See Vacancies - University of Twente

PDEng position: "Design a new process route with a different steel grade"


Job description

At VDL-Weweler in Apeldoorn, parts will be formed at high temperatures by closed die forging. For this purpose, commonly steel grade 51CrV4 is used. After forging the product is cooled down somewhat to recrystallize, after which it must be heated again for a heat treatment. With a, for Weweler, new steel grade 61SiCr7, it must be possible to harden and temper the product directly after hot forming. The material then gets an ausferritic structure instead of the usual martensitic structure. This yields economic and ecological advantages because the product need not be re-heated. The product’s quality is determined by the microstructure of the material, which in turn depends on the thermo-mechanical history of the material (deformation and temperature evolution). The hardness, fatigue strength and surface roughness are most relevant properties for the current product. In this project, the relation between the microstructure and these properties must be determined. It is expected that the ausferritic structure is more ductile, which makes the surface roughness less critical.

The Project

The PDEng project title is: 
“Design of a new process route for closed die forging and subsequent energy-neutral heat treatment”

The evolution of deformation and temperature in the to-be-designed process can be predicted with the finite element program DEFORM. For this particular material, the flow stress evolution is not yet available and therefore, the influence on the forming process and the service life of the tools cannot be determined accurately.
Silicon is an important alloying element that enables creation of the ausferritic structure in the tempering treatment. Steel grade 61SiCr7 is a commercially available material, but in this project also another (silicon-alloyed) steel with slightly different composition could be considered. In literature, the ausferritic structure does not seem to be studied a lot, compared to e.g. the bainitic structure. VDL Weweler therefore aims to obtain good insight in the effects of applying this material structure in their production process.
To design a new process within the realm of the PDEng design assignment, you will investigate the following aspects:

  1. What are the relevant product properties that are determined by the thermo-mechanical process?
  2. What thermo-mechanical history leads to the required microstructure? If this is not sufficiently clear from literature or from the supplier, experiments can be performed with the Gleeble thermo-mechanical simulator at the University of Twente.
  3. What models and model parameters in DEFORM are suitable to predict deformation in the forging process in the ausferritic phase of the material.
  4. How does the fatigue strength of the product depend on the process settings?
  5. Design a process in which hardening and tempering takes place directly after hot forming. Determine the process constraints such that the product fulfils the requirements.

Your profile

For this PDEng position, we expect that:

  • You hold a MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, or related programmes with a clear focus on mechanical behaviour of materials;
  • You have demonstrated affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments;
  • You have a passion for finding solutions for complex technological issues;
  • You have excellent collaboration and communication skills;
  • You are self-starting and self-motivating, willing to take initiatives and feel the responsibility for your own project.

Candidates with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

Our offer

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme Energy & Process Technology offers you a 2-year position combining post MSc education and a design project to be carried out at VDL Weweler.
The educational programme, carried out at the University of Twente, will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with VDL Weweler in Apeldoorn, you will work on high level, creative new designs for complex issues.

We you a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. In the time, we will provide you with a tailor made post-master design programme that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%). You will be supervised by a team of experts from both VDL Weweler and the University of Twente.

On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree PDEng and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).

Information and application

Please send the following documents before 30-04-2021 through the link below:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List with grades of courses attended
  • References and, if applicable, a list of publications.

Important is, to add all items in 1 document (there is only 1 up load button).

If you have any further questions about this vacancy, please contact A.H. van de Boogaard:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +31 53 489 4785

See for more information about the PDEng programmes in general.

About the department

VDL Weweler is part of VDL Group, an international industrial family-owned company that is a conglomerate of flexible, independent companies each with its own specialty. VDL Weweler belongs to the finished products division. The other divisions are car assembly, buses & coaches and subcontracting. The strength of VLD Group lies in the cooperation between the companies. VDL Weweler has approximately 180 employees and over the last nearly 100 years has developed into a leading international designer and manufacturer of (air) suspension solutions for trailers, trucks and busses. It produces, tests and sells air suspension systems, axle lift systems and parabolic springs.

VDL Weweler has a flat organizational structure with short lines of communication. Continuous effort is put into improving the existing no-nonsense culture in which informal, personal, professional and open communication predominates. The company’s culture is best described by the collective VDL credo: “Strength through co-operation”. As within all VDL companies, the heart of VDL Weweler is formed by the dedicated employees and the expert craftsmanship at all levels. VDL Weweler has attained and maintained their competitive position through the efforts of motivated and flexible professionals.

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.

PDEng position: "Design a new process route with a different steel grade"
Apply now