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Postdoc on Non-Destructive Inspection of Composite Liquid Hydrogen Storage Tanks for Aviation

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2023

Join the team that aims to develop a innovative inspection technology for LH2 storage tanks for post-manufacture and in-service inspection. 

Job description

Within the European COCOLIH2T project, funded by the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, we are collaborating with nine other partners to develop a conformal liquid hydrogen tank for aviation.

Composite liquid hydrogen storage tanks are challenging to inspect because of their material properties, structural geometry, the presence of vacuum and insulation layers and in-service their low temperature and limited access. In this project you will assess the challenge of inspecting the prototype tank being developed by the COCOLIH2T consortium, using a combination of ultrasonic inspection, automation technologies and knowledge of critical failure locations of the tank. The research comprises a combination of building a prototype sensor head and signal processing of recorded signals to determine the structural integrity of the tank.

In addition to conducting the research, you will be required to communicate it both in academic settings (journal papers and conferences) and towards an industrial audience. You will also be expected to contribute to the management of the project.

In this position you will be supervised by Dr. Roger Groves. At TU Delft the project team further consists of John-Alan Pascoe, Alexei Sharpanskykh, Daniël Peeters, Julien van Campen, and two additional post-docs (recruitment in progress). The other project partners are: Collins Aerospace (Microtecnica, UTC Aerospace Systems Wroclaw, Goodrich Aerospace, Crompton Technology Group and Simmonds Precision Products), NLR, Unified International, ATR, and Novotech - Aerospace Advanced Technology.


Need to have:

  • A PhD in a relevant field e.g. physics/instrumentation, automation, aerospace or mechanical engineering;
  • Experience with ultrasonic inspection is an advantage;
  • An eagerness to learn new skills and knowledge as needed for the project;
  • A capacity to work both independently and as a member of a team
  • Interest in / willingness to learn safety analysis and risk assessment methods
  • The ability to communicate your work and its significance clearly, towards both academic and industrial audiences.

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (based on scale 10: € 3.226,00 - € 5.090,00). The contract of employment is offered for two years. The position is open for 40 hours per week. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, 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. Roger Groves (, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. For administrative questions relating to the application procedure, please contact Mrs Gemma van der Windt (, management assistant in the Aerospace Structures and Materials department.

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 1 October 2023 via the application button and upload: 

  • Your cover letter, include a few sentences explaining what you think is the greatest threat to the structural integrity of a composite liquid hydrogen tank.
  • Your CV. 

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.