PhD Student

Last application date
May 15, 2022 00:00
TW11 - Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Limited duration
Materials Science Engineer or equivalent
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

- About 90% of your assignment will be spent on academic research in preparation of a PhD. Academic research activities include performing research on the subject outlined below, counselling master students active within your research project, project management and reporting, dissemination in high quality journals and conferences, and identifying opportunities for follow-up research work. In addition to academic research, you will be involved in educational tasks related to the subject of your research.
- The initial contract duration will be one year. The contract will be extended to a full 4-year PhD research period under the condition of a positive evaluation after the initial period. Ghent University offers an attractive salary with additional benefits, a positive and inspiring working environment and training possibilities.
- Your research will be counselled in the Sustainable Materials Science research group at Ghent University ( and is situated within an FWO research project (fundamental research). There will be an active cooperation with international partners as well.

This vacancy aims to select a PhD researcher having a materials (metals) engineering background. This researcher will experimentally focus on the role of hydrogen on the deformation mechanisms of high entropy alloys: leading to hydrogen-resistant materials. Hydrogen absorption followed by embrittlement can lead to the sudden and sometimes complete loss of the ductility of many high strength metallic materials. Hydrogen embrittlement is among the most complex material decay and damage phenomena. Finding a breakthrough in the development of hydrogen-resistant materials is required to realize a hydrogen-based society. So far, remarkable and promising results have been obtained on the role of hydrogen in high entropy alloys (HEAs). This novel alloying strategy has come upon the horizon quite recently and is gaining significant importance. It involves the combination of multiple principal elements in high concentrations. Several HEAs were found to possess extraordinary properties, going beyond those of conventional metal alloys. The effect of hydrogen is, however, far from understood. This project aims to fundamentally understand the role of hydrogen on the deformation mechanisms in HEAs to develop hydrogen-resistant materials.

Job profile

- You hold an MSc degree in Materials (Metal) Engineering, with an affinity for and keen interest in microstructural and mechanical characterization.
- Experience with advanced microstructural characterization techniques is a clear asset.
- Knowledge and understanding on structure/property relationships, deformation mechanisms in metals and hydrogen embrittlement is an advantage.
- You have a strong motivation for conducting scientific research and dealing with complex research questions.
- You possess structured and creative problem-solving abilities, strong analytical and technical skills, critical scientific mindset and take responsibility for the development of your work.
- You can work independently as well as in team.
- You have excellent English communication skills (written and oral).
- Knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

How to apply

All applications must be received no later than May 15th, 2022 at with the following documents attached as a single pdf file:
• application letter
• curriculum vitae
• a transcript of the required degree
• names and contact details of at least three reference persons

The subject line of your email should contain: PhD on hydrogen embrittlement of high entropy alloys

Attention: Late applications are not accepted. As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position. For more information about this vacancy please contact Prof. Tom Depover ( or Prof. Kim Verbeken (

We offer a PhD scholarship for one year, which will be extended with another three years after positive evaluation, according to the general conditions at Ghent University. The appointment will start on July 1st, 2022 at the earliest.
The tax free scholarship includes full social security coverage and a number of benefits such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, bicycle commuting reimbursement, etc. More information can be found on the Ghent University website ( We will provide high-quality training to develop hard and soft skills as well as opportunities to participate in international scientific workshops/conferences.