Postdoctoral researcher

Last application date
Sep 10, 2019 23:59
TW15 - Department of Civil engineering
Employment category
Postdoctoral staff member group 2
Unlimited duration with clause
PhD Science in Engineering: naval architecture, maritime engineering, ocean engineering, coastal engineering or equivalent
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

The Maritime Technology Division ( is a research group within the Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Ghent University. Their research is focussing on hydrodynamics of ships and other floating structures in general, and more particularly on the behaviour of ships in confined navigation areas. Additionally, the division is involved in research w.r.t. hydrodynamics of wave energy conversion and, more recently, engineering aspects of aquaculture. The behaviour of ships in restricted waters (access channels, canals, locks, harbour docks) is the major research topic of the Division. This research, covering the hydrodynamics of seagoing and inland vessels in navigation areas with restrictions in both depth and horizontal extent, is performed in close co-operation with Flanders Hydraulics Research (FHR, Flemish Government, Antwerp) within the Knowledge Centre Manoeuvring in Shallow and Confined Water ( This research can be considered as a niche within the field of ship hydrodynamics, as ships are mostly designed for open, deep sea; as a result, most ship hydrodynamics research worldwide is mainly focused on deep water conditions. For this reason, the Knowledge Centre has gained international recognition as one of the leading research groups in ship behaviour in confined waters. Such conditions are of main concern for ships in access channels to ports, harbour areas, docks, locks, berths. We are looking for an experienced researcher to assist with different projects of the Maritime Technology Division. The main task (around 50%) will be the coordination of a project of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders (FWO, grant number G0D5319, “Development of a CFD tool and associated experimental validation techniques for fluid mud bottoms disturbed by moving objects”). The main goal of this project is the development and the validation of a versatile CFD model in OpenFOAM ( able to simulate the interaction between various moving objects (varying from simple geometries to a ship’s hull) with a fluid mud layer on the bottom of a channel and the (numerical) investigation of the interaction between ships and mud layers.

The project is promoted by prof. Guillaume Delefortrie from the Maritime Technology Division and is executed in cooperation with prof. Erik Toorman from the Hydraulics Division of the KU Leuven University and is supported logistically by Flanders Hydraulics Research (FHR) in Antwerp, Belgium in the framework of their Nautical Bottom Research. The coordinator is expected to travel in between these locations on a regular basis.

The numerical development is performed at KU Leuven by a PhD-student, whereas the validation work is carried out at Ghent University by another PhD-student. Besides the numerical work experimental work is performed at FHR in Antwerp in collaboration with researchers from FHR, i.e. towing experiments, development of new measuring techniques for these and rheometry.

Candidates should be holding a PhD or MSc degree in Engineering (or equivalent). Experience in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) or experimental fluid dynamics (EFD) is required. Experience in both is considered an asset. Depending on the profile of the candidate the other 50% will be dedicated to projects in his field of expertise (see for examples of projects)

You will be supervised by the professors of the UGent Maritime Technology Division. Your working place will be located in Ghent and in Antwerp (at FHR), with regular meetings in Leuven. More information can be provided by prof. dr. ir. Guillaume Delefortrie (

Profile of the candidate

We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic Doctor or Master of Science in Engineering with maritime specialisation (Naval Architecture, Coastal Engineering, Ocean Engineering or equivalent), with the following skills and competences:

  • Candidates should be well‐qualified academically to masters level with maritime background and sufficient professional experience. The project will require a mix of skills, including mathematical modelling, programming, simulation skills and practical engineering aspects. Involvement in experimental testing in a towing tank or flume is expected.
  • Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Candidates must be flexible, responsible and team workers. 
  • Candidates must be proficient in English. Knowledge of Dutch is a strong asset, but not a requirement. 
  • Short term availability is an asset.
  • Prior experience in data analysis and related statistics using appropriate software tools is considered as an advantage. 
  • You will be remunerated according to your degree and years of experience.

How to apply

To have a valid application, the following information needs to be submitted to Mrs. Ellen Vyncke ( 

  • A CV (including birth date, nationality and relevant work experience required for this job) 
  • Copy of passport 
  • Copy of highest degree (PhD or Master) and date of obtaining that degree
  • Academic records 
  • Proof of English and Dutch (if any) proficiency 
  • Permission to work in Belgium (in case of non-EU nationality) 
  • Motivation letter