Eindhoven University of Technology

Modeling of microstructure evolution and failure of aluminum under neutron load

2024-07-21 (Europe/Amsterdam)
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We are an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude.

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Position PhD-student

Irène Curie Fellowship No

Department(s) Mechanical Engineering

FTE 1,0

Date off 21/07/2024

Reference number V35.7338

Job description

Section description
The research activities of the section Mechanics of Materials concentrate on the fundamental understanding of various macroscopic problems in materials processing, forming and application, which emerge from the physics and the mechanics of the underlying material microstructure. The main challenge is the accurate prediction of mechanical properties of materials with complex microstructures, with a direct focus on industrial and societal needs. The thorough understanding and modelling of processes that can be identified in the complex evolving microstructure is thereby a key issue. The section has a unique research infrastructure, both from an experimental and computational perspective.

Materials ageing and structural integrity of research reactors
Many of the existing nuclear research reactors in Europe are very old (>60 years operation) and only few initiatives are taken to partially replace this capacity. Until new reactors come to operation, continued operation of these existing reactors is required to maintain the EU excellence in development and qualification of nuclear materials for advanced reactor concepts and to maintain the supply of medical isotopes. However, there is limited understanding of damage mechanisms and lack of data on research reactor materials at relevant operating conditions for long term operation of research reactors. In addition, there is a shortage of surveillance specimens for extending the operational life for some research reactors. The EU project Magic-RR addresses these issues and one of its topics is the development of advanced multi-scale modelling methods for prediction of the influence of irradiation on mechanical properties of reactor materials.

Aim of the PhD project
In this project, a framework for modeling of microstructure evolution under neutron loads, and irradiation hardening and embrittlement due to this microstructure evolution under general mechanical loads will be developed. A multi-scale approach will bridge from the physical processes that occur at the scale of the crystalline lattice and its defects, to mechanical failure at the macroscopic application scale. A combination of modelling techniques will be employed, including a cluster dynamics model, crystal plasticity and a probabilistic brittle failure model. The modelling framework will be applied to an aluminum alloy that is used for structural components of research reactors.

Job requirements

Talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills holding a university degree (MSc, with high grades) in Mechanical Engineering, Computational Mechanics or Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply. A background and strong interest in mechanics of materials and materials science is required. Experience in multi-scale modelling and micromechanics is of benefit.

Conditions of employment

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.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager Dr. Hans van Dommelen (j.a.w.v.dommelen@tue.nl)

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services, HRServices.Gemini@tue.nl.

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a photograph, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees (with grades), and contact information of two potential referees.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

Job details

Modeling of microstructure evolution and failure of aluminum under neutron load
De Zaale Eindhoven, Netherlands
Application deadline
2024-07-21 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam)
2024-07-21 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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About the employer

We are an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude.

Visit the employer page

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