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PhD Student Rheology and structure development in polymer composites

PhD Student Rheology and structure development in polymer composites

The Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD Student Rheology and structure development in polymer composites (V35.4552) in the group Polymer Technology.
Aanstellingsfunctie(s)
Promovendus
Faculteit(en)
Faculteit Werktuigbouwkunde
FTE
1,0
Sluitdatum
31/08/2020
Aanvraagnummer
V35.4552

Functieomschrijving

A PhD position is available within the framework of the DPI (Dutch Polymer Institute) project ANGLE (Engineering the rheology and processing-induced structural anisotropy of polymer composites with non-Brownian fibrous particles). The PhD project will be a combined experimental-numerical study.

Reinforcing polymers with glass fibers is essential to reach strength and stiffness while maintaining light-weight. However, the improvement in ultimate properties is highly dependent on the microstructure of the fiber reinforcements and its anisotropy. This microstructure is developed during processing in the molten state and is governed by the interplay between flow and geometrical parameters, polymer rheology and particle characteristics. Despite the long-standing research interest in fiber-filled polymers, many open questions remain. The overall aim of this project is to develop a roadmap for controlling the microstructure and its orientation in composites consisting of viscoelastic polymers with anisotropic non-Brownian particles by engineering the formulation and processing conditions. An experimental-numerical approach will be used that takes advantage of various in-house developed experimental setups and numerical codes. For instance, we have recently developed a filament stretching rheometer wherein two pistons pull in opposite directions thereby allowing for the generation of a stagnation point extensional flow. This new type of rheometer allows to perform in-situ structure characterizations, e.g. crystallization studies via SAXS and WAXD. In the present project, the rheometer will be extended with light scattering possibilities to follow in-situ anisotropy development during processing. For the numerical modelling, an in-house developed finite element code will be used and adapted.

Research Group Polymer Technology

The PhD position is in the Polymer Technology group in the Mechanical Engineering department at Eindhoven University of Technology. The project will be supervised by Prof. Anderson, Dr. Ir. Cardinaels (experimental work) and Dr. Ir. Jaensson (numerical modelling).

During the project, there will be collaboration with several industrial partners from the DPI Consortium. Polymers are vital for energy, environment, and health. They are mainly characterized by their low density, ease of processing and shaping, possibilities of functional integration, and an almost unlimited flexibility in molecular design. Moreover they are in most cases relatively cheap. These characteristics determine not only the societal needs for improved polymer systems in a multitude of application areas like protection, isolation, transportation, communication, illumination, packaging, shielding, housing, furniture, clothing etc., but also set the resulting scientific challenges. In the Polymer Technology group, our research is aimed at bridging the gap between science and technology in the area of polymer processing and design, through the use of experimental and computational tools in the modeling of the full thermo-mechanical history of material (elements) during their formation, processing and final design, to quantitatively predict properties of processed objects. The research is aimed at bridging the gap between science and technology in the area of polymer processing and design, through the use of experimental and computational tools in the modeling of the full thermo-mechanical history of material (elements) during their formation, processing and final design, to quantitatively predict properties of processed objects. Extensive state-of-the-art experimental facilities for the characterization of mechanical properties in the liquid (rheology) as well as solid (polymer testing) state, combined with microstructure characterization are available. Many of these devices are developed or modified in-house and are therefore unique.

An overview of the research performed in the Polymer Technology group can be found at:

http://www.tue.nl/universiteit/faculteiten/werktuigbouwkunde/onderzoek/research-groups/polymer-technology/research/

Functie-eisen

We are looking for recently graduated, talented and enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical skills, high grades and creative problem-solving skills. A MSc degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or a related discipline is required, with experimental experience in materials characterization. Prior experience in experimental rheology, light scattering experiments, equipment construction or numerical simulations of viscoelastic fluid flows is a strong plus. Good English communication skills are required, both written and oral.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

We offer:

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A state-of-the-art experimental infrastructure and computational facilities
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • As an excellent addition to your scientific education, PhD students in the Polymer Technology group get the opportunity to take part in the RPK program.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  •  Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Ruth Cardinaels (R.M.Cardinaels@tue.nl).

For information about terms of employment, see here. Please visit https://jobs.tue.nl/nl/vacatures.htm to find out more about working at TU/e!

We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'solliciteer nu'-button on this page. The application should include a:

  • cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • detailed Curriculum Vitae, (including an overview of your  relevant experimental and numerical project experience)
  • the official transcripts of your BSc and MSc grades and a brief summary of your MSc thesis.
  • list of references with full contact information (including the supervisors of your final BSc and final MSc projects)

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Only complete applications will be considered. Screening will continue until the position has been filled. Starting date of the position is as soon as possible and before the end of 2020.