Materials for space

Materials for space

Published Deadline Location
28 Apr yesterday Delft

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Job description

Radiation damage to materials in space applications poses a serious threat to the safety, durability and reusability of the structural components. The detailed study of structural ceramics degradation under radiation and establishment of degradation mechanisms will provide a solid foundation for future design and optimization of sustainable ceramic based materials for space applications.

The supervision will be jointly carried out by  Dr. Yinglu Tang, Dr. Santiago Garcia Espallargas and Dr.Rinze Benedictus from Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft. The PhD will explore the following three work packages:

WP 1: Synthesis of phase pure ceramic materials

It is often accepted that due to the high melting point of ceramics, the synthesis of materials such as ZrB2 and ZrC requires sintering agents, which can facilitate sintering due to their low melting points yet can also lead to oxidation problem at higher temperatures. The research objective is to synthesize single-phase high temperature ceramic material through defect engineering.

WP 2: Radiation damage characterization of UHTC

When materials are exposed to space radiation, such as electrons and protons, defects and overall material degradation leading to functional failure can occur. The material property degradation shall be characterized in terms of spectral emissivity, mechanical strength and thermal conductivity etc. A link between defect chemistry and resultant material property degradation is to be explored.

WP 3: Modelling of the interaction of high energy radiation and space materials

The PhD candidate will collaborate with another PhD candidate working on degradation modelling. Ultimately, the objective is to integrate experimental work with a trained model for the design of space materials under different mission conditions.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Candidates should have a MSc degree in materials science or a related field. Candidates should possess a strong foundation on powder metallurgy, material synthesis and characterization. We are looking for candidates who

-              are independent, self-motivated, explorative, resilient

-              are open-minded, enjoy communication and networking with peers

-              have excellent command of English, both verbally and in writing

-              enjoys working in the lab

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 € 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! 



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 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 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 here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02251


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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