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  3. PhD: Characterisation of Fluid Mud in Ports & Waterways

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PhD: Characterisation of Fluid Mud in Ports & Waterways

Rheological and physico-chemical properties of mud layers

11 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2840 per maand


Navigation in ports and waterways has to be safeguarded by maintenance dredging, relocating deposited sediments from navigational channels. These deposits of fluid mud are characterised by low density and weak shear strengths. As dredging of fluid mud is highly inefficient, port authorities seek new insight into strength developments of fluid mud layers. This can be done through establishing a scientifically proven link between rheological properties of fluid mud and physico-chemical properties that can influence the rheological signature of mud. In this work, two different rheological approaches will be considered: microscopic and macroscopic. The latter is based on macroscopic physics of continuous media that provides a relationship between stresses and strains of a material. The microscopic approach studies the interactions between particles to predict the physical and chemical processes occurring between organic matter, mud particles, and water.

The mud specimens will be sampled at different locations of the Port of Hamburg and compared in the laboratory by means of quantitative analysis. The knowledge obtained will help to better characterise the mud and establish the link between physico-chemical processes that take place in muddy environments and the rheological signature of mud layers. This research will be performed in close cooperation with our department of Geosciences & Engineering and with the Hamburg Port Authority.


Applicants should have the following qualifications:
• MSc in Civil Engineering, Applied Physics, Soil science or any other related field.
• Motivation for applied research and experimental work (lab and field).
• Strong analytical skills and the ability to work independently and in a team.
• Good proficiency in spoken and written English and preferably also in German (but not obligatory).
• Ability to cooperate with both scientific and industrial partners.
• Ability to write and contribute to scientific publications and reports.


The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including 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 day care, before- and after-school care 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. The 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.

For more information about this position, please contact Alex Kirichek, phone: +31 (0)15-2789658, e-mail: O.Kirichek@tudelft.nl. To apply, please send the following:
(1) a letter in which you explain your interest in this position (max 1 page),
(2) a detailed Curriculum Vitae which includes your educational record, list of publications, industrial experience (if any), the names of three persons who may be contacted for a reference, and any other information you judge to be relevant for this application. Please e-mail your application by 19 January 2018 to B. C. Tabak, Recruitment-CiTG@tudelft.nl.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG17-27.

Additional information

Alex Kirichek
+31 (0)15-2789658

Technische Universiteit Delft


Delft University of Technology (the TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. The TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At the TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. The TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools. Civil Engineering & Geosciences The Department of Hydraulic Engineering is mainly concerned with major surface waters such as rivers, estuaries, and seas. The focus is on understanding, designing, and implementing human interventions in the natural environment for the discharge of water, for protection against water, and for transport over water.

The Rivers, Ports, Waterways and Dredging Engineering section focuses on three research lines. River Engineering is all about the prediction of short- and long-term responses of river systems to natural and anthropogenic changes; Ports and Waterways focuses on the design of ports and waterways, while Dredging Engineering is about the displacement of large volumes of sediment. The three research lines are entangled; therefore, a close cooperation is needed.