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PhD candidate “on the modeling and mechanical design of flexures (compliant mechanisms)”

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Job description

Flexure-based mechanisms represent high-precision alternatives to conventional rigid links mechanisms, since they rely on elastic deformation and operate without hysteresis. Design challenges lie in the complex stiffness behavior and the inherent limit on the maximum strain. This project will develop strategies for modeling and optimization of flexure designs.

The idea is to rely on a unified framework for automating and improving the design process of mechanical components. The port-Hamiltonian formalism possesses all the desirable properties: it can handle complex systems by modularly interconnecting their basic components and keeping track of the energy exchange!

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to strengthen our research. Your research will focus on the development of new mathematical models and efficient numerical methods. The starting point is the inclusion of geometric nonlinearities in port-Hamiltonian beams and plates. The resulting dynamical models have to be numerically implemented in a way that preserves the continuous properties at the discrete level. The numerical models can then be used for analysis and topology optimization of flexure-based designs.

Your profile

  • A MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a related field.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.
  • Strong, proven programming skills in MATLAB and/or Python.
  • The ability to operate at the intersection of various fields.
  • A high degree of responsibility and independence, able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers, and other university staff.
  • Experience with finite element libraries and numerical methods would further strengthen the application.

Our offer

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. We offer:

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • Excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • An offer for a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School;
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.395 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.061 in the fourth year;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a 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

Please note that this vacancy is only open to female scientists. 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.

You can submit your application before July 1, 2021 using the “Apply now” button, and include:

  • A cover letter of at most 1 page A4, explaining specific interests, the motivation for the application, and why you qualify for this project.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae, including contact information for at least two academic references
  • Transcripts from your Bachelor and/or Master degrees

Interviews will be held following the submission closure.

Additional information about this position can be acquired from dr.ir. Marijn Nijenhuis : m.nijenhuis@utwente.nl  and Andrea Brugnoli :  a.brugnoli@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 candidate “on the modeling and mechanical design of flexures (compliant mechanisms)”
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