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PhD on 'Bioinspired Composites: Manufacturing and Multi-scale Characterization'

PhD on 'Bioinspired Composites: Manufacturing and Multi-scale Characterization'

Irène Curie Fellowship
Mechanical Engineering


The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has the following vacancy 
PhD student “Bioinspired Composites: Manufacturing and Multi-scale Characterization”
in the section Mechanics of Materials, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The PhD student position is available in the section Mechanics of Materials and will be supervised by Dr. Tommaso Magrini (Tommaso Magrini Google Scholar).

The Mechanics of Materials (MoM) Section

The Section of Mechanics of Materials (MoM) at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) seeks to analyse, model and understand the influence of the microstructure on the performance of materials. The main challenge of the Section is the accurate prediction of the mechanical properties of materials, and how they can be tailored for targeted industrial and societal applications. Understanding and modelling the processes that influence the evolution of microstructures is thereby a key challenge. The Section has a unique research infrastructure, both from an experimental and computational perspective.

Bioinspired Composites: Context and Aim of the Project

Biological structural materials, like mother-of-pearl and bone, despite containing a high-volume fraction of brittle constituents, calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate respectively, are among the most fracture resistant materials on the planet. This remarkable feature is a consequence of their hierarchical reinforcing architecture, that nature has genetically programmed to dissipate fracture energy across multiple length scales. Replicating the internal structure of biological structural materials in synthetic composites can pave the way for new classes of structural and functional engineering components, that have applications in the aerospace and automotive industries. Contrary to nature, synthetic composites are often obtained as the result of sequential processing steps that involve high pressure and high temperature. The effect of processing on the reinforcing structure and on the mechanical performance the composites is still object of debate. Understanding and controlling the distribution of stresses introduced during manufacturing is key to further optimize the mechanical performance of bioinspired composites and to fully expand their application range in contexts where high strength, high fracture resistance and additional functionalities are needed.

In this project, you will study the effect of the reinforcing architecture on the mechanical performance bioinspired composites. A multi-scale experimental approach will be key to investigate the role of the microstructure on the failure mechanisms that affect the materials. Ceramic and polymer processing, combined with advanced materials characterization techniques, ranging from electron microscopy to micro-mechanical testing will be employed to succeed in this ambitious project.


Qualification of applicant

  • Talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills holding a university degree (MSc, with high grades) in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering are encouraged to apply.
  • A background and strong interest in Mechanics of Materials and Materials Science is required.
  • Experience in materials processing and micromechanics is of benefit.


A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates. 

Informatie en sollicitatie

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager dr. Tommaso Magrini (

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services ME,

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.
The application should include:

  • a letter of motivation (max 1 page)
  • a detailed curriculum vitae,
  • transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees (with grades),
  • and contact information of two referees.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.