PhD Position Investigating the sedimentation of metallic fission particles in a molten salt nuclear reactor, an experimental and numerical study – TU Delft – Delft

  • Delft

TU Delft


The thorium based Molten Salt Reactor is a reactor that outperforms in safety and reduction of nuclear waste. It is possible to convert the nuclear waste from conventional reactors to short-lived nuclear waste, thereby reducing the lifetime of the waste from ten-thousands of years to 250 years. For these reasons a large number of initiatives has been started worldwide to develop such a reactor (e.g. Thorizon, Seaborg, Copenhage Atomics).

In a Molten Salt Reactor, solid fission particles tend to sediment on a surface, such as the reactor vessel and heat exchangers, deteriorating the properties of the structural materials in the reactor. In this unique project, the PhD student will study the sedimentation of these particles and its underlying mechanisms in high temperature molten salts. The approach is to develop an experimental facility, where parameters such as temperature, flow and materials can be changed and to extract data on the tendency of solid fission products to sediment under a range of conditions. The acquired data will then be used to validate own-developed numerical and physical models for sedimentation, so that a solid calculated estimate can be made in real cases and real situations. This PhD project is part of the recently granted EC project “ENDURANCE”, which is a follow-up project of SAMOFAR and SAMOSAFER, both projects focused on thorium-based molten salt reactors.

The PhD student will be part of this international consortium and cooperate with the other members of the project, the technicians in our research group and with the principle investigator.

Start-date of the project is October 1, 2024.


We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student who

  • has an MSc in a relevant field, such as (applied) physics, chemical engineering or mechanical engineering
  • combines creativity with a sound academic attitude
  • can show to be excellent in transport phenomena and modelling in this field
  • feels strongly attracted to a project that combines experimental work as well as numerical modelling and programming and has shown to have good skills in both areas.
  • has excellent communication skills in English, both in writing and speaking
  • is a good team player and is able to work in the collaborative ENDURANCE consortium


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 customizable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the   . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a     for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft

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!


The department of Radiation Science & Technology has unique expertise in using ionizing radiation such as positrons and neutrons for research and education. We have direct access to our 2.3 MW nuclear research reactor equipped with advanced beam-line instruments, irradiation facilities and radiological laboratories, and to the Holland Particle Therapy Center including the proton beam research bunker. Our research focuses on materials science with emphasis on energy conversion and storage, health technology for imaging and diagnostics, radionuclide therapy and proton therapy. Innovative and sustainable nuclear energy is part of our portfolio as well. The department provides education to students in the fields of physics, chemistry and biomedical sciences. It counts about 20 PI’s, 20 support staff and 70 PhD students and postdocs.

Additionele informatie

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Martin Rohde                   

(via or the website 


Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than July 16, 2024, via the online application platform. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post. Incomplete applications and applications not conforming to the specified format requirements will automatically be disqualified and will not be evaluated.

Submit the following via the online application:

  • Motivation letter (PDF), highlighting past achievements that demonstrate your relevant competence and specific interest and enthusiasm for this project.
  • Your CV (PDF), including contact details of two references who we can contact if needed
  • A summary of your M.Sc. thesis.
  • A list of courses and grades taken for your B. Sc. and M. Sc. (or similar education).
  • Publications (including theses) that you have written in which you demonstrate your writing skills (PDFs).


Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.