PhD position in Out-of-Autoclave Consolidation of Thermoplastic Composites

PhD position in Out-of-Autoclave Consolidation of Thermoplastic Composites

Published Deadline Location
25 Jan 18 Feb Enschede

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Job description

As part of the National research program Aviation in Transition, the Production Technology group at the University of Twente has a PhD position on the modelling of the out-of-autoclave processing of thermoplastic composites.

Thermoplastic composite materials are considered a prime candidate for the next generation of commercial aircraft. Compared to thermoset composites, these materials offer improved toughness, dustless assembly through welding, and improved recycling opportunities. To date, the aircraft manufacturing industry mainly relies on autoclave consolidation for the manufacture of medium-sized to large components. However, because autoclave consolidation is costly and energy-intensive, the industry is pursuing alternative technologies. These so-called out-of-autoclave consolidation methods are characterized by lower consolidation pressures and reduced processing times, rendering existing material processing windows and tool design guidelines useless. To ease process window development and tool design, we aim to develop predictive process simulation tools that can be used by industry.

We are looking for a PhD candidate to strengthen our research team and develop predictive models for the out-of-autoclave consolidation of thermoplastic composite components. The work involves experimental investigations to identify, analyze and quantify the relevant physical mechanisms, followed by the implementation of numerical models to describe these. Existing models and datasets form an excellent starting point for the task at hand. Within the project, you will collaborate with other researchers and share your results with the industrial partners.


University of Twente (UT)


You are a highly motivated researcher who is driven by curiosity and has:
  • a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or equivalent,
  • experimental and theoretical skills in polymers and fiber reinforced composites, with a special emphasis on analytical characterization methods,
  • experience in scripting languages like Python or Matlab,
  • proficiency in English, both spoken and written (we require a TOEFL > 90 or IELTS > 6.5 score).

Conditions of employment

We offer a full-time 4-year PhD position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:
  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, and 29 vacation in days in case of full-time employment;
  • A training program, where you and your supervisors will settle a plan for education and supervision;
  • Excellent laboratory and support facilities;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).


We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The UT is the only campus university of the Netherlands. We have a strong focus on personal development and hardworking researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1622


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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