PhD Position Experimental Geomechanics of Clays

PhD Position Experimental Geomechanics of Clays

Published Deadline Location
3 Dec 5 Jan Delft

You cannot apply for this job anymore.

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Ever wondered why cracks and fractures occur? And why in some materials they disappear?

Job description

The safety, sustainability and efficiency of many geotechnical structures (e.g. geological disposal of hazardous waste, dikes, landfills) strongly rely on the performance of clays, which are used as natural or engineered barrier to limit fluid flow and pollutant transport.  Accordingly, fractures that develop in clays as a result of mechanical and/or environmental loading often represent a threat to the structures. Understanding the development and fate of these fractures is therefore crucial to assess the performance of geotechnical structures.

The aim of the PhD project is to experimentally investigate the development and fate (self-sealing and self-healing mechanisms) of cracks in clays subjected to mechanical and envrionmental loads.

As part of the research project, the PhD candidate will develop a novel experimental set-up to track the state of fractures during the self-sealing and self-healing process.The PhD candidate will therefore benefit from world class laboratory and imaging facilities already available in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of TU Delft and partner institutions (via existing strong collaborations such as EPOS-NL), and the support of experience technical staff.

This position is linked to the Veni project “How do fractures perish? A novel framework for modelling self-healing of clays” funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The PhD candidate will also integrate the European Joint Research Programme in the management and disposal of radioactive waste (EURAD) funded by the European Commission.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)



  • MSc degree in Civil Engineering, Applied Earth Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, or another related field
  • Interest in, and aptitude for, experimental research in geomechanics
  • Aptitude to function both in a team and independently
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills


  • Experience in multi-scale imaging of geomaterials
  • Knowledge of fracture and/or self-healing mechanics

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 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 sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


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 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! 


Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD00670


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer


Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

View on Google Maps