Postdoc on critical transitions in rotating turbulence

Postdoc on critical transitions in rotating turbulence

Published Deadline Location
1 Jul 20 Aug Eindhoven
Are you intrigued by coherent structure formation in geophysically and astrophysically inspired flows? Are you interested in the abstraction and statistical description of this process? Are you passionate about high performance computing of turbulent flows?

Job description

An intriguing effect of constraining a turbulent flow, e.g. by adding rotation, is that the energy cascade may change: some part of the energy may be transferred to larger scales, forming large-scale structures (vortices or jets) that are essentially two-dimensional. There is evidence that this change is sharp: the transition between pure downscale energy transfer and (partial) upscale transfer resembles a critical transition. Can we understand, model and predict this transition? How universal is this transition with respect to the flow forcing mechanism (thermal convection or mechanical forcing)? Large-scale structures are found in many constrained turbulent flow systems at planetary scales. Knowledge of the transition will lead to a better understanding of these flows, with predictive power for similar flow problems that are harder to diagnose. For example, the structure of the flow in Earth's liquid-metal outer core is decisive for the generation of the magnetic field that shields us from harmful radiation. The application also extends to planetary atmospheres, including that of our own Earth.

The goal of the current postdoc project (2 years) is to explore the transition to large-scale structure formation using direct numerical simulations of rotationally constrained turbulence. You will quantify the energy transfers among spatial scales and identify and implement diagnostic quantities that describe the transition. You will evaluate the transition properties between systems with different forcing and boundary conditions. Is there universal behavior?

This postdoc position is part of the project 'Universal critical transitions in constrained turbulence', in which this problem is studied both numerically and experimentally. Additional directions to be explored are: influence of lateral confinement (enclosed vs horizontally periodic domains, description of hysteresis in the transition, and investigation of energy transfers in the saturated final vortex state. The final goal is the development of a predictive model for the transition: are the properties universal?

You will become a member of the Fluids and Flows group, consisting of ~35 researchers (PhD students, postdocs and staff). The group covers a wide range of fluid flow topics organized into four main research lines: Turbulence, Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Multiphase and Complex Fluids and Micro- and Nanohydrodynamics.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate with an excellent background in fluid dynamics, turbulence and high-performance computing.
  • A PhD degree in (applied) physics, mechanical engineering or related subjects.
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, reflected in demonstratable outputs.
  • A team player who enjoys coaching PhD and Master's students and working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary team.
  • Knowledge of statistical physics is an asset.
  • Excellent (written and verbal) proficiency 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 2 years.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10 (min. €3,877 max. €5,090).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.

Additional information

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager Rudie Kunnen

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We invite you to submit a complete application using the apply-button.
The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Your PhD thesis, or a link to your thesis.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • V34.7588


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).