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PhD for advanced materials for Electrically driven sensor skins

Vacancies are available for PhD students in the field of advanced materials for soft robotic applications at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), The Netherlands

3 maanden geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Research background
Robots that mimic the soft, pliable, robust, and organic qualities of the natural world are preferred over rigid, cold, and inorganic conventional robots. Soft robotics immediately benefits industries such as agriculture, where they are already deployed in the collection of fruits and vegetables. However, to advance the emerging field of 'soft robots', these machines must be equipped with actuators and sensors to allow them to interact with their environment and render them more perceptive. Such solutions can also form the basis of smart electronic skins, which can augment the sensory abilities of humans.

However, the construction of a total soft sensor and actuator system requires the optimization and elaboration of fabrication methodologies. It also requires the fundamental characterization of new materials as a function of chemical structure and processing technique.

Project description
In this project the following objectives are to be achieved: i) Controlled integration methodologies of electrically driven LCEs on flexible and stretchable foils; ii) development of printable (strain) sensors to steer the actuation of the LCEs; iii) Understand the electrically driven haptic functions on flexible and stretchable foils.

Expected Results: (i) Insights in controllable electrically driven haptic LCE response on stretchable skin like foils (ii) advancing the state-of-the of controllable strain-sensor out-put to steer LCE actuators (iii) haptic robotic skin demonstrators.

The selected candidate will be employed at TNO as a PhD researcher and enrolled as a
PhD student at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry (CE&C), Eindhoven University of Technology. CE&C aspires to be an academic institution for education and research in chemical science and engineering of the highest international standard. The aim is to generate and to develop technology and scientific knowledge relevant for the long-term needs of society. Scientific curiosity and the use of newly generated knowledge are the main driving forces behind the continuing enhancement of the chosen fields of expertise. As a PhD student you are supervised by research staff at TNO and academic staff at TU Eindhoven. The main activities for this ERP will take place at TNO the Holst Centre (the Netherlands) performing secondments at Eindhoven University of Technology (NL), at Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragon (CSIC, Spain) and at the company Vention (the Netherlands).


We are looking for talented, motivated and enthusiastic PhD and postdoctoral students who meet the following requirements:

  • Background in chemical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, materials science or bioengineering.
  • Prior knowledge in soft matters, responsive materials and experience in microscopic techniques and device fabrication/ characterization are appreciated.
  • Ability to independently work within a dynamic team and multidisciplinary research environment.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English


The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world en part of the European technology hotspot 'Brainport Eindhoven'; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!

We offer
  • A challenging job in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious university. You will work with innovative analytic equipment and you will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more detailed information
about this vacancy? Please contact dr. Danqing Liu, d.liu1[at]tue.nl.

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact Ms. P.J. van de Weijer,
HR-advisor, p.j.v.d.weijer[at]tue.nl

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of
    three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

The selection of applicants and the job interviews will start immediately until we find a suitable candidate. Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.

For this vacancy we will recruit simultaneously both internal as external. In the case of equal suitability internal candidates take priority over external candidates.

An assessment can be part of the selection procedure.