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PhD position in interface optimization for metal -thermoplastic hybrids

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Job description

The Department of Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces & Systems (MS3), part of the faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is currently seeking a PhD candidate in the area of interface optimization in metal-thermoplastic hybrid joints. The work will be done in the Surface Engineering and Maintenance group, where we research topics related to damage mechanisms and lifetime prediction.

The performance of multi-material systems is largely controlled by the interfaces between their constituents. However, the joints between dissimilar entities with distinctive characteristics such as metals and thermoplastics are commonly classified with a low bonding strength. To increase the bonding strength of metals with thermoplastics and improve the reliability of the hybrid systems surface treatments are unavoidable.

This PhD research seeks to exploit a new surface treatment method to improve the bonding performance in metal -thermoplastic hybrids. It will focus on the development of experimental techniques as well as modelling tools to analyse and describe the physical mechanisms of bond formation. It will aim to optimize the short and long-term structural performance of metal -thermoplastic hybrids in terms of strength and robustness.


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to strengthen our research portfolio in surface treatments and hybrid joints. Your main task will be to develop and optimize a metal surface treatment set-up and to uncover the processing- microstructure- performance correlation in the hybrid joint. Careful experimental procedures, involving manufacturing the specimens combined with physical-mechanical testing and extensive microscopic investigations are required to describe the mechanisms at the interface. You will be part of a dedicated team and you will collaborate with world-leading scientists in the project consortium within University of Twente and University of the Manchester.

Your first responsibility is to carry out the research, but you are also encouraged to acquire teaching experience. We support you to broaden your knowledge by participating in national and international conferences and workshops and by visiting industrial companies, research institutes, and universities worldwide.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and driven researcher:

  • You have a master’s degree in Physics, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering or equivalent
  • You have a background in metal surface treatments, composites, adhesion, and fracture mechanics.
  • You are creative and highly motivated to address major challenges in Hybrid Materials and Structures;
  • You are an excellent researcher, eager to learn and to improve;
    You envision yourself working in an interdisciplinary and international environment;
  • You are proficient in English.

Our offer

  • Four-year full-time PhD position, with a qualifier exam after 6-9 months;
  • Excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth;
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits;
  • Starting salary of € 2.395 gross per month in the first year and increasing to € 3.061 gross per month in the fourth year; 
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.

Information and application

Are you interested after reading about this vacancy? Applications can be uploaded before March 8th 2021 via the “Apply now” button below and should include the following documents:

  • A motivation letter describing why you apply for this position, with a description of your research interests, qualifications and motivation (no more than 1 A4);A detailed CV;
  • Academic transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees;
  • Contact information of at least two references whom the search committee may contact directly.

The selection procedure includes an interview and a scientific presentation.

Please note that (at this moment) this vacancy is only open to female candidates. This is part of the University of Twente’s strategy to increase the proportion of women among its faculty and to create a working environment that is diverse and inclusive and supportive of excellence in research and teaching.

For more information you can contact Dr. Jamal S. M. Zanjani; j.seyyedmonfaredzanjani@utwente.nl or Prof.dr.ir. M.B. de Rooij: m.b.derooij@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.

As an employer, the ET Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, 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, customizable conditions.

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 in interface optimization for metal -thermoplastic hybrids
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