Two PhD Positions on Metamaterials for Flow Control – TU Delft – Delft

  • Delft

TU Delft

Job description

About the project:

The MetaWing project explores a new disruptive concept for flow control, first born in classical wave physics: Metamaterials. These are engineered composite structures, invoking dispersive wave phenomena to gain exotic properties that go beyond what is considered possible in Nature. A key property is the bandgap, a range in which waves are suppressed when interacting with the Metamaterial. Our team recently found key evidence of dispersive wave suppression in boundary layers. However, wave-like flow instabilities have key differences from classical waves, forming a new regime of dispersive wave interactions. Thus, the nature of bandgaps in boundary layer flows remains unclear and unexplored.

The main objective of this project is to explore, identify and use Metamaterial-derived bandgaps for the control of transitional airflows.

We are seeking two enthusiastic and skilled PhD candidates to join our team. We will work towards understanding of the formation of bandgaps in transitional fluid flows and using them to suppress wave-like boundary layer instabilities, thus delaying laminar-turbulent transition.

Important: during submission, please indicate which of the following two positions you are interested in:

PhD position 1: will encompass theoretical and numerical modelling, necessary to couple boundary layer stability and Metamaterials. Flow stability analysis tools available in our team can be used, including Orr-Sommerfeld solvers, linear/non-linear Parabolised Stability Equations and our non-linear Harmonic Navier-Stokes solver. Boundary and in-domain conditions will be modified to model the effect of Metamaterials on instabilities. There is an opportunity to validate the coupled using Direct Numerical Simulations, through a variety of in-house solvers.

PhD position 2: will entail the design, fabrication, and characterisation of experimental Metamaterial prototypes. A range of fabrication facilities available within our laboratory can be used to produce functional prototypes. All prototypes will be characterised for their dynamic and geometrical conformity using in-house methods. Eventually, the prototypes will be exposed to nominal transitional flows in our windtunnel facilities to characterize their behavior and understand their influence on boundary layer instabilities.

About the team:

We are a young, international, and diverse team of colleagues in the vicinity of the newly founded chair of Flow Control. We approach problems in a horizontal “team spirit” and continuously traverse boundaries between theory, simulations, and experiments towards understanding and controlling fluid flows. In our team, we strive for a co-creative and stimulating environment where we can develop our 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 their own PhD track. We like to know about everyone’s research project and try to help and learn from each other’s problems to boost our scientific and personal growth.

We also enjoy many team-building activities and events where you will get to know your teammates in a different environment, sharing personal life experiences and having a great time outside of the lab!


Almost 90% of our laboratory and offices are wheelchair accessible, including all wind tunnel facilities. If you’d have any specific concerns about accessibility, please don’t hesitate to contact us (see below for contact information).


The candidates (m/f/x) should meet the following requirements:

  • MSc degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering, applied physics or applied mathematics.
  • Background and affinity in fluid mechanics (e.g. MSc thesis on a fluids-related topic).
  • Good track record in BSc and MSc degrees.
  • Proficiency in the English language, both oral and written.
  • Strong motivation towards pursuing a PhD and willingness to develop diverse skills.
  • Enthusiastic about working in an energetic team and in close collaboration with other researchers.

The following skills are also highly appreciated:

  • Affinity with flow stability and transition theory and modelling.
  • Experience with acoustic/vibrational waves, periodic structures and/or Metamaterials.
  • Experience with experimental measurement techniques for fluid mechanics.

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.

T he 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 Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 2 7 0 PhD candidates and close to 30 00 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.  

Click   to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

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