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PhD candidate “Degradation mechanisms in high performance rope structures”

Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to strengthen our research portfolio. Careful experimental analysis, involving microscopy combined with digital image correlation to investigate fiber slip, Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, will be employed to analyze, model and quantify fiber damage. Understanding the physical background of internal degradation processes will ultimately underpin lifetime prediction of these ropes.

Your profile

• MSc degree in Physics, Mechanical Engineering or equivalent, preferably with a background in fibers and/or tribology.
• You are an excellent researcher, eager to learn and to improve;
• You thrive in a collaborative environment;
• Your interpersonal skills as well as English language skills are excellent.

Our offer


We offer a very challenging full-time position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment.
• We offer you a full-time four-year position with a one-year probation period;
• The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.395,- per month in the first year and increases to € 3.061,- per month in the fourth year of your employment based on a full-time employment;
• A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%;
• A solid pension scheme;
• Minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;
• Professional and personal development programs

Information and application

Are you interested after reading this vacancy? Please apply via the application button below until 1st November 2020, by uploading the following documents :


• A motivation letter describing why you apply for this position, with a description of your research interests (no more than 1 A4).
• A detailed CV.
• Academic transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
The selection procedure includes an interview and scientific presentation.
For more information, contact prof.dr.ir. M.B. de Rooij : m.b.derooij@utwente.nl

In June / July 2020 we also advertised for this vacancy. For those who have sent their application than, please don't apply for this position again.

About the department

The Department Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces & Systems (MS3), part of the faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is currently seeking a PhD student in the area of fibers, ropes and damage mechanisms. The work will be done in the Surface Engineering and Maintenance group, where we work on topics related to damage mechanisms and lifetime prediction.
Degradation mechanisms happening at surfaces are typically highly complex in nature. Many degradation mechanisms involve multiple physical domains, like interacting thermal, mechanical and chemical effects. Analysis and modelling complex degradation phenomena is foundational for maintenance. Improvement of lifetime and maintenance is important, ultimately to make our society more sustainable.
Ropes composed of aramid fibres are commonly used in all kinds of applications, mostly applications that are in one way or another critical. For reasons of safety, it is very important to have a clear understanding of degradation taking place in these rope structures. The aim of the research is to analyse, quantify and describe internal degradation in rope structures due to mechanical interaction between the fibers. Ultimately this should lead to the development of a damage indicator. Although the research will primarily be performed on aramid ropes under conditions typical for extreme environments, spin off to other high performance fiber structures is expected.

About the organization

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 candidate “Degradation mechanisms in high performance rope structures”
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