PhD Positions at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

16 Fully Funded PhD Positions at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Online applications are being accepted by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Netherlands for a variety of fully funded PhD positions in various Departments. Any qualified candidates are encouraged to apply right away.

(1) PhD position: Data-driven and Modular control for Controlled Environment Agriculture

This PhD project involves designing data-driven and modular control algorithms to address these challenges in CEA systems. These control algorithms should regulate the indoor temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, and supplemental light input in CEA systems to maximize plant growth while minimizing energy cost and environmental impact. The goal is to leverage first-principles knowledge as well as advances in machine learning and data-driven control to design a control synthesis procedure specific to CEA applications. We plan to focus on modular approaches that allow us to apply the same low-cost control synthesis procedure to deploy controllers for a variety of CEA systems and plants with similar physics, but different parameters. During the project, we intend to collaborate with industrial partners and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) to test these algorithms on real CEA systems. By reducing the cost to deploy these advanced automation and control algorithms, we can expand the scope of these algorithms and thereby bring significant improvements to the resilience, economics, and sustainability of modern agriculture.

Deadline : 17 April 2023

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(2) PhD position: Quantum Nanomechanics

In this project, you will work with a team of researchers in the SteeleLab to try to experimentally answer the question: is it possible to observe the effects of gravity on a quantum superposition of a heavy, mechanical object? To do this, you will be embedded in a team working on coupling mechanical resonators made from silicon nitride membranes to superconducting quantum microwave circuits. Based on a platform pioneered in the group, you will have the opportunity to design, fabricate, and assemble superconducting circuit chips to engineer quantum superpositions of the position of the membrane. Cooling the assembled chips to millikelvin temperatures, you will manipulate and probe the quantum state of the membrane, exploring previously inaccessible regimes of quantum physics. In the project, you have the opportunity to develop skills in superconducting device design, fabrication and measurement, gaining expertise and insight into high-Q superconducting cavities and high-coherence superconducting qubits. You will also develop skills and gain experience working with ultra-high Q mechanical resonators. The SteeleLab is motivated by curiosity-driven experimental research into topics in quantum physics and engineering. In the project, you will have the freedom to, and will be encouraged to, develop your own ideas, engage the team to help you implement them, and test them them using the advanced infrastructure available in the group.

Deadline : 15 April 2023

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(3) PhD position: Simulation of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of semiconductor devices

Semiconductor devices continue to get smaller, contain more materials and have increasingly complex geometries. To ensure that the semiconductor device production yields remain high, the accuracy of all metrology methods as are used for process control must be disruptively improved. Metrology with a Scanning electron microscope (SEM) plays a crucial role for process control, and improving the interpretability of SEM signals is essential for further development of the semiconductor industry. Accurate modeling of the beam-sample interaction for real device geometries has to bring the required new insights.

Deadline : 15th of April 2023

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(4) PhD position: Structural Biology of Neurodegeneration

The long-term goal of our research is to understand how neurons form networks in health and disease. We address questions such as: What is the underlying structural basis of synapse formation? What happens at the nanoscale levels in diseased brain? We have recently determined cryo-EM structures of synaptic cell adhesion molecules that reveal part of the molecular recognition code underlying synapse formation. We are now also aiming to understand molecular recognition and synapse formation in a disease context using a combination of protein biochemistry/biophysics, structural biology and mammalian cell biology approaches. The successful applicant will be the driver of a new project concerning detailed structural characterization of neurodegeneration at the neuronal synapse. State-of-the-art equipment, including high-end light and electron microscopes, as well as advanced mammalian cell culture facilities are available in our department. We are an international, growing team of multidisciplinary scientists. We aim for a high impact, supportive environment, where talented people work together to solve neurobiological questions. See also our group website

Deadline : 15 April 2023

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(5) PhD position: Develop and Refine Sampling Systems for Water- and Airborne Viruses

As a PhD candidate in this project, you will develop/refine the sampling systems for water- and airborne viruses via ad hoc and longitudinal surveillance of various environmental matrices in transport hubs (airport/aircraft sanitary water, ships, animal manure, animal cages/beddings, surface dust, wastewater). Research challenges are representative sampling and effective and reproducibly capture and extraction of sufficient virus material. Sampling systems will be validated using a MLII experimental setup developed through collaboration between EMC, WUR and TU Delft, applying different environmental conditions. After validation they will be tested in living labs for intelligent pandemic surveillance in the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol airport, by sampling airport and sanitary wastewater of intercontinental aircrafts, cruise ships and traded animals and their transport environment. You will explore the possibility to rapidly deploy the sampling systems in (anticipated) flooding events to characterize pathogen inputs/dynamics at sites (rivers, lakes, estuaries, storm water overflows) that are at risk of flooding and collect pathogen data to validate pathogen emission and transport models.

