2 PhD positions on modeling of heat and mass transfer in rarefied gases

2 PhD positions on modeling of heat and mass transfer in rarefied gases

Published Deadline Location
30 Mar 26 Sep Eindhoven

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Job description

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at TU/e is an ambitious and inclusive department that presently consists of three research units and several research centers, each of which is comprised of independent Principal Investigators (PIs). Our research is broadly centered around the themes of Energy and Flow, Dynamical System Design, and Materials and Mechanics. This vacancy is within the section Energy Technology & Fluid Dynamics (ETFD).

The mission of ETFD (www.energy.tue.nl) is to advance heat & flow technologies for energy and high-tech applications. This encompasses research and development of new methods and tools (science), improving applied systems (technology), exchanging knowledge with our societal partners (valorization) and teaching & inspiring future generations of engineers (education).

Job Description

We have 2 PhD vacancies in our group to work within a large consortium of academic and industrial partners in the semiconductor field. The main aim of the overall project is to keep the pace of the semiconductor industry in following Moore's law. Our contribution to the overall project is concerned with the photolithography process in semiconductor fabrication of integrated circuits. For high precision lithography, the next-generation photolithography machines are required to operate in a clean and thermally controlled (near-)vacuum environment.  Transport phenomena in rarefied conditions, such as (near-)vacuum and supersonic conditions encountered in such photolithography machines, is governed by the Boltzmann equation which is concerned with a generalized phase- space description of molecular flow to account for fluid dynamics that do not necessarily conform to continuum models (such as the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations). To formulate boundary conditions for the Boltzmann equation that provide a realistic description of thermal and dynamic loads on solid surfaces (e.g. reticle, pellicle, optics, etc.), it is imperative to properly account for the (scattering) interactions between the gas molecules and the solid molecules, at a molecular scale.

Building on the unique simulation capability that has been developed at TU/e over the past years based on the method of moments for the Boltzmann equation, and machine learning for gas-solid interactions on the molecular scale, the PhD students will develop an experimentally validated simulation tool for rarefied gas flows.

The aim of these 2 PhD projects is modeling and simulation of rarefied transport in complex geometries. One of the research projects will focus on the transport phenomena, and the other will focus on the interactions with complex boundaries and flow conditions.

The PhD researchers will focus on providing a realistic description of rarefied fluid transport, as well as thermal and dynamic loads on solid surfaces. The research will include, but is not limited to:
  • Machine learning for modeling complex gas wall interactions, based on molecular dynamics data.
  • Derivation of potential energy functions for molecular interactions.
  • Numerical methods to approximate solutions of the Boltzmann equation based on the method of moments.
  • Efficient and versatile finite element computer algorithms to perform sophisticated and large scale simulations. Such simulations should account for the complex multiscale geometries, as well as molecular level gas-wall interactions.
  • Validation against available experimental data.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Computing Science, Applied Physics, or similar.
  • A research oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V35.6527


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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