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Postdoc Fracture of Composite Bonded Joints

Challenge: Crack arresting in composite bonded joints.
Change: Steering crack paths using innovative design of composite joints
Impact: Contribute to sustainable aviation.

3 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 3746 - € 5127 per maand


Composite materials have been displacing their metal counterparts in an endeavour for more eco-efficient air transport. For these new structures, adhesive bonding is one of the most promising joining technology in terms of performance and weight; however, these joints are prone to sudden failure and exhibit a limited tolerance to damage. As a result, current safety-critical bonded joints are always used in combination with redundant fasteners. This practice is jeopardizing the weight-efficiency of composite structures.

In this project, you will develop the concept of Non-Conventional Composite bonded joints which consist in tailoring the joint design to achieve a controlled and progressive fracture phenomenon. To achieve this, your research will focus on steering the crack paths to maximize the strength and damage tolerance of composite bonded joints.

The main research questions that have to be answered are:

  • What fracture scenarios should be developed to maximize the resistance to damage onset, damage propagation and final failure of composite bonded joints?
  • How these optimal fracture scenarios depend on the loading mode?
  • Which are the critical design parameters with which we can steer the crack path in composite bonded joints?

You will be responsible for planning and executing a research plan that will bring answers to the above questions. Dr. Sofia Teixeira de Freitas will be your supervisor. You will be part of the Structural Integrity and Composites group in the Department of Aerospace Structures and Materials at the Facult y of Aerospace Engineering. The group is world-known on damage tolerant design research. We are part of the Delft Aerospace Structures and Materials Laboratory with state of the art research facilities.

You are expected to publish journal articles, to growth your network by participating in international conferences, as well as, to contribute to educational activities within the faculty, including supervision of BSc and MSc students.


To be considered to the position you will have:

  • A PhD in Material Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or any another relevant discipline;
  • Proven track record in experimental characterization of fracture on composites structures, specifically X-ray Computed Tomography, preferably in relation to adhesives;
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both in written and oral;
  • A curiosity-driven mindset and a passion for (doing) research;
  • Comfortable to work both independently and in a team;
  • A pro-active, independent, problem-solving, and result-oriented work attitude.


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

If you would like more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Sofia Teixeira de Freitas, email: S.TeixeiradeFreitas@tudelft.nl

f you would like more information about the application procedure, please contact Gemma van der Windt (g.j.m.vanderwindt@tudelft.nl)