PhD Position: “Design and Engineering of Active Elastomeric Composites”

PhD Position: “Design and Engineering of Active Elastomeric Composites”

Published Deadline Location
14 Sep 20 Oct Enschede

Job description

The goal of this 4-year project is to understand the design and engineering of structural materials and surfaces that can be adaptive to their operating environment and conditions. To reach this goal, inspiration will be taken from natural structures and materials to design next-generation biomimetic structural materials, capable of structural switching. The validation focus of the research will be towards elastomer-based composites.

The Challenge

Next generation structural materials whose local properties can be tailored and tuned to be adaptive to the loads and environments in which they are operating offers exciting prospects in a wide range of applications. The challenge to realizing these materials lies in taking a science-based approach to understand the fundamentals behind how new levels of material performance can be achieved.

The fabrication of biomimetic materials is commonly realized through imitating structures, interfaces, and synthesis processes of natural materials. The current research will go beyond copying, to learn and adapt the design principles found in nature through multiscale computational analysis and data analytics and using this as an inspiration for the development of next generation structural materials.

First, relevant literature will be explored to define possible structural systems. This will be achieved using data analytics to unravel the complex solutions found in nature. The information will then be used to design polymer-based composite material systems through multi-scale modelling. The active function of the new materials will be achieved through appropriate material additions. To validate the findings, new structures will be fabricated during the research. Processing routes to fabricate these structures will be explored on a lab-scale.


University of Twente (UT)


  • A master’s degree in Materials or Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics or similar related discipline;
  • Excellent experimental skills;
  • Good knowledge, and demonstrated awareness, of modelling material properties;
  • A strong creative but analytical mind, an eye for detail, and a critical attitude towards assessment of experimental results;
  • Passionate about learning new concepts and doing original research;
  • Fluent in English and express yourself easily in speech and in writing.

Conditions of employment

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus.

We offer:
  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of € 2.770,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to a salary of € 3.539,- in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

Additional information

Please submit your application before October 20th, 2023 by using the “Apply now” button. Applications should at least include the following:
  • Letter of motivation and/or research interest.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • List, with grades, of courses from both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
  • References and, if applicable, a list of publications.

For more information, please contact Dr. David T.A. Matthews ( or Prof. dr. Anke Blume (

A Game-Based-Assessment can be part of the selection procedure.

The first round of interviews will take place in the first week of November.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1421


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Oct 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).