Transportation of heavy acidic fluids is often done with specifically designed lined pipelines. The pipelines typically have an outer steel wall (thickness ~15 mm) and an inner ceramic coating (thickness ~1 mm). The proper functioning of such lined pipelines is almost exclusively determined by the inner ceramic coating. In case there would be a leak in the ceramic coating, the acidic fluid will corrode through the outer steel wall in a matter of hours, leading to a full shutdown of the industrial plant.
Upon installation of the lined pipelines, the ceramic coating could already have a varying quality: e.g. thickness variations, porosity clusters, varying stiffness,... Further, during the operational lifetime of the pipeline, the acidic fluid will gradually erode the ceramic coating (~0.05 mm/year). Hence, it is crucial to properly assess the actual state of the inner ceramic coating at certain time intervals. Current inspection procedures involve a full team of operators which need to go inside the pipeline (after thorough flushing with water) for assessing the quality of the ceramic coating.
This project focusses on the development of a novel, efficient and in-situ non-destructive test method to monitor the structural integrity of lined pipelines from the outside during their operational lifetime. The ultrasonic technique of interest is the classical contact pulse-echo ultrasound (pipelines are above the ground and accessible). From the ultrasonic response, several signal parameters will be extracted and analyzed in order to estimate the quality of the ceramic coating. In order to cope with the harsh industrial circumstances, this involves the development and implementation of (i) advanced excitation signals (e.g. coded waveforms), (ii) novel signal analysis tools in time/frequency domain and (iii) inversion procedures. In a second stage, the developed method will be implemented in a phased array system with a rolling transducer. Such a system will allow to assess large parts of the lined pipeline in a time-efficient manner.
This project requires a researcher with a strong interest in instrumental hardware (NI-PXIe platform will be employed), a good background in LabVIEW, as well as a high affinity with advanced signal processing techniques. This project is funded by industry and the final developed device will be tested on-site at the facilities of the industrial partner.
Only candidates with a Master/PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar should apply. You are interested in instrumental physics and signal processing. You have good knowledge of LabVIEW, and preferably also of MATLAB. You are interested to interact with industry and to disseminate your results and findings.
The responsible person at Ghent University is Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM. He has 20 years of experience in mechanics of composites and finite element simulations. More information on the achievements of the research group can be found on http://www.composites.ugent.be/.
Who do we look for?
- you are interested in research and have obtained a Master and/or PhD degree,
- you are interested to interact and collaborate closely with the industrial partners during the research period,
- you have an education in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computational Mechanics, or similar,
- you are familiar with mechanics of materials and experimental or computational techniques (depending on the specific vacancy requirement mentioned above),
- mastering the Dutch language is not a prerequisite, but a good knowledge of English writing and speaking is absolutely required.
What do we offer?
- you will be working in a dynamic environment. Our group has expanded quite fast the last few years and currently, 16 postdoc's and 15 PhD students are working in our group. Besides, 18 PhD students have successfully obtained their PhD degree in the last five years,
- we have extensive experimental and numerical facilities. You will have access to several Linux workstations and a high performance computing cluster to run finite element simulations on 2000+ cores,
- we have good contacts with the regional composite and additive manufacturing industry and regional universities, so you will come into contact with industrial applications of composites and related research in other universities,
- you will get the chance to attend international conferences (e.g. ECCM, ICCM,...) and to present papers on these conferences. For those who are interested, an international exchange with another university is possible. As publications are increasingly important (also for your career afterwards), you are encouraged to publish your results not only on international conferences, but also in peer-reviewed international journals,
- you will have a personal laptop and a private workspace. All PhD students and staff have their office in the same wing of the building. The laboratories are separate in another wing of the same building,
- if you are just graduated (junior PhD student), your net income is about 1950 EUR per month. That is the amount of money that is deposited on your bank account every month (after taxes). If you have a dependent wife/husband and/or children, the salary is raised. Also seniority can be taken into account if you can show former relevant experience. The salary for postdoctoral researchers starts at 2450 EUR net income per month (after taxes).
- the cost for the PhD study itself is very limited. Our education system is very different from for example the system in the United Kingdom. When you start your PhD study, you pay a once-only tuition fee of ca. 1000 EUR, and the rest of your study is free of charge,
- the university offers compensations for public transport (train) and bicycle. The work location can be reached easily by public transport (train and tram/bus),
- a hospitalization insurance policy can be concluded,
- there are a lot of sport accommodations and other benefits (reductions on computer purchase, internet connection, fitness,...) for university personnel,
- there are specific organizations for the international student community in Gent. There are ISAG (International Students Association Ghent) and ESN (European Students Network). They are quite active in organizing all sorts of events (Student Unions and Societies for international students).
Recently, a "China platform" and "India platform" have been founded for the benefit of Chinese and Indian students at Ghent University (see China platform and India Platform).
How to apply?
- you write a detailed Curriculum Vitae in Dutch or English, containing:
- your personal details (name, address, date of birth, nationality,...)
- your education, subject of master thesis and degrees
- transcripts of records of Bachelor and Master degree
- your work experience (previous jobs)
- additional skills (finite element software, programming languages, communication skills, ...)
- mastered languages (Dutch, English, French)
- references (previous projects in the domain, published papers,...)
- you send the C.V. by post or e-mail to the following person:
Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM
Mechanics of Materials and Structures
- you can freely download our research brochure. This PDF-document contains a lot of pictures and impressions of our research activities. You can find it on the webpage http://www.composites.ugent.be/slideshow/Slideshow.pdf
- you can contact Prof. Wim VAN PAEPEGEM for any additional information, either by phone or e-mail or a personal appointment.