PhD position in Constitutive Modelling for Press Forming Simulations

Research / Academic

As part of the National research program Aviation in Transition, the Production Technology group at the University of Twente has a PhD position on the modelling of the press forming process of thermoplastic composites.

Background and challenge

Thermoplastic composite materials are considered a prime candidate for the next generation of commercial aircraft. Compared to thermoset composites, these materials offer improved toughness, dustless assembly through welding, and improved recycling opportunities. Press forming is a manufacturing technology for small to medium-sized thermoplastic composite components in high volumes. Process simulation software allows virtual optimization of tool design and material handling in order to achieve first-time-right manufacturing. The predictive quality of these tools relies on accurate constitutive models to describe the material behavior during forming. With the ever increasing need to manufacture more complex components, a step-change is required in the accuracy of these models and the associated material characterization methods.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate to strengthen our research team. Your research focuses on the experimental characterization and modelling of the constitutive behavior of molten unidirectionally reinforced thermoplastic composites. Earlier developed characterization methods and an experimental dataset form an excellent starting point for the task at hand. Within the project, you will collaborate with other researchers and share your results with the industrial partners.


  • a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering or equivalent,
  • experimental and theoretical skills in thermoplastic polymers and fiber reinforced composites, experience with polymer rheology is a plus,
  • experience with the finite element method and programming experience in scripting languages like Python or Matlab,
  • proficiency in English, both spoken and written (we require a TOEFL > 90 or IELTS > 6.5 score).

Salary Benefits:

We offer a full-time 4-year Ph.D. position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:

  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, a solid pension scheme, and 29 vacation in days in case of full-time employment;
  • A training program, where you and your supervisors will settle a plan for education and supervision;
  • Excellent laboratory and support facilities;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
Work Hours:

38 - 40 hours per week


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