PhD position on Noise and vibration in wet soil

PhD position on Noise and vibration in wet soil

Published Deadline Location
16 Dec 15 Feb Enschede

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Job description

PhD position on “Noise and vibration in wet soil: micromechanical modelling for smart mitigation strategies”

We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD student to join the University of Twente (Netherlands) and work on the micromechanics of soils subjected to extreme drying/wetting cycles, and their effect on noise/vibrations propagation.

Climate changes are among the most urgent challenges for our society. Due to extreme droughts and heavy rain, soils are subjected to severe hydromechanical loads. The effect of drying/wetting cycles on granular soils is of great interest in geomechanics. In turn, such phenomena may lead to modifications of soils characteristics and properties, like strengthening/weakening or compaction/liquefaction.

The project will focus on sandy soils and the multi-disciplinary interplay between solid skeleton, hydraulic phase and noise/vibrations. The reference is to waves induced by human activities, e.g. construction works, traffic or trains. It is still unclear how the presence, and extreme fluctuations, of underground water interacts with wave transmission, and whether it can lead to attenuation or amplification phenomena.

Goal of the project is to use a micromechanical approach to gain a deeper fundamental understanding on ground vibrations in partially saturated soils and design novel reduction solutions that can be applied in large scale engineering systems and over much longer time-scales.

The project will adopt a numerical approach to simulate waves in unsaturated granular soils, bridging microscale insights to macroscale behavior, via a coupled Lattice Boltzmann - Discrete Element Method algorithm.

Two steps validation will be performed: primary validation will be carried out in the laboratory and, after upscaling, a secondary validation can take place using data in the pilot-scale Living Innovation Lab (presently under development in the campus of University of Twente) via data assimilation.

The validated digital twin can be back-engineered to design temporary/permanent solutions to attenuate/deviate/absorb vibrations in soils, e.g. via grouting, absorbing polymers, and achieve a direct societal impact.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You have obtained a MSc degree in a relevant field such as civil or mechanical engineering, computer science, applied- or geo-physics or related areas.
  • You are interested to learn and contribute to new technologies for geomechanical application.
  • You love working in a multidisciplinary team in which fundamental and applied research cross-fertilize.
  • Furthermore, an appropriate qualification in the English Language together with excellent communication and organizational skills are required.

Conditions of employment

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high societal relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. We offer:

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position.
  • An offer for a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School.
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.395 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.061 in the fourth year.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
    Full status as an UT-employee, including pension and health care benefits.


You will work in the Construction Management & Engineering group, at Faculty of Engineering Technology at the University of Twente (Netherlands). The position is part of a multidisciplinary team and will include close collaboration and co-supervision by the MultiScale Mechanics group of the same university.


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2395 per month
  • University graduate
  • 2020-173


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB, Enschede

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