Deadline : 10 April 2023

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(6) PhD position: AI-supported CO2-low circular design

This PhD project will enhance approaches to circularity in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry by developing an AI-supported decision model for evaluating reuse possibilities of existing buildings and the materials deployed in them. The largest stock of building materials available for circular means is the collection of existing buildings. As they represent a vast amount of embodied energy, repairing, re-programming, transforming, extending, reconfiguring them becomes the prime design assignment. But doing so quite often requires new material and energy consumption. Furthermore, in between full preservation and turning demolition into waste, other options are available: components can be salvaged, materials can be reprocessed and recycled in a variety of ways. Hence, the challenge is to identify the most CO2-low approach.

Deadline :April 9, 2023

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(7) PhD position: Heat Management in CO2 Electrolysis

In this PhD project, you will study the temperature distribution and heat fluxes in a state-of-the-art CO2 electrolyzer at several scales. Your work will be mainly experimental, using our optical and conducting sensors for in situ temperature mapping, in combination with our electrochemical techniques for analysing the cell performance and measuring product formation. You will design and investigate strategies, and engineer designs, to control the temperature within electrolyzers to boost the utility of the technology.

Deadline : 2 April 2023

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(8) PhD position: Hydrogen generation via Seawater Electrolysis

Our group has wide experience in electrochemical conversion, such as water electrolysis, and water treatment, such as bipolar membrane electrodialysis. Initial tests for seawater electrolysis have been performed, and main challenges have been identified. In this PhD project, you will develop strategies for longer catalyst lifetime and in situ pH conditioning of the seawater. You will focus on designing the (membrane-based) flow cells, making new electrodes, and analysing the stability in seawater electrolysis. Your activities will include process design (flow strategies, cell engineering), investigation the performance of different configurations and study the effect of new electrode synthesis techniques on the stability of the process. We will work in a team with 2 PhD candidates, 3 researchers/engineers from permanent technical staff and 4 companies (key partner SwitcH2 offshore) in a collaborative project. The PhD position is funded for 4 years. You will be positioned in the research group of David Vermaas. The other researchers in the group (approximately 10 PhD/postdocs, 10 MSc students) investigate related electrochemical processes, and we foster the interaction between researchers in the group. 

Deadline: 2 April 2023

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(9) PhD position:  Design for Reliability of Power Electronics

Using SiC switches and smart power modules in electric vehicles (EVs) can significantly improve the efficiency and performance of the vehicle’s power electronics systems. SiC switches offer lower switching losses and higher temperature tolerance compared to traditional silicon-based switches, which can result in higher efficiency and power density of the EV’s inverter. Smart power modules integrate power semiconductor devices, gate drivers, protection circuits, and other components in a compact package, which can simplify the design and reduce the size and weight of the EV’s power electronics system. By incorporating SiC switches and smart power modules in EVs, manufacturers can improve the vehicle’s range, acceleration, and overall performance while reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

Deadline : June 15, 2023

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 (10) PhD position: Novel DC-DC Converter for Plant Energy Harvesting.

Collecting energy from the environment to power IoT devices has been a hot topic for decades and continues to develop. In this project, we are working with Plant-e on a plant-powered energy harvester, which can provide energy from the plants day and night. Very different from the solid-state energy harvesters such as solar cells, plant-based energy harvester is a “living” energy harvester that responses to electrical conditions slowly, and  the traditional maximum power point track (MPPT) techniques cannot be applied. The goal of this project is to develop a novel MPPT technique to quickly and accurately find and track the MPP condition of the plant energy harvester. A DC-DC converter will also be designed to demonstrate the system.

