Skip to content  

Werken bij de TU/e

PhD position on Model Reduction in a Modular Framework

PhD position on Model Reduction in a Modular Framework

Faculteit Werktuigbouwkunde


In the scope of Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) regarding High-tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) a collaborative project between ASML and the Eindhoven University of Technology has been established.

The scientific objective of this project is to develop a modular framework for model complexity reduction for structural dynamics models for complex high-tech semiconductor equipment.

The project partners:

  1. The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology considers as the core of their activities the design, realization and analysis of new products, processes and materials. Besides the basis of (solid and fluid) mechanics, materials, dynamics and control and thermodynamics, parts of mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing science are important supporting tools. The field is explored by a combination of modeling and analysis using fundamental concepts, applied engineering, and technology. High-tech Systems, Automotive Engineering Science and Energy Exploration are important departmental themes. The Mechanical Engineering Department comprises about 1000 students and 250 staff members. 
    In the research group of Dynamics and Control of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, research is focused on the following sub-areas: the dynamic modeling of and model reduction for mechanical systems, model-based control of mechanical systems, dynamics and control of hybrid and nonlinear systems, networked systems, acoustics, robotics, manufacturing & energy exploration processes and automotive systems. The present vacancy plays a key role within the sub-area on the modelling of and model reduction for mechanical systems. Currently, between 20-30 PhD-students are performing their research within this. Hence, candidates for the open position will find a stimulating research environment with many opportunities for interaction with colleague Ph.D. students working on topics in dynamic modeling, analysis and control.
  2. ASML is an R&D-intensive market leader in the semiconductor industry. ASML develops wafer scanners, which are highly complex machines used to produce microchips for an abundance of applications. This production process requires nanometer positioning accuracy of the motion stages at the core of the lithography machine. As a consequence, the structural dynamics of these stages and supporting structures is a key factor in attaining these performance levels.

Project description


The development of high-tech production machines in the semiconductor industry relies upon an accurate description of the machine dynamic architecture. This dependency exists throughout the entire development cycle, from the early concept phase to the final integration phase. In order to evaluate the machine dynamic performance under relevant operational conditions, or to determine design specifications during different phases of the design, high-fidelity structural dynamics models are required. As details become ever more important, these models become more complex. This complexity results in longer development cycle times and hence in a longer time to market. Moreover, it obstructs essential engineering insight in relevant design aspects of individual components, which may lead to sub-optimal designs. In extreme cases, model complexity becomes blocking in achieving even a sensible design solution.

Therefore, ASML needs modular reduction techniques that generate component model representations that are
1) simple (of reduced order) 
2) accurate on both component and assembly level, and 3) useful in a design and/or integration environment.

Project goals

This PhD project takes on the following main scientific challenge: how to construct reduced-complexity component models for the structural dynamics of semi-conductor equipment that

  1. can be systematically integrated to form accurate assembly models,
  2. are simple enough to allow for extensive, though computationally feasible, dynamic analysis in support design decision-making,
  3. allow for the physical interpretation of these models (engineers need to be able to employ these models in the design cycle),
  4. can be used to predict both local component behavior as well as global assembly properties?

Given the above open challenges, the main goal of this project is to develop a modular approach for the model reduction of structural dynamics models for high-tech semi-conductor equipment.

Sub-goals are:

  1. to develop a modular approach for, firstly, constructing a measure of accuracy (e.g., an error bound or an error estimate) for component models and, secondly, using these local accuracy measures to construct global accuracy measures for the total assembly model.
    This should support the reduction of complex assemblies of interconnected components and should enable a quantitative trade-off between local and global model complexity and the accuracy of predicted structural dynamic properties.
  2. to develop a dynamic mode selection technique, based on the above accuracy measures, that allows to construct either the simplest model for a required level of accuracy or the most accurate model given a maximum level of model complexity.
  3. to develop a reduction approach that is applicable to large-scale models and that retains the physical interpretability of the original model.
  4. to develop model reduction techniques that can be directly introduced in a large-scale industrial environment and that comply to industry standards and data formats.

Supervision of this project will be taken care of by

The starting date is flexible but before December 2020.

Moreover, the project will offer the student an extensive training program on

  • the modelling of the structural dynamics of semiconductor equipment.
  • model reduction techniques.

Moreover, a training program focusing on more generic and transferable skills required by professional researchers is offered. This provides the student with a solid background for its research and future career.


The PhD candidate should have

  • an MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, or Systems and Control with a solid background in the mathematical dynamical modeling of mechanical systems, model reduction and systems and control theory.
  • a strong interest and skills in both 1) developing new fundamental theories for the model reduction of complex dynamical systems and 2) applying such novel scientific developments to industrial applications.
  • Excellent communication skills and written/verbal knowledge of the English language.

Interviews with the selected PhD-candidates will take place on-site at TU/e (the Netherlands).


At the TU/e, we offer:

  • A challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious University.
  • An appointment for four years (start date as soon as possible).
  • Gross monthly salaries are in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), increasing from € 2.325,-- per month initially, to € 2.972,-- in the fourth year.
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits (including excellent work facilities, end of the year and holiday allowances and fantastic sport facilities at our campus).
  • If necessary, the TU/e can help you to find housing.

Informatie en sollicitatie

If you would like to have more information on the project, please contact Nathan van de Wouw, (n.v.d.wouw[at]
More information about the employment conditions can be found here.

If you are interested in this position, you can only use the 'apply now'-button on this page.

Your application must contain the following documents:

  • An extended curriculum vitae,
  • an explanation of your interest in the proposed research topic,
  • your course program and corresponding grades,
  • references,
  • all other information that might help us to assess your suitability for one of these positions and
  • a publication list (if applicable).

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.