PhD: Modelling Bearing Steels for Wind Turbine Applications

Research / Academic


Large case-carburised steel bearings in wind turbines show premature failure in the form of irregular white etching cracks. To control and prevent failure, the aim is to establish the relation between failure and steel processing routes: (1) experimental characterisation of new and used bearings, for identification of the decisive microstructural features in relation to failure; (2) model development to quantitatively relate the processing conditions to the microstructure of case-carburising steels and the microstructure to the performance. Both will lead to a quantitative description of the effects of processing parameters on microstructural parameters and (local) material performance in rolling contact fatigue of case-carburised steel to counteract premature failure of large bearings.


Candidates should hold an MSc degree in physics, metallurgy, or materials science. They must also have knowledge of physics and microstructures of metals. We are still looking for a candidate for project 2, for which knowledge and experience with model development is necessary. Candidates should have:
• an affinity for industry-related fundamental research,
• an academic attitude with excellent analytical skills, initiative, inventiveness, curiosity, and critical thinking.
• strong communication skills (high English proficiency), ability to integrate, and good social behaviour.

Salary Benefits:

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Jilt Sietsma, e-mail:
Minds for Innovation is the recruitment partner for this project. For more information regarding recruitment please contact Jolanda de Roo. E:, T: + 316 572 913 50.
To apply, please visit the website and use the online application tool by 28 September 2018. When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE18-09.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week

About the company:
Delft University of Technology <p>Delft University of Technology (the TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. The TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At the TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. The TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.</p>

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