Postdoc Design and Control of Electromagnetic Actuator for Precision Mechatronics Applications – Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) – Delft

  • Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Mechatronic systems require continuous advancements to meet the growing demands for precision and energy efficiency. Over the last decade, the precision industry has focused on managing thermal effects to enhance accuracy. High-precision equipment often uses electromagnetic (EM) actuators in large motion systems to achieve sub-nanometer positioning accuracy. However, these actuators suffer from thermal dissipation due to ohmic heating of the coil. In levitation stages, EM actuators provide both propulsion (dynamic) and levitation (static) forces, with the latter causing significant heat dissipation, especially at standstill, thus impacting accuracy. Reducing heat dissipation in EM actuators is crucial for these applications.

This project aims to introduce a new class of EM actuators based on tuneable magnets (TM). A TM combines a low coercive permanent magnet (PM) with a coil to adjust the PM’s magnetization and thus the output force/torque. TM actuators offer the versatility of conventional EM actuators along with the thermal stability and energy efficiency of passive devices like permanent magnetic bearings. Initial feasibility studies have shown the potential of TM actuators for static applications. However, theories on efficient tuning and optimal electromagnetic circuit design are needed for dynamic precision motion systems. Furthermore, accuracy and efficiency improvements in tuning are necessary for high-end applications.

The objective of this PostDoc position is to collaborate with a PhD student, another postdoc, and an industrial user committee to develop theories and designs for:

  • Designing flux control and motion control for TM-based electromagnetic actuators to minimize heat in dynamic applications.
  • Developing technology demonstrators to showcase the actuators’ features.
  • The industrial partners in this project are IDE Technology, MI Partners, and Settels Savanaije. We seek a Postdoc with expertise in electromagnetic actuator design and prototyping, as well as experience in controlling electromagnetic actuators.

    The PostDoc will be integrated into the Mechatronic Systems Group, collaborating with colleagues conducting research on precision mechatronics, particularly in precision motion control, active damping, and the design and control of electromagnetic actuators. This group is part of the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME). The PME Department conducts research and offers education in high-tech systems and scientific instrumentation. Our goal is to address fundamental engineering science questions to enhance the performance and design of precision systems and devices. Our mission is to combine mechanical engineering principles with micro and nanoscience. We provide skilled professionals and contribute knowledge to maintain leadership in the high-tech systems industry.


  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Delft
  • Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


    Need to have:

  • You shall hold a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics, Electrical Engineering or any comparable studies by the start date of the position.
  • You have a strong background in design and control of electromagnetic actuators.
  • Your are capable of prototyping and performing experimental research.
  • You are capable of multiphysics modeling (COMSOL).
  • Appreciation of teamwork, good social skills, and the ability to function in international circles involving experts from academia and industry.
  • High proficiency in spoken and written English, with proven experience in preparing technical publications and project reports.
  • Nice to have:

  • You have knowledge of precision motion systems and precision mechatronics.
  • Interest in contributing to the co-supervision of MSc graduation projects.
  • Conditions of employment

    Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

    Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. 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.


    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.

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