Doctoral fellow

Last application date
Sep 05, 2022 00:00
TW08 - Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering
Limited duration
MSc in (electro)mechanical engineering / MSc in civil engineering
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Laboratory Soete of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at Ghent University has a vacancy for a PhD student in “fatigue and lifetime assessment”. Laboratory Soete has a broad expertise in fracture mechanics and tribology and is active in both experimental and numerical research on fatigue, fracture and wear of machine parts and mechanical constructions (

The PhD student will contribute to two international research projects as member of the ‘fracture and fatigue’ group of Laboratory Soete. In both projects, UGent is tasked with the development of a simulation based platform for data-driven lifetime assessment of marine/offshore structures. Structures related to wind, wave or tidal energy will be studied; which shows the strong link of the projects and Europe’s drive for energy transition.

The core of the PhD project is the development of numerical models to analyse fatigue degradation and structural integrity of (joints and components of) multi-material structures operating in a marine environment. Degradation laws shall be developed and implemented using Python based algorithms that control multi-scale finite element models.

A complementary key element of the simulation based platform is the input of accurate data of service loads acting on the structure. The PhD student will support project partners in the implementation of a robust load or deformation sensing system, including sensor selection and data acquisition quality and communication requirements.

Your main tasks:

  • You perform academic research for the preparation of a doctoral dissertation.
  • You strive towards successful project execution.
  • You actively collaborate with external project partners.
  • You present and report your findings to your colleagues and to project partners.
  • You disseminate your research results by means of scientific articles in web of science indexed journals, and by presentations at international conferences.
  • You are willing to assist in teaching activities (e.g., master thesis guidance, development of course material).

What we offer

  • We offer a position for 1 year that will be extended up to 4 years in case of positive evaluation.
  • An internationally competitive salary that corresponds to the salary scales for Doctoral Research Fellows as established by the Flemish government (
  • An international research environment, working on application oriented research projects.
  • The possibility to participate in international collaborations.
  • The possibility to obtain a Ph.D. in Engineering and to also improve your soft skills through the Doctoral Schools programme.

Job profile

Technical skills and background

  • You have a relevant MSc degree ((electro)mechanical engineering, civil engineering or a closely related field) with very good grades. Candidates that will graduate soon (before 1/10/2022) are also encouraged to apply.
  • You have experience in numerical simulation and programming. Strong knowledge of finite element software (e.g. Ansys, Abaqus, SiemensNX, …) and Python is an asset. Finally experience with machine learning is also an asset.
  • You have mastered the English language, both in writing skills and oral presentations.


  • You are motivated in obtaining a PhD degree in Engineering and to disseminate your research findings in international journals.
  • You take initiative in searching for new research ideas and you are not afraid to be critical about your own work.
  • You have a team player mindset, a strong personality and work in a well-structure and result-oriented manner.
  • You have strong communication and interpersonal skills.

How to apply

Apply by sending an e-mail to with as subject “vacancy OSF”. Your application must include the following documents attached to the mail (or accessible through a download link):

  • Curriculum vitae and concrete motivation letter
  • BSc and MSc diplomas and transcripts of records
  • Abstract of your master thesis (max. 1 page)

The application deadline is 05/09/2022; the exact start date of the position is negotiable (earliest possible date is 01/11/2022). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not complete.

If you pass the pre-selection, you will receive further instructions on the selection process and will be invited for an online job interview.
For more information about this vacancy, please contact prof. Wim De Waele (