PhD Position in Soft Matter: Flow and Dynamics of Colloidal Gels

PhD Position in Soft Matter: Flow and Dynamics of Colloidal Gels

Published Deadline Location
6 May 31 May Delft

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Unravel a new mechanism for tuning the microstructure of colloidal gels, and unlock new applications in sustainable products and processes.

Job description

A PhD position is currently available in the Garbin lab ( on novel methods to control the microstructure of colloidal gels. You will be part of the CoCoGel Marie Skłodowska-Curie Industrial Doctoral Network (, together with 14 other PhD candidates, who will be working throughout Europe on bringing rational design to the structuring of colloidal gels.

Colloidal gels - soft materials made of attractive colloidal particles - form the basis of many products and materials, including personal care products, battery electrodes, and construction materials. The development of new methods to tune the properties of colloidal gels will enable the next generation of sustainable products and processes. We have recenlty discovered a novel, ultrasound-induced mechanism that creates local order in colloidal gels [Saint-Michel, Petekidis & Garbin, Soft Matter 18, 2092 (2022)]. In this PhD project, you will investigate the physical phenomena underlying this new mechanism and explore its potential for controlled structuring of model colloidal gels and new products. You will perform experiments to elucidate the effect of process parameters on the resulting microstructure using confocal microscopy and microstructural analysis.

As PhD candidate in the CoCoGel network, you will participate in collaborative and training activities hosted by the network partners. You will be based at Delft University of Technology and, as part of your PhD, you will be periodically seconded at industrial partners of CoCoGel to develop elements of your project. A secondment of up to 8 months will be hosted by InProcess LSP, a scale-up company that develops process analytical technology for in-line characterization of dense suspensions using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Here, you will explore the possibility to overcome the limited time resolution of confocal microscopy using OCT. To explore applications of your scientific findings to personal care and food products, you will be seconded at Unliever for up to 6 months. To explore applications in battery electrodes, you will be seconded at Systems Sunlight SA, manufacturer of batteries and storage systems for energy produced by renewable sources.

To qualify for this position, you cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months preceding the recruitment start date. The start date is September 2024.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a motivated researcher who can balance the research requirements of a PhD with the opportunities afforded by working in an industry-academia collaboration. You must have an MSc in Physics, Applied Physics, Chemical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering by the start of the project. Good knowledge of fluid mechanics and transport phenomena is needed to make progress in the project; knowledge of soft matter physics or colloid science will also be beneficial. Experience with experimental methods in microscopy, image analysis and rheology is considered very valuable. The abiliyt to program in Python or a comparable language is needed for image analysis and data processing. It is important that you have good communication skills and are open to collaboration, as the CoCoGel project requires substantial coordination and synergy. An ambition to bridge fundamental research with impact on society will be highly valued.   

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1.5 jaar.

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


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!



With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

The Transport Phenomena group studies the transport of mass, momentum and heat in physical and (electro)chemical processes related to advanced materials processing, energy conversion and storage, and health. Our main interest is in transport around (solid-fluid, liquid-gas, liquid-liquid, membrane-fluid and electrically charged) interfaces, which we wish to understand, control and enhance.

We enjoy performing fundamental research to gain a deep understanding of the underlying phenomena, while at the same time we find it important to apply our knowledge to real-life applications. We use both theoretical and computational models, and non-intrusive experiments based on laser and X-ray techniques.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD05275


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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