PhD position on Noise and vibration in wet soil

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 position on Noise and vibration in wet soil

Minimum salary


Maximum salary


Job description

PhD position on “Noise and vibration in wet soil: micromechanical modelling for smart mitigation strategies”

We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD student to join the University of Twente (Netherlands) and work on the micromechanics of soils subjected to extreme drying/wetting cycles, and their effect on noise/vibrations propagation.

Climate changes are among the most urgent challenges for our society. Due to extreme droughts and heavy rain, soils are subjected to severe hydromechanical loads. The effect of drying/wetting cycles on granular soils is of great interest in geomechanics. In turn, such phenomena may lead to modifications of soils characteristics and properties, like strengthening/weakening or compaction/liquefaction.

The project will focus on sandy soils and the multi-disciplinary interplay between solid skeleton, hydraulic phase and noise/vibrations. The reference is to waves induced by human activities, e.g. construction works, traffic or trains. It is still unclear how the presence, and extreme fluctuations, of underground water interacts with wave transmission, and whether it can lead to attenuation or amplification phenomena.

Goal of the project is to use a micromechanical approach to gain a deeper fundamental understanding on ground vibrations in partially saturated soils and design novel reduction solutions that can be applied in large scale engineering systems and over much longer time-scales.

The project will adopt a numerical approach to simulate waves in unsaturated granular soils, bridging microscale insights to macroscale behavior, via a coupled Lattice Boltzmann - Discrete Element Method algorithm.

Two steps validation will be performed: primary validation will be carried out in the laboratory and, after upscaling, a secondary validation can take place using data in the pilot-scale Living Innovation Lab (presently under development in the campus of University of Twente) via data assimilation.

The validated digital twin can be back-engineered to design temporary/permanent solutions to attenuate/deviate/absorb vibrations in soils, e.g. via grouting, absorbing polymers, and achieve a direct societal impact.


  • You have obtained a MSc degree in a relevant field such as civil or mechanical engineering, computer science, applied- or geo-physics or related areas.
  • You are interested to learn and contribute to new technologies for geomechanical application.
  • You love working in a multidisciplinary team in which fundamental and applied research cross-fertilize.
  • Furthermore, an appropriate qualification in the English Language together with excellent communication and organizational skills are required.

We offer

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high societal relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. We offer:

  • A full-time 4-year PhD position.
  • An offer for a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School.
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.395 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.061 in the fourth year.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
    Full status as an UT-employee, including pension and health care benefits.

Information and application

Please submit your application before 15 February 2021, using the ‘Apply now’ button below, and include your CV, motivation letter, bachelor and master transcripts, contact details of at least two references who worked closely with you, theses or reports (if available).

For more information on the project, you can contact Dr. V. Magnanimo (, Dr. H. Cheng ( or prof. S. Luding (

Please note that this vacancy is only open to female scientists. This is part of the University of Twente’s strategy to increase the proportion of women among its faculty and to create a working environment that is diverse and inclusive and supportive of excellence in research and teaching.

About the department

You will work in the Construction Management & Engineering group, at Faculty of Engineering Technology at the University of Twente (Netherlands). The position is part of a multidisciplinary team and will include close collaboration and co-supervision by the MultiScale Mechanics group of the same university.

Position localisation

Job location

Nederland, Enschede, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB


Drienerlolaan 5 7522 NB Enschede

Candidate criteria

Minimum level of education required

4. Master