PhD project – Active control of pressure disturbances in water circuits

Research / Academic

Photolithography machines play a central role in the production of ever smaller and faster microchips and represent high-precision systems of enormous complexity. Water conditioning is often required in sensitive modules of these machines to maintain strict thermal requirements. However, a negative consequence of this is that pressure disturbances in these water circuits can generate undesirable forces on the structure. These pressure disturbances may be flow induced, from circuit components and pumps, for example, but may also arise from vibrations of the structure leading to acoustic cross-talk between locations of differing dynamic sensitivity.

Current mitigation measures to limit the impact of pressure disturbances mainly involve passive mechanical devices, such as Helmholtz resonators, which can be used to achieve a certain level of suppression. It is the goal of this project to investigate whether an active control approach might offer advantages with respect to performance, volume requirements and flexibility. Such an active control system would use some combination of sensors, actuators and control algorithms, to be defined in the course of the study. The work will be carried out both at TU/e and ASML premises.

A general outline of the project can be envisaged as follows:

  • Review relevant concepts and literature
  • Propose several active silencer mechatronics concepts and select the most promising
  • Select sensors and actuators and control platform
  • Define representative flow circuits on which to assess performance
  • Investigate suppression performance in simulation model
  • Build test setup and investigate practical results


MSc degree in Engineering Sciences or Applied Physics, preferably with a background on structural dynamic behavior and/or control systems. You should have experience with the combination of numerical modelling and measurements.

Salary Benefits:

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 four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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