PhD Condition-Based Monitoring for Maritime Applications

PhD Condition-Based Monitoring for Maritime Applications

Published Deadline Location
19 Apr 1 Jun Delft

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Job description

Currently inspection and maintenance on naval vessels is, to a large degree, scheduled at regular time intervals. Methods for planning of maintenance based on the actual condition, and thus varying time intervals and avoiding unexpected maintenance, are not yet established. Condition-based monitoring (CBM) allows for a smarter and optimized use of vessels, but there are still many unanswered questions before CBM can be fully used. In general, the damage or degradation of the vessel structural health is a due to a combination of fatigue, extreme loads, and corrosion. This aim of PhD position is to define a CBM system for these effects, and in particular focuses on monitoring for corrosion damage.

Structures of sea-going vessels are subject to fatigue and corrosion degradation as they operate under harsh dynamic loading and environmental conditions. Despite the extensive knowledge available for design and analysis of these structures, large uncertainties introduced at different stages of the vessel fabrication (e.g., initial quality of the material and welds) and operation (e.g., loading history and environmental conditions) impede accurate prediction of crack and corrosion development in the hull. These uncertainties induce increased probability of incidents, reduced efficiency of inspection and maintenance planning, and increased lifecycle costs. To counter these, this PhD position aims at development of monitoring systems that can accurately, reliably, and quantitatively identify fatigue and corrosion damage in ship hulls using guided ultrasonic waves.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for an outstanding and enthusiastic PhD candidate with focus on developing new methodologies for identification and quantitative monitoring of corrosion and fatigue damage in ship structures using active and passive guided ultrasonic waves. In particular, the candidate is expected to have:

  • Good fundamental knowledge about marine/offshore structures.
  •  Expertise in structural dynamics and/or elastic wave propagation.
  • Good mathematical skills and experience in modelling of structural dynamics.
  • Good programming skills (e.g. Python or Matlab).

You have obtained an MSc or equivalent degree or expect to maintain such a degree very soon. Excellent spoken and written English and the ability to work independently are expected. Note that a minimum TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS of 7.0 applies to all candidates wishing to pursue a PhD programme at TU Delft.

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

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, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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 values and we actively engage to 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 Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

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? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • University graduate
  • TUD03810


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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