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PhD Position Integrated Computational Design Methods for Mechatronic Positioning Systems

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers
7 Feb 2023

Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

Motion systems are used throughout the semiconductor and high-tech industry for fast and precise positioning in e.g. microscopes and chip production process. Motion system design unites structural dynamics, actuation, sensing and control. To achieve optimal performance of these mechatronic systems, this project aims to develop new computational design approaches where structure and controller design are integrated. Use of topology optimization and additive manufacturing allows for maximum geometric design freedom, and consideration of tailored damping material distribution is expected to raise the system performance to unprecedented levels. A foundation for integrated controller-structure optimization is in place from a previous project. Your challenge is to extend this towards more realistic control solutions and performance targets, and to develop a method to co-optimize a tailored and manufacturable damping layout. While the main focus is on development of new computational design methods for motion systems, realization and validation of two full-scale hardware demonstrators, in close collaboration with industry partners, also forms an important part of this project.


Specific Requirements
  • An MSc degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering (or equivalent), obtained within the last 3 years.
  • Strong academic credentials relevant to this PhD project, evidenced e.g. by good grades on numerical modeling, optimization, mechatronic system design, control theory and related subjects.
  • Experience with structural (topology) optimization is required. Knowledge of finite element modeling is desired.
  • Good analytic and programming skills. Experience with Python and/or C++ is an asset.
  • This PhD project involves high performance computing. Experience with parallel programming is an asset.
  • Good English speaking and writing skills are required.
  • You are a self-starting teamplayer with a drive for excellence, and enjoy working on industry-relevant technological challenges within an academic environment.

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.

Additional Information


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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by March 8, 2023, via the application button and upload your letter of application along with a detailed curriculum vitae, a motivation why the proposed research topic interests you, a list of publications (if applicable), the abstract and/or summary of your MSc thesis, your BSc and MSc course program and the corresponding marks, names and addresses of two to three reference persons, and all other information that might be relevant to your application.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Linda Verhaar, HR advisor,

Please note:

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Matthijs Langelaar (

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2


Mekelweg 2
Postal Code
2628 CD