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Postdoc Reliability of Timber Pile Foundations

Most historical structures in the western part of the Netherlands are founded on timber piles. With an age of up to 500 years, an assessment of their …

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2790 - € 4402 per maand


Most historical structures in the western part of the Netherlands are founded on timber piles. With an age of up to 500 years, an assessment of their structural performance is increasingly becoming important. Both mechanical and material degradation, as well is increasing loads on the piles may be the reason for such an assessment. Failures of quay walls have led to the conclusion that a better understanding of the long-term load carrying capacity of timber piles is necessary. In this Post-doc project, an integral calculation model for the calculation of the residual load-carrying capacity of timber piles will be developed, in close cooperation with foundation engineering experts and the city of Amsterdam. A combination of theoretical modelling and reliability analysis on both new and old piles should lead to a comprehensive description of the service life of wooden foundations. The ultimate goal of the project is the integration of a timber reliability model with existing foundation calculation methods which can be used by practicing engineers.

Aspects that need to be considered are:

  • Influences of long term mechanical loads and biological degradation mechanism and their interaction using a variety of assessment methods (mechanical testing, microscopy, CT-Scanning, NIR).
  • Reliability and Service life modelling concepts (Bayesian statistics, Monte-Carlo simulations) preferably with respect to wood
  • Interaction with soil mechanics (creep, skin friction)


The candidate has a PhD with a background in structural engineering, material science or reliability&risk. Programming skills (pref. Python, MathLab) and a hands-on mentality with regard to experimental work and foundation test sites are required. The working language is English. Because of the close cooperation with the city of Amsterdam and other communities, the candidate should be prepared to acquire basic knowledge of the Dutch language. Only candidates are considered who has already finalized their PhD.


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 this vacancy, you can contact Prof. Dr. ir. Jan-Willem van de Kuilen, e-mail: J.W.G.vandeKuilen@tudelft.nl or drs. Wolfgang Gard, e-mail: w.f.gard@tudelft.nl.