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Home > Job vacancies



Last updated: 23 November 2020

NEW : 2 postdoc vacancies for 2021


Clearly mention in all your communication the number of the vacancy you are applying for !


Where ?

All vacancies are available in the "Mechanics of Materials and Structures" research group (UGent-MMS) at Ghent University.
Ghent University is a large university in Belgium, counting about 45,000 students. Ghent University consistently ranks among the best 100 universities in the world. In 2019, it was ranked, globally, 66th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities or Shanghai ranking (http://www.shanghairanking.com/World-University-Rankings/Ghent-University.html). More information about the UGent rankings can be found here.

The research group UGent-MMS counts 3 professors and about 30 researchers. More information can be found in the slideshow of the research group. The offices and laboratories of this group are situated in the south of Ghent (Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 46, 9052 Zwijnaarde).

Duration ?

All vacancies are full-time job positions. For the duration, see below.

Job description ?



  • Vacancy 1: Postdoc vacancy (2.5 years) on multi-scale modelling of fatigue in 3D printed metals

    The use of 3D printed metal structures is taking a very fast ramp-up in industry. General Electric has demonstrated the possibility of printing titanium fuel injectors for their LEAP engine, EADS has printed a nacelle hinge bracket for the Airbus A320, Boeing is printing plastic inlet ducts for high-altitude aircrafts, hip implants and other prosthetics are exploiting the design freedom of additive manufacturing (AM),...

    Additive manufacturing of titanium and inconel superalloys yields great potential for the aerospace industry (and others) as it allows the generation of geometrically complex structures with high specific strength, low density and high corrosion and creep resistance at high temperatures. However the fatigue life prediction of such components cannot be done with traditional fatigue models for traditionally manufactured metals, because the fatigue life is influenced by various factors that are specific for 3D printing: process parameters, induced voids and defects, microstructure, surface roughness, etc.

    In this Postdoctoral position, it is the purpose to further develop multi-scale models for fatigue of AM metals, taking into account the microstructure of the material. Those models will be implemented in an already developed software environment. The final objective is to develop an industrial software solution that can be applied to complex AM components and predict their fatigue life. The position is a fully numerical position, requiring advanced knowledge in numerical simulations (finite element method, Representative Volume Element-based multi-scale modelling), fatigue mechanics, computational crystal plasticity and also on extreme value statistics.

    The project will be carried out in close collaboration with a large number of industrial companies in the field of additive manufacturing (Siemens, Materialise, Sabca, ESMA,…).

    Only candidates with a PhD degree in Computational Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar should apply. You have a strong background in computational mechanics and have strong programming skills (preferably in C++ and/or Python), you are interested to perform numerical research and to interact and collaborate with industry.


  • Vacancy 2: Postdoc vacancy (2 years) on finite element implementation of physics-based damage laws for composites

    Over the past years, UGent-MMS has made strong developments in the analytical modelling of damaged composites. The effect of ply cracks and delaminations is modelled explicitly, and the resulting stiffness degradation, both of the individual damaged ply and the damaged laminate, can be calculated in a matter of seconds, with the same accuracy as 3D finite element simulations.
    Those analytical models have been extensively validated and applied to complex lay-ups and in-plane and out-of-plane (bending) loads. Although such fast-calculating models have a very large advantage in the design phase, they cannot cope with complex geometries, because there are no analytical solutions to calculate the local stresses and strains in a complex component under complex loads. Then finite element simulations have to be used.

    The purpose of this postdoctoral research is to implement the analytical physics-based damage models in the commercial finite element code Abaqus. This requires an advanced knowledge of programming user material models, efficient integration schemes for nonlinear material behaviour and a strong knowledge of computational mechanics. The candidate will closely work together with the postdoctoral researcher who developed and is still developing the analytical damage laws.

    Only candidates with a PhD degree in Computational Mechanics or similar should apply. You have a strong background in computational mechanics, you are interested to perform numerical research and to interact and collaborate with industry.


