Postdoc Characterisation of Light Damage in Calcium-Silicate Block Masonry

Postdoc Characterisation of Light Damage in Calcium-Silicate Block Masonry

Published Deadline Location
29 Sep 31 Oct Delft

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Do you have scientific interest in predicting crack-based damage in modern housing due to climate-change driven processes?

Job description

When masonry is subjected to tensile stresses as a result of shrinkage, differential settlements, or (seismic) vibrations, it will exhibit cracks which fall into the light damage classification. Traditional masonry, with bricks and large joints of cement or lime mortar, usually exhibit cracks which start at the joints and then propagate further. This behaviour has been extensively investigated in the laboratory and with numerical models at the TU Delft over the last few years. But, what happens when masonry is constructed with thin-bed, adhesive mortars, typical of more modern masonry structures?

As PostDoc researcher you will perform a two-year study incorporating both experimental and computational modelling campaigns that aim to:

  • Characterise and compare the crack initiation and propagation in calcium-silicate masonry with larger units and thinner mortars, following the methodology of earlier campaigns;
  • Conduct and analyse experiments of walls and wallets with CSBL masonry using Digital Image Correlation and other laboratory tools;
  • Calibration strategy: establish numerical models / finite element method models in DIANA to reproduce the observed cracking behaviour and predict damage in masonry buildings subjected to deformations alike the experimental tests.
  • Extrapolate these models to explore damage as a consequence of soil deformations or vibrations, shrinkage, temperature changes, etc. Predicting damage due to the consequences of climate-change is the ultimate goal.

This work will be part of on-going projects collaborating with other researchers and PhD students under supervision of prof. Jan Rots and Ir. Paul Korswagen. More information on the group can be found here.

This position is located within the department Materials, Mechanics, Management & Design (3MD). 3MD focuses on the design, mechanics, materials and management of civil infrastructures and buildings. A multi-scale research approach is followed, starting at micro-scale (materials), to meso-scale (structures) and to macro-scale (infrastructures/systems). The department governs the entire life cycle from develop, design, build, maintain, operate to demolish or reuse. The department has strong competences in modelling and design for both civil infrastructures as well as buildings. This provides the opportunity to bring computational modelling and mechanics in contact with the materials micro-lab, the Stevin structures lab and with structural design.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a candidate with the following characteristics:

  • A PhD degree in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or other related areas.
  • Knowledge and interest in experimental solid mechanics and/or quasi brittle materials (masonry, concrete rocks, etc).
  • Ability to work in a project team but also independently while taking leadership and responsibility for research tasks.
  • Experience with research activities with the area of computational modelling of quasi-brittle materials and structures, and/or in experimental settings, will be a plus.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation).
  • English language. If your mother language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum score per sub-skills of 7.0). Proof of English language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted.
  • Dutch language is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (based on scale 10: €3,226.00 - €5,090.00). The contract of employement is offered for 2 years. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, 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 Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD04474


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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