PhD position Origami-based Flexible Architected Materials for High-Tech Equipment

PhD position Origami-based Flexible Architected Materials for High-Tech Equipment

Published Deadline Location
2 Dec 1 Jan Delft

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Job description

The semiconductor industry expectations for lithography machine performance demand ever-increasing capabilities, such as throughput, lifetime, cleanliness, sustainability, and precision for mechatronic systems. One of the key construction elements in high-tech mechatronic systems is flexible (i.e. compliant) mechanisms. Unlike their rigid-body counterparts, they allow motion in the desired directions enabled by their slender parts which deform elastically. Due to their monolithic nature, cleanliness, and predictability, they are desired in precision applications. Despite these advantages, flexible mechanisms are one of the main road blockers for high-tech mechatronic systems to achieve higher throughput, i.e. higher process speed and acceleration. This is due to their inherent drawbacks such as limited range of motion for a given design volume and low load bearing capacity (i.e. support stiffness).

In contrast, during the past two decades, flexible architected materials offer opportunities for developing elastic materials with tunable mechanical properties in unprecedented ways. These materials achieve their properties from their internal geometries, rather than only from their chemical composition. The goal of this project is to investigate the potential of using origami-based flexible architected materials for application in high-tech mechatronic systems.

In this project, you will study and develop: (1) kinematic synthesis methods for origami-based flexible architected materials, and (2) strategies for a proper stress distribution along origami crease patterns. The research includes both design and modelling, and also performing experiments.

This project operates on the frontiers of science to address an industrial need and will prepare you well for a career in academia and industry.

Our research team focuses on the development and understanding of flexible architected materials, including origami-based, instability-based, and mechanism-based architected materials. Besides developing fundamental understanding, we demonstrate applications of flexible mechanisms and architected materials in Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), Soft Robotics, Medical Devices, Mechatronic Systems, and Precision Systems.

This team is part of the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) of the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime, and Materials Engineering (3mE) of Delft University of Technology. Our department is well equipped with state-of-the-art fabrication facilities and experimental equipment.

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Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


To be considered for the position you will have

  • A university master degree in Mechanical/aerospace engineering, mathematics, physics or a related area;
  • An eagerness to learn new approaches and to combine theory, numerical simulation, and experiment;
  • A background in mechanism science (e.g. mechanical linkages and origami engineering) or you are interested to develop your knowledge in this field;
  • A demonstrated background in programming and modelling tools (e.g. MATLAB, ANSYS, ABAQUS);
  • Good command of the English language and good communication skills.

Conditions of employment

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 € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 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 Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD01444


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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