Sunday, May 2, 2021

PhD position on multiscale analysis of polymer composites using multigrid method


Polymer composites based on thermoplastics as well as elastomers are promising materials for the next generation industry, due to their unique mechanical properties, such as hyper elasticity, high stiffness to density ratio and low cost of manufacturing. Polymer composites generally have two phases, i.e. soft polymer matrix and stiff filler. The micro-scale interaction between fillers and matrix intrinsically determines the macro-scale mechanical behavior of polymer composites, while the macro-scale behavior of polymer composites significantly affects the status of micro-scale fillers. This cross-scale relationship is valuable to guide and optimize the applications of polymer composites, as well as to help the design and manufacturing of new polymer composites. However, multiscale analysis that can reveal the cross-scale relationship in polymer composites is challenging, due to high computation cost and difficulty of numerical implementation.

The multigrid method developed by Prof. C. H. Venner has great advantages, especially its high computational efficiency and accuracy, in simulating the mechanical response of heterogeneous materials consisting of different phases. It is adopted as the theoretical basis and will be further developed for multiscale analysis of polymer composites under thermomechanical loading conditions. The multiscale simulation will be able to concurrently capture the macro-scale thermomechanical behavior of polymer composites, the micro-scale behavior of fillers and matrix as well as the cross-scale interactions.


  • You hold a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering or equivalent;
  • You have experimental and/or theoretical skills in polymers or fiber reinforced polymer composites in the field of e.g. material characterization, analysis, manufacturing or mechanical performance.
  • You have an affinity with numerical modelling of the mechanical performance and experience with programming languages like Fortran or C++, scripting languages like Python or numerical computing environments like Matlab, ABAQUS and ANSYS.
  • You have a strong interest in continuum mechanics, combining dedicated experiments with lean and efficient numerical modelling;
  • Your writing skills are good and you have good experience in writing technical reports and/or scientific papers;
  • You have excellent analytical skills and critical mindset;
  • You are a team player with good interpersonal skills;
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written. (We require a TOEFL > 90 or IELTS > 6.5 score).


We offer a very challenging multidisciplinary position in the groups of Production Technology, Elastomer Technology and Engineering, Engineering Fluid Dynamics in the Faculty of Engineering Technology at University of Twente. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include:

  • A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year;
  • A starting salary of € 2.395,- in the first year up to a salary of € 3.061,- in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment;
    Professional and personal development programs.

Your main responsibility will be to carry out research, but you may be given the opportunity to acquire some teaching experience. We offer our PhD candidates and postdocs the opportunity to broaden their knowledge by joining international exchange programs, by participating in national and international conferences and workshops, and by visiting other research institutes and universities worldwide


This project will be conducted under the supervision of Dr. Pei Li, Prof. Remko Akkerman, Prof. Anke Blume and Prof. C.H. Venner.

Please note that this vacancy is only open to female scientists. This is part of the University of Twente’s strategy to increase the proportion of women among its faculty and to create a working environment that is diverse and inclusive and supportive of excellence in research and teaching.

The vacancy remains open until a suitable candidate is selected. For applications, please use the ‘Apply now’ button below to submit your documents before June 01, 2021, including your CV, motivation letter, bachelor and master transcripts, contact details of at least two referees who worked closely with you, and a short description of your MSc thesis (if available).

More information about this position can be obtained from Dr. Pei Li (


The chair of Production Technology in the MS3 Department focuses on materials and manufacturing processes for light-weight structural applications. We closely work together with industry to solve today's and tomorrow's problems by improving scientific understanding of the underlying physics and by developing ‘design for manufacturing’ tools. The chair is one of the founders of the ThermoPlastic composites Research Center.


The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the ET Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customizable conditions.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.


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