PhD Student

Last application date
Aug 01, 2021 00:00
TW08 - Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering
Limited duration
Master’s degree in Engineering Sciences: (electro)mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials engineering or an equivalent degree
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

We offer a fully-funded PhD scholarship for a maximum period of 4 years, sponsored by Ghent University’s Special Research Fund (BOF). The research will be carried out at the Soete Laboratory of Ghent University, a team of young and enthusiastic researchers, post-docs and professors. The group focuses on research related to fatigue, fracture, tribology and finite element modelling. This PhD vacancy falls under the research line “Joining and Additive Manufacturing” within the Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue group of Soete Laboratory.

Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, and technical and social services on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With each of its 11 faculties and more than 100 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes that are grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its employees as well as its students.

This project aims to provide a better understanding of the “Structural integrity of remanufactured steel components made by Wire+Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM)”. The primary focus is on residual stress mitigation and characterization of the mechanical properties of the interface between WAAM deposit and substrate. The first objective is to better understand the effect of process and geometrical parameters on residual stresses. A novel procedure for residual stress quantification based on digital image correlation (DIC) will be developed and benchmarked against other techniques. The second objective is to better understand the WAAM part-substrate interfacial properties and their effect on global integrity. The results of a thorough mechanical characterization (static and dynamic) will support the development of a novel numerical approach considering interfacial strength heterogeneity to predict fatigue life. Finally, the third objective is to study the feasibility of a non-conventional post-deposition treatment (pneumatic impact treatment or PIT) on improving fatigue lifetime.

Job profile

- You hold a master’s degree in engineering sciences, with a specialization in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials engineering or an equivalent degree. You have an excellent academic track record.
- You are highly motivated to conduct both experimental and numerical research, you are self-critical, you work with rigour and attention to detail.
- You combine being an active team player with a strong sense of autonomy and responsibility.
- You have good communication and writing skills and have an excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.
- You have a genuine interest in mechanics and structural integrity of additive manufacturing. Experience on the following topics would be advantageous: mechanical testing and materials characterization, residual stresses and measurement techniques, finite element analysis and scripting.

What we can offer you:
- We offer you a PhD scholarship as contractual recruitment of 1 year, with another 3 years after positive evaluation. Your appointment will start on 01/10/2021 at the earliest.
- You will receive a PhD scholarship according to the general conditions at Ghent University. The tax-free scholarship includes full social security coverage.
- You will work in a dynamic, multidisciplinary and international research environment.
- All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as 35 days of paid leave, a wide range of training and education opportunities, bicycle commuting reimbursement, etc. A complete overview of all our fringe benefits can be found on our website.

How to apply

You can apply by filling the form available using this link ( until 1st August 2021.

The following documents must be included with your application:
- CV
- Motivation letter
- A copy of the required diploma (if already in your possession) and transcript of records.
- Your proposal of research methodology to address the second objective (better understanding of the WAAM part-substrate interfacial properties and their effect on global integrity); limited to two pages including a list of relevant literature.

UGent has an equal opportunity and diversity policy and therefore encourages everyone to apply. Candidates are first screened based on the application. Those who qualify will be invited to a selection interview. Candidates with a doctoral degree cannot apply.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Wim De Waele ( or Dr. Dibakor Boruah (