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Job ID: 106906

PhD position in advanced microstructural design of 3D printed fibre-hybrid composites
KU Leuven

Date Posted May 21, 2018
Title PhD position in advanced microstructural design of 3D printed fibre-hybrid composites
University KU Leuven
Department Materials Engineering
Application Deadline open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant
  • Graduate Student
  • Textile Engineering
    Structural Engineering
    Polymer Science
    Mechanical Engineering
    Engineering Physics
    Engineering Mechanics
    Engineering - Other

The key challenge of this PhD project is to maximally exploit the design freedom of 3D printing to optimize the microstructure and hence mechanical performance of fibre-hybrid composites. The work will be performed in the Composite Materials Group of the Department of Materials Engineering at KU Leuven (Belgium).

The work requires a strong background in materials science and/or solid mechanics and a mindset for personal development. This project will be roughly 70/30 modelling/experimental research, and it is hence vital that applicants are keen for such a combination. During the appointment, two secondments are planned:

  • 3 months to DTU (Denmark) – to develop ideas for improving fatigue and compression performance of fibre-hybrid composites
  • 2 months to Sioen (Belgium) – to gain an industrial perspective on manufacturing of composites

During this PhD project, the researcher will:

  • Perform advanced experimental characterisation of the 3D printed composites;
  • Develop and fully validate a model for the translaminar fracture toughness of fibre-hybrid composites;
  • Participate in the dedicated training programme organised by HyFiSyn (including technical, communication, career management and business skills), and in bi-annual project meetings;
  • Write scientific papers for publication in top-level journals in materials science/mechanics;
  • Present his/her research in project meetings, international conferences and outreach events;
  • Work in close collaboration with supervisors, while being the driving force for his/her own PhD.

A good applicant should be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person with a mindset for personal development. He/she should meet the requirements for PhD enrolment at KU Leuven. This requires you to have achieved the level of distinction and passing the language requirements (see He/she has obtained (or is about to obtain) good grades for a master degree in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering or similar. Eligible applications will be assessed on the applicant’s (i) academic qualifications, (ii) background on materials modelling, (iii) technical skills, (iv) communication skills, and (v) motivation for the project. KU Leuven has an equal opportunities and diversity policy.

The post is supported by an allowance provided by the European Commission. Candidates must fulfil two eligibility criteria for this award:
(1) not residing in Belgium for at least 24 months in the last 3 years, and
(2) having not more than 4 years of research experience (working as researcher after obtaining your master’s degree).

For further details about this specific position, please contact Dr. Larissa Gorbatikh ( For general information on the PhD process at KU Leuven, please go to Interested applicants should apply electronically by clicking on the button below.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Yentl Swolfs
    Materials Engineering
    KU Leuven
    Kasteelpark Arenberg 44 Box 2450
    Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3001


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