PhD Optical Flow Sensing

Research / Academic

The PhD student will develop novel optical sensors based on optical spectroscopy using the full information content of light, i.e. amplitude, phase, wavelength, and polarization. The PhD research aims for quantitative determination of composition of flowing turbid media. This is highly challenging since the path length of the light in turbid samples is ill-defined making straightforward analysis impossible. This challenge is addressed with techniques closely related to optical coherence tomography and associated optical signal processing methods. Initially, you will start with optical system simulations, but subsequently you build an optical spectroscopy set-up. With this set-up you will work on accurate quantification of scattering and absorption and relate them to the particle size distribution and chemical fluid composition, respectively. You analyse multiple optical parameters, such as spectral amplitude, phase, birefringence and develop ways to make quantitative estimation of flow composition as accurate as possible. This project is a research collaboration with University Twente where work by a post-doc and PhD student is focused on developing microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors and integrating them with the optical sensor. MEMS sensors are used for real-time inline measurement of fluid-mechanical parameters such as flow speed, viscosity, and density. In the research team you will work on the integration of fluid-mechanical and optical parameters and combine them in a single multi-parameter flow measurement system. You will investigate whether optical techniques can provide “independent” measurements of flow properties such as pressure, density and viscosity. The overall goal of this project, is the integration of optical and MEMS-based sensors to open up new opportunities for flow quantification such as determining the amount of fat in milk or the amount of oil in oil/water mixtures.


We are looking for enthusiastic candidates with a ‘drive’ for applied research. He or she has a demonstrable interest in optics, optical sensor design/construction, and signal processing. The candidate should have an MSc degree in Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, or the equivalent. The PhD position is firmly imbedded in a physics environment, but it is expected from the candidate to interact with chemical engineers and material scientists. Good communication skills in English are required.

Salary Benefits:

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. 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.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Lorentzweg 1