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PhD candidate (2 open positions available)- Gentle driving of piles for the offshore industry

Two significant problems are currently faced by the offshore industry in terms of prediction of the pile drivability and the associated noise. The available …

4 maanden geleden


Stevinweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Two significant problems are currently faced by the offshore industry in terms of prediction of the pile drivability and the associated noise. The available drivability prediction codes are simplistic, tuned to small diameter monopiles, and often perform poorly when an a priori prediction of the drivability of a large-diameter monopile is desired. The available noise prediction codes all assume that the generated noise can be predicted without modelling the penetration process. This assumption is reasonable for the case of impact driving. However, it becomes questionable when the noise induced by vibratory driving needs to be predicted. The lower the frequency and the higher the energy of the vibratory driving, the more essential it becomes to take into account the fact that the pile penetrates into the soil during the noise radiation. Numerical models, which are capable of a simultaneous prediction of the drivability and associated noise, to the applicants’ knowledge, do not exist.

While the need for a good drivability-prediction model does not seem to be questioned, one may wonder why a noise prediction model is necessary at all for vibratory pile driving. Indeed, indications exist that the certifying authorities may be willing to allow vibratory driving without any mitigation screen. On the other hand, intense investigations are taking place on the reaction of marine life to a low-frequency noise. The industry must be prepared to have tools that are capable of estimation of the level of the low-frequency noise with the aim to prove that this level is environmentally acceptable.

The numerical tool will be developed at TU Delft building on the approaches developed in the FLOW project Underwater Noise from Offshore Pile Driving (SILENCE).


Two PhD students will be employed in order to make sure that this challenging task is successfully performed within the project period:

(1) One PhD candidate will focus on modelling the pile penetration process into the soil with the help of vibratory pile dirving;
(2) One PhD candidate will focus on the noise generation module, integration of the penetration and noise modules into a tool usable by the industry.

Both PhD candidates will work in close cooperation with each other and with the leading Dutch offshore industry.

In your application, please specify for which of the two open PhD positions you apply. These are mentioned under (1) and (2) above.

The candidate should:

  • hold a M.Sc. diploma in related engineering field, preferably in some relation to structural dynamics and/or offshore engineering and/or soil-structure interaction;
  • For the PhD position on noise prediction (option 2 above), candidates with a M.Sc. degree on Physics or Applied Physics are also welcomed;
  • have an excellent knowledge of the English language;
  • have some experience working in the Dutch industry (although this is not a strict prerequisite for this position, it is highly valued);
  • be eager to expand his knowledge in dynamics of structures, soil-structure and fluid-structure interaction and acoustics.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Apostolos Tsouvalas, assistant professor, e-mail: a.tsouvalas@tudelft.nl

To apply, please e-mail your application by 31 May 2018 to Recruitment-CiTG@tudelft.nl.

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG18-22.