependent wife/husband and/or children, the salary is raised. Also seniority can be taken into account if you can show former relevant experience. The salary for postdoctoral researchers starts at 2450 EUR net income per month (after taxes).
- the cost for the PhD study itself is very limited. Our education system is very different from for example the system in the United Kingdom. When you start your PhD study, you pay a once-only tuition fee of ca. 1000 EUR, and the rest of your study is free of charge,
- the university offers compensations for public transport (train) and bicycle. The work location can be reached easily by public transport (train and tram/bus),
- a hospitalization insurance policy can be concluded,
- there are a lot of sport accommodations and other benefits (reductions on computer purchase, internet connection, fitness,...) for university personnel,
- there are specific organizations for the international student community in Gent. There are ISAG (International Students Association Ghent) and ESN (European Students Network). They are quite active in organizing all sorts of events (Student Unions and Societies for international students).
Recently, a "China platform" and "India platform" have been founded for the benefit of Chinese and Indian students at Ghent University (see China platform and India Platform).
How to apply?
- you write a detailed Curriculum Vitae in Dutch or English, containing:
- your personal details (name, address, date of birth, nationality,...)
- your education, subject of master thesis and degrees
- your work experience (previous jobs)
- additional skills (finite element software, programming languages, communication skills, ...)
- mastered languages (Dutch, English, French)
- references (previous projects in the domain, published papers,...)
- you send the C.V. by post or e-mail to the following person:
Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM
Mechanics of Materials and Structures
- you can freely download our research brochure. This PDF-document contains a lot of pictures and impressions of our research activities. You can find it on the webpage http://www.composites.ugent.be/slideshow/Slideshow.pdf
- you can contact Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM for any additional information, either by phone or e-mail or a personal appointment.