PhD candidate

TPRC is a research center based on a consortium of industrial and academic partners active in the thermoplastic composites industry. We believe in thermoplastic composites as the material for lightweight manufacturing in large volumes. Our primary aim is to enable a more widespread use of thermoplastic composites by eliminating technological barriers. To strengthen our team, we are looking for a:

PhD candidate


The aircraft manufacturing industry is relying on thermoplastic composites to increase build rates and reduce costs, not only for small parts, but also for larger (sub)structures thanks to the introduction of unidirectional thermoplastic materials. Induction welding is a very promising technology for the assembly of these larger structures. The foreseen unidirectional composites offer increased mechanical performance, but the welding of these materials requires more research in order to reduce the high costs associated with trial and error process development and the currently limited process robustness and reliability.

Asked by its members, TPRC has initiated a project to increase the robustness of the induction welding process. This project aims at developing a combined experimental and numerical approach to increase the applicability of induction welding. A process simulation model will be developed, including a novel material model for the homogenized anisotropic electromagnetic properties of unidirectional composite laminates in order to speed up process implementation. This model has to be fed with the relevant material properties, for which experimental methods will have to be developed. Then, a welding set-up will be designed to validate the developed model using sensing technology that can be applied in an industrialized welding process.

Job description

For this project, TPRC is looking for an ambitious PhD candidate who can combine numerical skills with sound experimental work. The candidate will perform fundamental research during a period of four years to aid to the industrialization of the induction welding process for thermoplastic composites. The following topics should be addressed:

  • Experimental evaluation of the current welding process for different unidirectional fiber reinforced thermoplastic polymers;
  • Experimental assessment of the relevant electromagnetic ply properties as a function of frequency and temperature;
  • Development of a novel material model for the anisotropic electromagnetic properties on the ply and laminate level;
  • Implementation of the material model in a (commercially available) numerical modelling code;
  • Development of an experimental method to validate the simulation tool;
  • Demonstration of the developed model and technology on a small scale welded structure.

Your profile

  • An MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science or Applied Physics;
  • Experience with (thermoplastic) composite materials is valued;
  • A strong interest in multi-field research, e.g. mechanical engineering, physics, electrical engineering;
  • Affinity with both experimental as well as numerical work;
  • Experience with Finite Element modelling;
  • The ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • The possession of good communication skills and fluency in both written and spoken English for close interaction with a multinational consortium of industrial partners;
  • The ability of writing in scientific journals and giving presentations at scientific conferences.

Information & application

We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with a fully equipped laboratory and support staff. We offer a competitive salary with excellent secondary conditions of employment, a flexible working environment and opportunities for further career development. You are offered a professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente.

Interested? Then send your application letter and CV including references and, if applicable, a list of publications to until January 15th, 2019.

Acquisition further to this vacancy is not appreciated.