PhD position on Optoelectronic Multi-Parameter Flow Sensing

Research / Academic


Microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors are widely used for real-time inline measurement of fluid-mechanical parameters such as flow speed, viscosity, and density. Optical sensors are particularly suited for label free sensing of chemical composition and particle size distribution (PSD) in the 0.1-10 micron range. The goal of this project, which is in cooperation with TUD, is the integration of optical and MEMS-based sensors to open up new opportunities for flow quantification. Moreover, full control over wavelength, amplitude, phase, and polarization provides the opportunity to improve the accuracy and expand the application of optical sensors.

The scientific challenge is to determine the relation between the fluid-mechanical and optical parameters and combine them in a single multi-parameter flow measurement system.

Multiple MEMS-based flow sensors such as thermal, Coriolis, and pressure sensors have been integrated in a single device and fluidmechanical parameters such as heat capacity, mass flow, density, and viscosity are simultaneously determined. Two additional MEMS multiple parameter sensors will be developed: a dielectric constant and thermal conductivity sensor. These sensors will be combined with other available sensors (Coriolis, pressure) and the optical sensor (TUD) in a unique hybrid integrated flow sensing platform. To avoid the interrelation between fluid-mechanical parameters it will be investigated whether optical techniques can provide “independent” measurements of flow properties: e.g. whether the pressure can be determined from the refractive index change, the viscosity can be determined from the measured P, and the density can be determined from the scattering coefficient. The novel integrated optoelectronic sensing platform potentially can significantly improve the parameter estimation, e.g. the fat percentage in milk or the amount of oil in oil/water mixtures, for which algorithms need to be developed.

We invite applications for a PhD position to work towards an experimental proof of concept of a microelectromechanical (MEMS) multi parameter sensor system for real-time inline measurement of fluid-mechanical parameters. Properties of interest include flow speed, viscosity, and density. Optical sensors are particularly suited for label free sensing of chemical composition and particle size distribution (PSD) in the 0.1-10 micrometer range.

The scientific goal of this project is to integrate optical and MEMS-based sensors into one system to open up new opportunities for flow characterization of liquid mixtures such as milk or oil (connected to a specific application). 

You will work together with another PhD student (at TUD responsible for optical sensing) and Postdoc (at UT responsible for the algorithms).


We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent background in electrical engineering, applied physics, chemical technology, nano technology or closely related areas. You enjoy communicating your work verbally and in writing. You like working in a team, your curiosity inspires progress and you have clear scientific communication skills. We prefer applicants with strong English language proficiency. A scientific presentation can be part of the interview process.

Contact details J.C. Lotters: R.J. Wiegerink:

Salary Benefits:

We want you to play a key role in an ambitious project in an inspiring international environment. We strive for diversity and fairness in hiring - we offer you a full time four-year position. We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities. You will benefit from a professional and personal development program and a green and lively campus, with lots of sports facilities and other activities.

You will have a full time employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the University offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.325,- in the first year and increases to € 2.972,- in the fourth year of your employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance of 8% and an end of year bonus of 8.3%. A high-quality training program is part of the agreement. The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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