PhD Position Multi-Fidelity Modeling for Design Space Exploration for Purpose Built Wind-Assisted Ships – TU Delft – Delft

  • Delft

TU Delft

Job description

Rearch Program: Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion

The maritime industry is under pressure to reach the net-zero Greenhouse Gas target set for 2050 on international shipping to alleviate the climate crisis. A strong collaboration between industry, research institutes, and universities is needed to develop and implement novel technologies to achieve this target.

In response to this challenge, TU Delft recently launched a multi-disciplinary, interfaculty research program on Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) focusing on three research themes: 1) Fluid dynamics, 2) Design and operation, and 3) Sustainable and societal impact. We are a young, international and diverse team within the Faculties of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. We approach problems in a horizontal “team spirit” and continuously traverse boundaries between theory, simulations, and experiments. We strive for a co-creative and stimulating environment where you can develop further skills as a scientist, team member and teacher. We place great emphasis on a collegial working environment where everyone is welcome and encouraged to shape a stimulating and impactful PhD track. In addition, given the multi-disciplinary nature of wind-assisted technologies, your research will contribute to other projects on different themes within the WASP program.

PhD project in Design in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Recent advancements in (1) wind assisted ship propulsion (WASP) for transport, (2) design space exploration (DSE) techniques, and (3) multi-fidelity modeling (MFM) have enabled new opportunities for integrating the complex physics of WASPs into the early stage design of transport ships. However, to date, these three research domains have traditionally been explored independently, and have yet to be integrated into one framework. 

Properly capturing the complex fluid dynamic physics of WASPs relies on high fidelity (HF) analyses, which can be both computationally and financially expensive. This makes HF analyses unsuited for early stage design exploration activities which aim to capture design trade-offs, and help define vessel requirements via large DSE studies. To properly capture the necessary physics early in the design phase to be used for DSE requires integrating (1) HF analyses to capture the complex physics, and (2) low fidelity (LF) analyses to provide computational and financial advantages. This can be done via multi-fidelity modeling. However, to date, MFM has traditionally focused on engineering optimization, and its potential has yet to be fully explored for DSE.

Thus, this research project aims to develop a multi-fidelity framework tailored to the design space exploration of purpose built wind-assisted ships.

Research Approach: The primary tasks of the PhD involve:

  1. A review of the state-of-the-art review on the intersection of WASPs, DSE, and MFM.
  2. Multi-fideltiy modeling framework development in the areas of (1) tailoring the framework to design space exploration and (2) for the use of multi-objective exploration and optimization.
  3. Two case studies are planned: (1) on the vessel hull form and appendages, focusing on hydrodynamics, and (2) on combining hull form and WASP systems, focusing on both aero- and hydrodynamics. Both case studies will be done in close collaboration with other on-going PhDs projects at TU Delft on WASP research.


We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD candidate who has expertise and/or interest in one or more of the following areas: design of wind-assisted ship propulsion vessels, engineering design space exploration, multi-fidelity modeling, or similar area.
You have obtained a MSc or an equivalent degree or expect to obtain an MSc very soon related to these areas (naval architecture, marine engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, or other related fields).

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 .

Conditions of employment

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 € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 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)

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 as one of our core  and we actively  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Mechanical Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the ME faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

ME is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in ME’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click  to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These  will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

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