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PhD Position Frontal Polymerization for Rapid and Energy-efficient Processing of Composites

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Explore and develop scalable and sustainable manufacturing strategies for aerospace structures.

Job description

This research aims at exploring novel strategies to enable the manufacturability of fiber reinforced composites thtough locally initiated frontal polymerization. Feasibility of frontal polymerization has been demonstrated for several distinct material systems, yet this has been largely limited to the manufacture of lab scale plates at controlled environments. The challenge in scaling the frontal polymerization lies in maintaining the fine thermal equilibrium between the exothermic reaction and the heat losses in the presence of geometrical and/or material variations. PhD candidate will work towards addressing these challenges through 1- developing experimental concepts to monitor and control the front propagation in molds with different features, 2- characterizing the manufacured composites to quantify the part quality and the influence of rapid thermal variations, 3- establishing the structure-process-property link to (re-)define the processing window for advanced composites. PhD candidate will be embedded in a group with expertise in composites manufacturing, will collaborate with international partners, and interact with academic and industrial partners of NXTGEN HIGHTECH Composite 01 consortium. This research contributes to the consortium by developing sustainable manufacturing routes for composites of thermosetting polymers. 


You must have the following qualifications:

  • Strong experimental skills;
  • Hands-on manufacturing and characterization experience with advanced composites;
  • Experience with CAD for tooling design (with thermal considerations is a plus);
  • Degree in mechanical/aerospace/manufacturing engineering, materials science or a related area is a plus;
  • Fluency in English and proven academic writing skills;
  • The ability to work well in a collaborative setting and to interact with stakeholders.

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 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 this vacancy, please contact Dr. Baris Caglar, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, email:

For more information about the application procedure, please contact

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 11 November 2023 via the application button and upload:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • A detailed CV.
  • Copies of BSc and MSc transcripts.
  • Names of two references.

Please note: 

  • Please note that applications will be periodically reviewed also before the application deadline until a suitable candidate is found, therefore the position might be closed earlier. Candidates are encouraged to submit their application as soon as they are ready and not wait until the deadline.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.