PhD position In Silico Modeling and Optimization of Soft Robotic Hearts

PhD position In Silico Modeling and Optimization of Soft Robotic Hearts

Published Deadline Location
20 Mar 7 Apr Delft

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Join a multidisciplinary consortium and develop state-of-the-art computational models to explore, optimize, and accelerate the design of an innovative soft robotic heart for HF patients worldwide.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD-student who will work together with the Holland Hybrid Heart (HHH) consortium on the design, fabrication, and analysis of an artificial soft robotic heart. The HHH consortium is a partnership between TU Delft, Erasmus MC, Eindhoven University of Technology, AMOLF, UTwente, Saxion, and several business partners. Together, we aim to conduct the necessary fundamental research, including the first chronic animal trials, to produce a soft artificial heart. Our goal is to mimic the natural contraction of the heart as much as possible, by generating a pulsatile flow, and coating the inside of the heart with a tissue-engineered lining. Our consortium acknowledges that this multidisciplinary project will only be successful if we work closely as a team.

In this project, your focus will be on in silico modeling of the soft artificial heart designs that are currently explored within the consortium. In close collaboration with our experimental partners, you will develop, calibrate, and validate computational fluid-structure interaction models that describe the intrinsic mechanical behavior of our designs. You will couple your framework to existing multiscale modeling frameworks of the cardiovascular circulation to study the response of our designs to changing loading conditions and explore numerical optimization techniques to enhance the safety and efficiency of our soft artificial heart designs. Active collaboration with researchers in TUDelft’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Holland Hybrid Heart consortium will be integral to the project’s success.

As the successful candidate for this position, you will be directly involved in mathematical modeling and software development, processing and analyzing data, and reviewing scientific literature. You will actively participate in (bi)weekly lab meetings, write scientific articles, and give presentations at national and international conferences. You will also take part in teaching and supervision activities within the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Delft University of Technology. More information on the team and research can be found on

Keywords: soft robotics, fluid-structure interaction, topology optimization, lumped parameter networks, device modeling, heart failure


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • You are a highly independent, motivated, and innovative individual who likes to solve complex numerical problems and can efficiently work in a highly multidisciplinary team.
  • You have a strong background in linear and tensor algebra, non-linear mechanics, advanced finite element analysis, computational solid mechanics, computational fluid mechanics, and high-performance computing.
  • You have excellent spoken and written English language skills*, and demonstrable collaborative, communicative and organizational competences.
  • You have an MSc degree in aerospace engineering, applied mathematics, mechanical engineering or other related fields.
  • Affinity with physics-informed machine learning, computational VVUQ (verification, validation, and uncertainty quantification), experimental device testing, cardiovascular (patho)physiology, and strong and proven computer programming skills (C++, Fortran, Python, Julia, or equivalent) are highly appreciated.

Please highlight your specific skills and relevant prior experiences for this position explicitly in your motivation letter. Motivation letters that do not address any of these requirements will not be considered. 

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

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 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 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 ME faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

ME 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 ME’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 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
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD05173


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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