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We are looking for a PhD candidate for a four-year research project on design and control microfluidic chips that capture the behavior of highly deformable particles in complex flow fields. In this project, you will carry out a simulation-assisted design of different geometries for microfluidic chips starting from a simple channel. With such chips, low-to-high order deformation modes can be isolated. Guided by the designs tested via numerical simulations, you will create corresponding microfluidic devices to validate the simulations in real-world experiments, which will also exploit model predictive control to manipulate the fluid flow and particles with precision.
Colloidal dispersions of soft particles are complex fluids consisting of soft particles in the range of nano- to micrometers suspended in a fluid medium. The deformability of these particles is a key characteristic, which enables them to move and squeeze through small spaces and narrow gaps. For example, the deformability of red blood cells allows them to flow smoothly through narrow blood vessels. When soft particles are suspended in a fluid and subjected to hydrodynamic interactions they can undergo complex deformations and rearrangements, which can have a significant impact on their behavior. The deformability of soft particles means that their shape can change as they interact with the fluid, making their behavior challenging to predict, both theoretically and experimentally. This fundamental coupling between particle deformation and hydrodynamic interactions requires direct measurements of particle deformation under specific flow conditions, which then provide essential information for the development theoretical models. The goal of this project is, hence, to design and control microfluidic chips that capture the behavior of highly deformable particles in complex flow fields via well-controlled flows that generate isolated low-to-high order deformation modes.
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
We are looking for an experienced candidate with an MSc degree (or about to obtain one soon) in mechanical engineering, applied physics, applied mathematics or similar. The candidate should have knowledge of fluid mechanics, continuum mechanics, and numerical methods combined with strong programming and mathematical skills and a good physical intuition. Experience with optimal control methods is a plus. The ideal candidate has excellent scientific skills as well as excellent soft skills related to verbal and written communication (in 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.
- A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.