PhD Optical Flow Sensing

PhD Optical Flow Sensing

Published Deadline Location
29 Oct 31 Dec Delft

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Job description

The PhD student will develop novel optical sensors based on optical spectroscopy using the full information content of light, i.e. amplitude, phase, wavelength, and polarization. The PhD research aims for quantitative determination of composition of flowing turbid media. This is highly challenging since the path length of the light in turbid samples is ill-defined making straightforward analysis impossible. This challenge is addressed with techniques closely related to optical coherence tomography and associated optical signal processing methods. Initially, you will start with optical system simulations, but subsequently you build an optical spectroscopy set-up. With this set-up you will work on accurate quantification of scattering and absorption and relate them to the particle size distribution and chemical fluid composition, respectively. You analyse multiple optical parameters, such as spectral amplitude, phase, birefringence and develop ways to make quantitative estimation of flow composition as accurate as possible. This project is a research collaboration with University Twente where work by a post-doc and PhD student is focused on developing microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors and integrating them with the optical sensor. MEMS sensors are used for real-time inline measurement of fluid-mechanical parameters such as flow speed, viscosity, and density. In the research team you will work on the integration of fluid-mechanical and optical parameters and combine them in a single multi-parameter flow measurement system. You will investigate whether optical techniques can provide “independent” measurements of flow properties such as pressure, density and viscosity. The overall goal of this project, is the integration of optical and MEMS-based sensors to open up new opportunities for flow quantification such as determining the amount of fat in milk or the amount of oil in oil/water mixtures.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for enthusiastic candidates with a ‘drive’ for applied research. He or she has a demonstrable interest in optics, optical sensor design/construction, and signal processing. The candidate should have an MSc degree in Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, or the equivalent. The PhD position is firmly imbedded in a physics environment, but it is expected from the candidate to interact with chemical engineers and material scientists. Good communication skills in English are required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The position is in the Department of Imaging Physics ( of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. This department performs cutting-edge research spanning the range from understanding the basic principles underlying imaging technology to automated image analysis.    
The PhD student will work under the guidance of Jeroen Kalkman who is leading a prominent international research group in the field of optical tomography. In this group novel optical instrumentation is developed to look inside objects. The focus in this group is on quantification of optical parameters and relate them to the state of the object under investigation. This is done in both imaging and sensing geometries.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • TNWIP19-041


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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