PhD Student

Last application date
Aug 07, 2021 00:00
TW11 - Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Limited duration
Materials Science Engineer
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. Additional 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 a European Interreg project (SOCORRO – “Seeking out corrosion – before it is too late”). For more information: There will be an active cooperation with the partners of the European consortium of this project, giving the job an international standing.

This vacancy aims to select a PhD researcher having a materials engineering background. This researcher will experimentally focus on corrosion testing and corrosion characterization to investigate the influence of different water qualities on the corrosion behavior. Steel corrosion is a threat to our economy in any kind of industry where water comes into contact with steel, e.g. maritime sector, ports water purification plants, energy production, offshore renewable energy production. The costs relating to corrosion are immense and so far no general approach to determine where and when corrosion is taking place has been found. The project aims to provide understanding to assess the corrosion risks in specific installations in a maritime/industrial context. Therefore, in-situ sensors will be used to monitor a range of environmental markers over time to determine the risk of corrosion of steel submerged in water. The objective is to interpret the role of these specific markers in the corrosion process. The research emphasis lies on understanding the combined effect of cathodic protection and microbiological presence on the corrosion sensitivity of structures. The effect of mechanical stresses to which a material is subjected in a real construction will be included as well.

Job profile

- You hold an MSc degree in Materials (Metal) Engineering, with an affinity for and keen interest in electrochemistry.
- Experience with advanced microstructural characterization techniques is a clear asset.
- Knowledge and understanding on structure/property relationships in metals and environmentally assisted degradation phenomena of metals 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 7/8/2021 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 be: PhD on steel corrosion monitoring
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. Kim Verbeken ( or Prof. Tom Depover ( .
We offer a PhD scholarship of 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 01/09/2021 at the earliest.
The tax free scholarship includes full social security coverage and a number of benefits such 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, and opportunities to participate in international scientific workshops/conferences.