PhD Position in Components of Thermal Management Systems for Sustainable Aviation

PhD Position in Components of Thermal Management Systems for Sustainable Aviation

Published Deadline Location
20 Feb 27 Mar Delft

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Job description

The Thermal Management and Air Supply Systems (Thermische and Pneumatic Systemen) project is part of the large (383m€) Dutch Research program on Sustainable Aviation (Luchtvaart in Transitie) funded by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat).

In this project, the Propulsion and Power group teams up with Aeronamic and NLR with the objective of developing breakthrough technologies to tackle the critical challenges of providing thermal management and air supply to hydrogen fuel cell systems for propulsion and power. The thermal management activities involve experimental and numerical studies on systems and components of the unique ORCHID and IRIS setups operated by the group. The ORCHID rig implements a recuperated organic Rankine cycle system and includes two test sections, one for the testing of high-speed ORC turbines, and one for fundamental gasdynamic studies on flows expanding in a convergent-divergent nozzle. An ORC system can be used to convert thermal energy into additional electrical power. The IRIS implements an inverse organic Rankine cycle and provides a test section for high-speed compressor and another for the testing of condensers. The inverse ORC system, also called vapor compression cycle system, provides cooling.

The activities of the project include also the development of innovative design methods for these systems and their components. The activities related to the air supply system will be focused on the study of the turbine of the turbocompressor. All the the tasks of the project are the continuation of running projects. 


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are seeking for 4 excellent candidates who holds an MSc in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering and can demonstrate:

  • A strong drive for research on breakthrough technologies enabling sustainable aviation
  • An aptitude for experimental and modeling work related to turbomachinery and heat exchangers   
  • An aptitude for team-work and effective communication in an international environment

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 Adviceto 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 as one of our core valuesand we actively engageto be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.


Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Aerospace Engineering

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 hereto go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03422


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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