PhD Positions Experimental Multiphase Flow

The primary objective of the NWO-sponsored AQUA program is to gain a better understanding of the effect of water quality on multiphase flow dynamics, in particular on cavitation and air lubrication for drag reduction. The participating universities and research institutes include Delft University of Technology, University of Twente (Physics of Fluids group), and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. At Delft University, we currently have 2 open PhD positions related to cavitation research.

Air bubbles in water attenuate underwater sound and can reduce the friction drag of a ship, as a result less fuel is needed. Although the behavior of air bubbles in freshwater is known reasonably well, bubbles in saline seawater behave very differently. In this program, the researchers will compare air bubbles in different types of water, varying from freshwater to natural seawater, to gain a better understanding of how bubbles can be used to manage friction, sound propogation and cavitation. The ultimate aim is to be able to predict how the water quality (gas and chemical content) influences drag reduction and cavitation hindrance.

Project description
The advertised positions concern the following research topics: (1) Water quality effects on cavitation and noise and (2) Cavitation inception in tip vortices. Both projects are experimental in nature and will make use of a new, unique Multiphase Flow facility that is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion by Dec. 2020. Furthermore, a strong collaboration is expected, e.g. by co-developing state-of-the-art flow measurement techniques. The required infrastructure (high-speed imaiging, tomographic particle image velocimetry) is available. The total duration of each PhD project is 4 years, with a starting date no later than December 31, 2020.

The projects are hosted by the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE), in particular by the groups of Fluid Mechanics ( J. Westerweel), Ship Hydromecahnics ( T. van Terwisga) and Multiphase Systems ( C. Poelma). These groups have an ongoing, strong collaborative relationship.

We are looking for enthusiastic researchers, who want to develop their know-how and experience in a challenging academic environment. In more specific derms:

  • The successful applicants are in the first 4 years after graduation (MSc) of their research career.
  • A degree in Mechanical Engineering, Maritime Technology, (Applied) Physics, Aeronautics, or equivalent degree with a clear focus on fluid mechanics is a prerequisite
  • Experience in conductiing experimental work is regarded as a strength
  • A critical and inquisitive atttitude with regard to results is expected, which translates into formulating new research questions
  • Ability to function both in a team and independently
  • Good communication skills, with a sound knowledge of the English language, and both oral and written proficiency.

contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 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.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact J.Westerweel, Professor, email:, tel: +31(0)15 2786887.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact C.Legierse, Secretary, email:


TU Delft



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