PhD candidate “Degradation mechanisms in high performance rope structures”

Vacancy details

General information


The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the ET Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customizable conditions.   



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Position description


Academic staff - PhD

Job title

PhD candidate “Degradation mechanisms in high performance rope structures”

Minimum salary


Maximum salary


Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to strengthen our research portfolio. Careful experimental analysis, involving microscopy combined with digital image correlation to investigate fiber slip, Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, will be employed to analyze, model and quantify fiber damage. Understanding the physical background of internal degradation processes will ultimately underpin lifetime prediction of these ropes.


• MSc degree in Physics, Mechanical Engineering or equivalent, preferably with a background in fibers and/or tribology.
• You are an excellent researcher, eager to learn and to improve;
• You thrive in a collaborative environment;
• Your interpersonal skills as well as English language skills are excellent.

We offer

We offer a very challenging full-time position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment.
• We offer you a full-time four-year position with a one-year probation period;
• The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.395,- per month in the first year and increases to € 3.061,- per month in the fourth year of your employment based on a full-time employment;
• A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%;
• A solid pension scheme;
• Minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;
• Professional and personal development programs

Information and application

Are you interested after reading this vacancy? Please apply via the application button below until 1st November 2020, by uploading the following documents :

• A motivation letter describing why you apply for this position, with a description of your research interests (no more than 1 A4).
• A detailed CV.
• Academic transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
The selection procedure includes an interview and scientific presentation.
For more information, contact M.B. de Rooij :

In June / July 2020 we also advertised for this vacancy. For those who have sent their application than, please don't apply for this position again.

About the department

The Department Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces & Systems (MS3), part of the faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is currently seeking a PhD student in the area of fibers, ropes and damage mechanisms. The work will be done in the Surface Engineering and Maintenance group, where we work on topics related to damage mechanisms and lifetime prediction.
Degradation mechanisms happening at surfaces are typically highly complex in nature. Many degradation mechanisms involve multiple physical domains, like interacting thermal, mechanical and chemical effects. Analysis and modelling complex degradation phenomena is foundational for maintenance. Improvement of lifetime and maintenance is important, ultimately to make our society more sustainable.
Ropes composed of aramid fibres are commonly used in all kinds of applications, mostly applications that are in one way or another critical. For reasons of safety, it is very important to have a clear understanding of degradation taking place in these rope structures. The aim of the research is to analyse, quantify and describe internal degradation in rope structures due to mechanical interaction between the fibers. Ultimately this should lead to the development of a damage indicator. Although the research will primarily be performed on aramid ropes under conditions typical for extreme environments, spin off to other high performance fiber structures is expected.

Position localisation

Job location

Nederland, Enschede, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB


Drienerlolaan 5 7522 NB Enschede

Candidate criteria

Minimum level of education required

4. Master

Scientific area