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PhD Position: Failure analysis in forming of battery cans

Job description

Are you fascinated to develop the most sophisticated simulation techniques for production of battery cans? Do you want to do scientific research with immediate industrial relevance?

For this project, we are looking for a 4-year PhD candidate to reinforce our team.

With the steep rise in sales of electrical vehicles the demand for batteries is growing rapidly. One of the battery technologies is to build the battery pack from cylindrical cells. The battery casing (the so-called battery can) is typically manufactured from steel by deep drawing and wall ironing. This forming process is very critical due to extreme deformations under high surface pressure, friction and temperature variation.

The process is complicated further by the unavoidable anisotropy of the steel sheet, that is reinforced by the large deformations. Under the high surface pressures, forming dies cannot be considered rigid anymore and friction coefficients are no longer constant. Standard simulation tools for sheet forming are therefore not applicable and new models must be developed.

Sometimes the battery cans split during production and currently the cause for this is not well understood. The scientific hypothesis is that material anisotropy plays an important role. The overall objective of this research is to be able to quantify the effect of anisotropy in the sheet material on this failure in battery can production and to optimise process and/or material parameters to minimise probability of failure.

For this project, we are looking for a PhD candidate with relevant expertise at the crossroads of computational mechanics, materials science and production technology. The candidate will report his/her research during bi-weekly meetings of our research group and quarterly meetings with the project partners. The candidate is expected to present his/her results at international scientific conferences and publish them in academic literature. Furthermore, the researcher will be encouraged to tutor MSc students who do their final assignment on sub-projects pertaining to the current research project.

The PhD research will be performed in the chair of Nonlinear Solid Mechanics in close cooperation with the Materials innovation institute M2i and Tata Steel R&D in The Netherlands

Your profile

  • MSc. degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related field with excellent results and special interest in modelling, materials and production processes.
  • Prior knowledge of nonlinear solid mechanics, computational methods and material forming.
  • Curious and highly motivated to do interdisciplinary scientific research with a clear industrial application.
  • Working independently and taking ownership for your own research.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency in English is required, both spoken and written. You need to provide IELTS test results (minimum score 6.5) or TOEFL-iBT (minimum score 90). The latter is not necessary for native speakers of English or whose MSc program was in English.

Our offer

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of € 2.434 gross per month in the first year and a salary of € 3.111 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

Information and application

Please submit your application before October 10th, 2021 using the “Apply now” button, and include:

1.    Curriculum vitae

2.    Letter of motivation

3.    Grades of the BSc and MSc courses

4.    IELTS or TOEFL score (if necessary)

5.    Contact information of 2 references

A first selection will be made based on this written application. A selected group of applicants will be invited for an interview. A Game-Based assessment will be also part of the selection procedure.

Additional information about this position can be acquired from Dr. Eisso Atzema, phone: +31 251 498 524, e-mail: eisso.atzema@tatasteeleurope.com or Prof. Ton van den Boogaard, phone: +31 53 489 4785, e-mail: a.h.vandenboogaard@utwente.nl

About the organization

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD Position: Failure analysis in forming of battery cans
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