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  3. PhD position on Structural Health Monitoring

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PhD position on Structural Health Monitoring

Predictive maintenance is the ability to optimize the availability of capital equipment based on predictions of potential failures. This requires transforming …

6 maanden geleden


Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


Predictive maintenance is the ability to optimize the availability of capital equipment based on predictions of potential failures. This requires transforming the data collected by sensors into predictions about the system’s health. This enables the avoidance of failures through just-in-time maintenance, leading to lower costs and higher availability.

The Predictive maintenance for Very effective asset management (PrimaVera) project is a multi-disciplinary project funded by the prestigious Dutch National Research agenda. In PrimaVera all stages of the predictive maintenance chain, i.e. data collection, diagnosis, prognosis, optimization and asset management will be addressed. This will be done by various researchers at the universities of Twente, Eindhoven and Nijmegen, in collaboration with education (HBO) and research institutes, as well as a large number of industrial partners (e.g. Alfa Laval, ASML, Damen, IHC, NS, Technobis, Rijkswaterstaat).

In this PhD project the main focus will be on the gathering of data from the system during operation with existing and additional sensors, and the translation into the assessment of the system’s health. The objective of this research is to develop a monitoring method in which the benefits of piezo-electric transducers and optical fibres are combined, to mitigate the limitations of either of both existing methods, and thus to open new opportunities for the creation of smart structures with embedded sensors as well as embedded smart functionality. This requires research in multiple disciplines, such as signal processing, data analysis, damage modelling, dynamics, and sensor installation/embedding. The priority is set to localisation of impacts and estimation of (the criticality of) the resulting damage. Localisation depends on the detection of the impact induced travelling waves. A thorough understanding of such a wave field in complex structures, with typical features such as thickness variations and stiffeners is therefore essential for the reconstruction of the impact location based on the measured signals. In a next stage, signal processing methods will be developed to extract impact severity information from the measured signals. To reach this objective, a combination of experimental and numerical work is required. A limited set of representative structures will be manufactured for various tests.

This PhD project will be carried out in a collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) of the University of Twente and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR). The location of the work will be partly at the University of Twente in Enschede and at the NLR in Marknesse.
As the project will be part of the large PrimaVera project, the PhD candidate is expected to collaborate with the other researchers in PrimaVera, as well as with (some of) the industrial partners.


To make this project a success, we are looking for an ambitious and excellent PhD candidate, meeting the following requirements:

  • You hold a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics, Materials Science, Aerospace Engineering or equivalent.
  • You have affinity with both experimenttal and numerical modelling work.
  • You have affinity with signal processing.
  • You have at least a basic knowledge on composites and dynamics.
  • You know how to use scripting languages like Python or Matlab to for example analyse experimental and numerical data.
  • Your writing skills are good - you have written technical reports and/or scientific papers.
  • You have excellent analytical skills, a critical mindset and you enjoy a challenge.
  • You are a great teammate with good social skills.
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written (we require a TOEFL > 90 or IELTS > 6.5 score).

Information and application
You are welcome to contact dr. ir. Richard Loendersloot (email r.loendersloot@utwente.nl or phone +31 (0)53 – 489 4463) or PDEng ir. Frank Grooteman (email frank.grooteman@nlr.nl or phone +31 (0) 88 – 511 4727) for any questions you might have.

Please upload your application, including your motivation letter and detailed cv via the ‘Apply now’ button before October 1st..
The application deadline is October 1st. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.


We offer you a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

  • We strive for diversity and fairness in hiring.
  • Wwe offer a full time four-year position.
  • We provide you excellent mentorship and a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities.
  • You will be part of a dedicated team with which you will collaborate extensively with industry.
  • You will benefit from a professional and personal development program and a green and lively campus, with lots of sports facilities and other activities.
  • The PhD salary is € 2.325 in the first year and increases to € 2.972 in the fourth year. Additionally, you get a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8.3%, and you will have minimum 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.

Your first responsibility is to carry out the research, but you are also encouraged to acquire teaching experience. We support you to broaden your knowledge by joining international exchange programs, by participating in national and international conferences and workshops, and by visiting industrial companies, research institutes, and universities worldwide.