    Contact person ?

    The responsible person at Ghent University is Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM. He has 20 years of experience in mechanics of composites and finite element simulations. More information on the achievements of the research group can be found on http://www.composites.ugent.be/.

    Who do we look for ?

    • you are interested in research and have obtained a Master and/or PhD degree,
    • you are interested to interact and collaborate closely with the industrial partners during the research period,
    • you have an education in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computational Mechanics, or similar,
    • you are familiar with mechanics of materials and experimental or computational techniques (depending on the specific vacancy requirement mentioned above),
    • mastering the Dutch language is not a prerequisite, but a good knowledge of English writing and speaking is absolutely required.

    What do we offer ?

    • you will be working in a dynamic environment. Our group has expanded quite fast the last few years and currently, 16 postdoc's and 15 PhD students are working in our group. Besides, 18 PhD students have successfully obtained their PhD degree in the last five years,
    • we have extensive experimental and numerical facilities. You will have access to several Linux workstations and a high performance computing cluster to run finite element simulations on 2000+ cores,
    • we have good contacts with the regional composite and additive manufacturing industry and regional universities, so you will come into contact with industrial applications of composites and related research in other universities,
    • you will get the chance to attend international conferences (e.g. ECCM, ICCM,...) and to present papers on these conferences. For those who are interested, an international exchange with another university is possible. As publications are increasingly important (also for your career afterwards), you are encouraged to publish your results not only on international conferences, but also in peer-reviewed international journals,
    • you will have a personal laptop and a private workspace. All PhD students and staff have their office in the same wing of the building. The laboratories are separate in another wing of the same building,
    • if you are just graduated (junior PhD student), your net income is about 2150 EUR per month. That is the amount of money that is deposited on your bank account every month (after taxes). If you have a dependent wife/husband and/or children, the salary is raised. Also seniority can be taken into account if you can show former relevant experience. The salary for postdoctoral researchers starts at 2450 EUR net income per month (after taxes).
    • the cost for the PhD study itself is very limited. Our education system is very different from for example the system in the United Kingdom. When you start your PhD study, you pay a once-only tuition fee of ca. 1000 EUR, and the rest of your study is free of charge,
    • the university offers compensations for public transport (train) and bicycle. The work location can be reached easily by public transport (train and tram/bus),
    • a hospitalization insurance policy can be concluded,
    • there are a lot of sport accommodations and other benefits (reductions on computer purchase, internet connection, fitness,...) for university personnel,
    • there are specific organizations for the international student community in Gent. There are ISAG (International Students Association Ghent) and ESN (European Students Network). They are quite active in organizing all sorts of events (Student Unions and Societies for international students).
      Recently, a "China platform" and "India platform" have been founded for the benefit of Chinese and Indian students at Ghent University (see China platform and India Platform).

    How to apply ?

    • you write a detailed Curriculum Vitae in Dutch or English, containing:
      • your personal details (name, address, date of birth, nationality,...)
      • your education, subject of master thesis and degrees
      • transcripts of records of Bachelor and Master degree
      • your work experience (previous jobs)
      • additional skills (finite element software, programming languages, communication skills, ...)
      • mastered languages (Dutch, English, French)
      • references (previous projects in the domain, published papers,...)

    • you send the C.V. by post or e-mail to the following person:
      Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM
      Ghent University
      Mechanics of Materials and Structures
      Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 46
      9052 Zwijnaarde
      Belgium
      Tel.: +32-(0)9-331.04.32
      Fax: +32-(0)9-264.58.33
      E-mail: Wim.VanPaepegem@UGent.be

    Additional information ?

    • you can freely download our research brochure. This PDF-document contains a lot of pictures and impressions of our research activities. You can find it on the webpage http://www.composites.ugent.be/slideshow/Slideshow.pdf
    • you can contact Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM for any additional information, either by phone or e-mail or a personal appointment.