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PhD Position Offshore Geotechnics: Cyclic Soil Monopile Interaction

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Job description

We invite applications for a fully-funded PhD student position in the Offshore Engineering Group at the Civil Engineering faculty of TU Delft. The successful candidate will be at the forefront of research on the cyclic behaviour of offshore foundations.

Foundation monopiles for offshore wind turbines are being continuously employed in deeper waters, and increasingly diverse soil/environmental conditions. Their cyclic lateral behaviour has yet to be fully understood and following the wide expansion of offshore wind, more geotechnical research is necessary.

This position requires the researcher to numerically/experimentally investigate the cyclic behaviour of laterally loaded monopiles in cohesive soils, under a variety of loading and geotechnical conditions. The work will include participation/design/interpretation of experimental centrifuge tests and the development, set-up and calibration of 3D/1D FE monopile-soil models. The new knowledge gained from combined physical and numerical modelling will be oriented towards the formulation and implementation of a new engineering cyclic soil reaction model for the analysis of large-diameter monopiles in soils (clays and sands) under cyclic loading.

This position is supported by MIDASclay (Monopile Improved Design through Advanced cyclic Soil modelling in Clay), a research project funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland - RVO) and industry partners in the framework of the Dutch offshore wind program GROW. TU Delft is the leading institution of a team including Deltares, NGI, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, TotalEnergies, Van Oord, Huisman, and Vattenfall. Click here, if you want to read more information about the predecessor of the MIDASclay project (MIDAS).


The candidate we are seeking has: 

  • MSc degree or Equivalent in Civil Engineering, with a preferred focus on Geotechnical or Structural Engineering.
  • Proficiency in numerical modeling problems related to soil-structure interaction. Knowledge of Plaxis/OpenSees is a plus.
  • Strong programming skills.
  • High proficiency in spoken/written English.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration abilities.

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 Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Evangelos Kementzetzidis at .    

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 3 December 2023 via the application button and upload your motivation letter (max. 1 page) and CV (max. 2 pages).

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