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Postdoc Numerical and Experimental Contact and Soil Mechanics

Current offshore monopile installation, using hydraulic hammers, creates significant underwater noise which in turn requires the use of noise mitigation …

2 maanden geleden


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


Current offshore monopile installation, using hydraulic hammers, creates significant underwater noise which in turn requires the use of noise mitigation measures. Furthermore, the aggressive blow of a hydraulic hammer potentially results in fatigue damage and prevents secondary steel to be welded to the pile. It has been demonstrated that the BLUE Piling Technology, which uses longer impact pulses to the pile head, significantly reduces the monopiles' installation noise and operational savings.

In this project, which is a collaborative between IHC IQIP and TU Delft, the main goal is to simulate the behavior of BLUE Piling Technology in order to better understand and predict the drivability of assembled monopiles. A better understating of the soil resistance during pile driving and the development of reliable drivability models are secondary objectives. The numerical predictions will then be validated through experiments in collaboration with the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CiTG). During the project, the improved working principles of the Blue pile driving will be tested using advanced experimental studies at various scales, ranging from 1:100 to full scale field tests. A test system will be designed and built to perform on site testing with a system resembling BLUE Piling pulses. Advanced geotechnical physical modelling techniques using centrifuge and pressure chamber facilities will be used to further the knowledge of dynamic soil resistance during pile driving.

The post-doctoral researcher, during a 1.5 year contract, will advance the knowledge of the interaction between impact hammer, monopile, and soil during the installation of large offshore monopiles. Scientific challenges exist in the fundamental understanding of the dynamic interaction between various components, and its effect on optimized energy transfer without generation of excessive noise during pile driving. The tasks to be performed include:

  • Create a computational model of the BLUE Piling technology that is capable of accurately predicting the behavior of a long pulse along the monopile. Such model will need to account for the interaction between the monopile and soil.
  • Participate actively in the validation of the computational model via experiments. To that end, the researcher will conceptualize, design, and supervise the construction of a novel impact pile driver for a geotechnical centrifuge. The developed hammer will be capable of applying controlled impact pulses with designed amplitude, duration, and frequencies. The work will include implementation of advanced instrumentation for experimental studies. The design and execution of the project will be in close collaboration with a team of researchers at the Civil Engineering faculty of TU Delft and industry experts.


Candidates will meet as many of the following requirements as possible:

  • PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline with a strong background in mechatronics and computational mechanics;
  • Can handle experimental work such as driving servo motion systems and system level design;
  • Knowledge of geotechnical centrifuge modelling, foundation engineering, and offshore foundations is highly appreciated;
  • Knowledge on finite element methods (FEM) and FEM software commonly used in industry/academia (Abaqus, Ansys, Comsol) is highly appreciated;
  • Interest in contributing to the global success of the project, liaising with other team members responsible for different segments of the research;
  • Appreciation of team work, good social skills, and ability to function in international circles involving experts from academia and industry;
  • High proficiency in spoken/written English, and proven experience in preparing technical publications and project reports;
  • Interest in contributing to the co-supervision of MSc graduation projects.


Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (salary indication: €3.491-€4.402). 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 this vacancy, you can contact dr.ir. Alejandro M. Aragón, Structural Optimization and Mechanics research section, email: a.m.aragon@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 (0)15 278 22 6.