1. Vacatures
  2. Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD)
  3. Post Doc position aimed at designing and testing SmartX technologies in flight Flying V

Post Doc position aimed at designing and testing SmartX technologies in flight Flying V

The advancements in aerospace engineering, paired with continuing desire to develop more fuel-efficient aircraft, lead to increasingly flexible aircraft …

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2790 - € 4402 per maand


The advancements in aerospace engineering, paired with continuing desire to develop more fuel-efficient aircraft, lead to increasingly flexible aircraft designs. Generally, the flexibility is considered as a side effect of the lighter aircraft design and needs to be adequately accounted for to prevent undesired aerodynamics-structure couplings and ensure the optimized aerodynamic shape. However, a fixed-wing shape - generally optimized for the cruise condition - cannot be fully optimized throughout the flight envelope due to conflicting design requirements.

Researchers in the Smart and Aeroelastic Structures research group developed an active morphing wing concept to utilize structural flexibility. The wing, named SmartX-Alpha, integrates smart sensing, smart actuation, and smart control, enabling simultaneous achievements of multiple objectives: 1) aeroelastic wing shape control; 2) real-time active aerodynamic performance optimisation; 3) active damping enhancement and flutter suppression; 4) active gust and manoeuvre load alleviation. The effectiveness of the SmartX-Alpha wing has been demonstrated by wind tunnel tests in TU Delft. It also won the Hardware Competition at the 2020 American conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures, and Intelligent Systems. The project video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdagIiYRWyA&t=323s

This three-year postdoctoral project aims at designing and testing a free-flying uninhabited aerial vehicle embedded with the SmartX technologies in flight. The impacts of scaling up on aircraft design, sensing, and actuation should be investigated. The technology readiness levels (TRLs) of SmartX should be raised in this project via following a coherent analysis, design verification and validation process. Automtated manufacturing methods for smart aircraft should be explored as well. The flight testing will be supported by the section of Flight performance and propulsion of TU Delft.


We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher with excellent qualifications, with a doctoral degree or equivalent expertise, but at least an MSc degree, in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related subject. Passion for aircraft and an affinity to aircraft design and flight testing are essential.

The following skills are required:

  • Skilled at manufacturing custom-designed aircraft components;
  • Hardware experiences in aircraft avionics;
  • Previous (professional/non-professional) working experiences in aircraft design, manufacturing, and flight testing. Please explicitly stress this point in your motivation letter and provide us with some supplementary materials (videos, photo, awards, etc.);
  • Very good English communication skills;
  • Enjoy working in an interdisciplinary and multicultural research environment.


Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Additional information

For information about the contents of this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Ir. Roeland De Breuker, R.DeBreuker@tudelft.nl or Dr. Xuerui Wang, X.Wang-6@tudelft.nl. If you have questions about the application procedure, you can contact Ms. Laura Chant, secr-asm-lr@tudelft.nl.

We look forward for your applications which shall include the following documents:

  1. Your CV
  2. At least two reference letters
  3. Motivation letter
  4. Certificate of degree
  5. Supplementary materials (e.g., photos and/or videos for your previous aircraft design; your proof of participation in aircraft design, build, and flight competitions.)

Please compile these documents into a single .zip file named: lastname_firstname_yearofbirth.zip

Applications not complying will not be taken into consideration. When applying, please refer to vacancy number.


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