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PhD Position Researcher Fatigue of Cold Spray Repairs

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2023

Challenge: Predict fatigue in cold spray repairs.
Change: New models and experimental methodologies.
Impact: Enable structural repairs of currently unrepairable parts.

Job description

Cold spray is an additive manufacturing technology that can be a real game changer for MRO of civil aircraft. However, its wide-spread application is hindered by a lack of understanding of the fatigue and damage tolerance properties of cold spray repairs.

In this position you will help change this situation, by developing and validating a prediction methodology consisting of fatigue tests on generic coupons (to be developed by you) and analytical or numerical modelling. This project will have an experimental focus, including manufacturing your own specimens using our medium pressure cold spray system. This will be combined with analytical and/or numerical modelling, depending on which approach proves to be more feasible.

You will conduct this research within the Aerospace Structures and Materials Department of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft. Direct supervision will be provided by Dr. ir. J.A. Pascoe and Dr. C.D. Rans. Dr. ir. R.C. Alderliesten will act as promotor.

As part of the project you will be expected to conduct a 3 month research visit at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Funding to perform this visit will be provided.

This position is a part of the 'Damage Tolerance of Cold Spray Additive Repairs' (CSAR) project. You will therefore collaborate with a post-doc, who will start about 1.5 years after the start date of this PhD project. You will also collaborate with the industrial partners in the User Committee of CSAR. Within the ASM department there is currently 1 other PhD candidate working on cold spray, and a larger community of PhD candidates and post-docs working on fatigue and damage tolerance of aerospace materials and structures.

Tasks and responsibilities of this position include:

  • Conducting independent research into fatigue of cold spray repairs, with guidance from the supervisory team.
  • Completing a PhD thesis within 4 years.
  • Assisting in education delivered by the ASM department.
  • Communicating the results of your research via journal articles, conference presentations and meetings with the project's User Committee.
  • Participating in the Doctoral Education programme provided by the Faculty Graduate School.



Need to have:

  • An MSc degree in a relevant field, e.g. Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or similar, with courses relevant to the topic of the research.
  • Affinity with the topic of fatigue of structures and materials.
  • A desire to acquire the new skills and knowledge needed to complete the project.
  • A critical attitude towards your own work and that of others.
  • Good written and oral communication skills, with the ability to communicate the value of your work in both academic and industry settings.

Nice to have:

  • Prior experience with cold spray.
  • Prior experience with fatigue testing.
  • Experience with repair of aircraft components.
  • Experience in analytical or numerical modelling of fatigue and/or fracture.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.


Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 270 PhD candidates and close to 3000 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond. 

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

Additional information

For more information about the content of the position, please contact Dr. ir. John-Alan Pascoe (

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than December 8, 2023 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

Important note: In your cover letter, describe your interest in the project and why you think you would be a good fit for this position. Additionally, describe briefly what aspects or phenomena you think will make predicting the fatigue behaviour of a cold spray repair more challenging than predicting the fatigue behaviour of a monolithic metal part.

Further notes: 

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.