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PhD on Modeling and Design of Concrete Structures with Hierarchic Architecture

PhD on Modeling and Design of Concrete Structures with Hierarchic Architecture - Application in Additive Manufacturing

2 maanden geleden


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


3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) is rapidly growing both as a research field and as a substitute for traditional casting of concrete. In this technique, cement paste is pumped into a hose and extruded through a nozzle to construct the structure in a layer-by-layer manner. The advantages of 3DCP are largely due to the unmatched levels of control on material, hierarchical structure, and topology that it offers. Different materials with different properties (e.g. high-performance concrete, light-weight concrete, etc.) can be used at different locations in the structure. Moreover, the material system can be further pre-designed by adding hierarchical architecture (e.g. incorporation of oriented filaments of concrete) to tailor its performance. Finally, at the structural level, 3DCP allows for the generation of complex optimized topologies, which are not attainable using cast concrete.

One of the many promising hierarchic architectural features that can improve structural performance is a bio-inspired structural system called a Bouligand structure. Bouligand structures are formed of layers, each composed of aligned filaments. Each layer is printed with filaments in a given direction which varies from its neighboring layers by a given angle, called the pitch angle. Although behavior traits of Bouligand structures have been widely studied experimentally, a macroscopic material model that incorporates different aspects of their microstructure is still lacking, particularly for those made by 3DCP. In addition, due to their complex microstructure, numerical models and topology optimization schemes required for optimizing structures made by these, and other architectured material systems, are not fully developed yet.

The focus of this project is to use 3DCP to optimize structural members made of materials with hierarchical architectures (e.g. Bouligand structures). Particularly, we will focus on the analysis and design of membrane structures, beams, plates, and shells. Optimizing such structures consists of the following 3 phases:

  1. Design of architecture: designing the hierarchic architectural configuration (e.g. filament size, aspect ratio, and orientation, degree of cellularity, distance between filaments, etc.) to enhance material performance,
  2. Upscaling and structural analysis: developing a micromechanics-based continuum model that incorporates the microstructural features and implementing it into FEM for structural analysis,
  3. Topology optimization: Using the FEM equipped with the micromechanics-based continuum model in topology optimization schemes to optimize various structural members.
The development of a micromechanics-based continuum model makes it possible to (i) incorporate the directional (anisotropic) behavior of different layers into the macroscopic response of the material system and (ii) capture the effects of interfaces between filaments and between layers. Experiments on the behavior of layers of filaments with various directions will be performed to calibrate the microstructural model. Furthermore, experimental measurements of the performance of optimized structures, done in 3DCP lab in the Department of Built Environment at TU/e, will be used to validate the results of the two-scale modeling approach and the topology optimization procedure.

At the Chair of Applied Mechanics in the Department of the Built Environment
Within the department of the Built Environment, the chair of Applied Mechanics is responsible for education and research in the field mechanics, working on multi-scale, multi-physics and optimization problems related to the built environment. The chair provides the mechanics courses in the Department of the Built Environment, and is a member of the Graduate School on Engineering Mechanics, Netherlands. This graduate school offers the PhD students an advanced training program in the field of Engineering Mechanics, of which the core is formed by a joint series of advanced graduate courses that are closely connected to state-of-the-art research themes.

The PhD project at the Chair of Applied Mechanics of the Department of the Built Environment will focus on optimizing structural members made by 3DCP of architectured material systems. In the first step, a micromechanics-based continuum model will be developed which incorporates the printed configuration, the interfaces, and the layer-by-layer production procedure into the macroscopic material behavior. This model will then be used to (i) design the microstructure for tailored material response and (ii) optimizing structural topology. For the latter, we will implement the material model into FEM to enable the analysis of structural members made by 3DCP of architectured materials while taking into account their microstructural features. Finally, topology optimization, equipped with the derived material model, will be used to derive optimal topologies, uniquely attainable via 3DCP, for various structural members (including membrane structures, beams, plates, and shells).


A MSc-degree in Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on the mechanics of solids and structures;

  • A strong interest and background in continuum mechanics, computational mechanics, and solid mechanics;
  • A background on contact mechanics, multiscale modeling, and 3D printing is desirable. Moreover, programming knowledge;
  • An enthusiastic attitude to collaborate in a cooperative and multi-disciplinary environment;
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits 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.
  • 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?
Please contact dr. Payam Poorsolhjouy (Assistant Professor in the Chair of Applied Mechanics) via p.poorsolhjouy[at]tue.nl, or prof.dr. Akke Suiker (Professor in the Chair of Applied Mechanics) via a.s.j.suiker[at]tue.nl

For information about terms of employment, please click here.

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. The application should include:
  • A cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position (max. 2 pages)
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications (max 2 pages) and the contact information preferably e-mail) of two references with more information about you and your thesis, or last professional work.
  • Copies of relevant BSc and MSc diplomas and grade transcripts.
  • The result of an English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL.
    - TOEFL: a minimum score of 21 for each component and a minimum total score of 90 (online test);
    - IELTS (academic level): a minimum score of 6.0 for each component and a minimum band score of 6.5;
    - minimum C score for University of Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or University of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.