Deadline :  June 1, 2023

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(11) PhD position: Maintenance-Aware Multi-Level Control for Ammonia-Powered Ships

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate how automatic control strategies could ensure a high ship system performance under various operating conditions. This requires input from a large number of sensors installed on the system. At the same time, this sensor data will be used to diagnose the system and predict upcoming failures. These insights will, on the one hand, be used to plan maintenance activities (e.g. repair, replace parts) just-in-time, and on the other hand to feed the control system, allowing to adapt the system operational settings (e.g. to reduce the loads on specific parts) to the actual system condition. You will investigate the operational control challenges of the ship concept, for the ship system itself, as well as in relation to the direct surrounding waterway users. The link between operational decision making (during navigation) and decision making for maintenance (typically on a somewhat longer timescale) are hereby considered from an integrated perspective. Of particular importance hereby is how to control the system in unexpected situations involving, e.g., sensor or actuator malfunctioning or unexpected movements of other waterway users.

Deadline : Open until filled

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(12) PhD position: Fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer in air contactor devices for Direct Air Capture

In this PhD research, the fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer processes in air contactors will be investigated using computational methods. The optimal topology of the sorbent material to balance pressure drop and capacity will be considered, and efficient heat transfer mechanisms for the desorption phase will be designed. Additionally, the available experimental facilities will be used to validate the results. This research will lead to an improved understanding of the air contactors, and design rules to be used for further scale-up.

Deadline : 15 May 2023 

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(13) PhD position: Experimental Fluid Dynamics of Microalgae Suspensions

Two Ph.D. positions are available in the project “Flow4Algae”. This experimental project aims to understand the multiscale fluid dynamics of living microalgae suspensions. We are particularly interested in the interplay between flow conditions, cell physiology, and cell growth. Each different project will focus on flow conditions ranging from linear shear flows in microfluidics to weak turbulence. In this project, you will design new multiscale experiments and analytical tools for the different flow regimes. These studies will be conducted in the BioFluids Laboratory in TU Delft and will use the infrastructure in the laboratory, including advanced flow diagnostics (Particle Image Velocimetry, Particle Tracking Velocimetry, and Laser Induced Fluorescence), microscopy (3D tracking multi-view microscopy and Fluorescence), rheology tools, microfluidics, and existing flow dynamics setups.

Deadline :1 May 2023

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Beam trawling to catch flatfish species like sole and plaice results in high bycatch rates, high fuel consumption due to contact drag and severe damage to seafloor sediment. As a PhD candidate at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), you will design new devices to stimulate flat fish to leave the sea bed that minimise energy consumption and seabed impact, while increasing catch  efficiency and selectivity. The applied stimuli may be acoustic, hydraulic, mechanical, and optical, or combinations thereof. Your research will be positioned in an interdisciplinary team of the Wageningen University, Wageningen Marine Research and TU Delft. Will you help the fishing sector to become future proof?

Deadline :  24 April 2023

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(15) PhD position: Acoustofluidic single-molecule Nanosystems

In this ERC funded project you will develop a next-generation nanomechanical platform based on sound wave technology to control the transport of single biomolecules in space and time for molecular diagnostic applications. By combining acoustic tweezers and fluorescence microscopy, you will have the opportunity to 1) simulate, design and fabricate layered resonators with optical access; 2) perform correlative acoustophoretic transport and single-molecule imaging; 3) integrate the acoustic nanodevice in a nanopore platform for biosensing experiments. This project is based at the Precision and Microsystems Engineering Department at TU Delft, where you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities (cleanroom, chemistry lab, nanopore lab, optics lab) and equipment to initiate this new line of research. You will be joining a highly interdisciplinary research group with expertise in 2D material nanodevices, scanning acoustic force microscopy, single-molecule imaging and DNA nanotechnology. Hence, working together and communicating with researchers across different fields is an integral part of this position.

Deadline : 20 April 2023

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(16) PhD position: Cooperative and Distributed Data-Driven Control with Applications in Agriculture

This project focuses on the development and application of cooperative and distributed data-driven control approaches in agriculture. Rapid human population growth results in high global food demand. Producing nutrient dense foods with minimal environmental impact has become crucial. As control engineers, our opportunities lie in developing advanced control approaches to increase production efficiency, reduce climate impact, and improve sustainability.

Deadline : 17 April 2023

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