Vitrimers are a groundbreaking development in polymer chemistry. This new class of polymers is neither thermoset, nor thermoplastic, but inherits properties from both polymer classes. Vitrimers were "invented" by Prof. Leibler in Paris in 2011 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitrimers).
Many applications can be imagined, but the application of vitrimers as the polymer matrix in fibre-reinforced composites, is particularly attractive, because the recycling of fibre-reinforced composites could be drastically improved.
UGent-MMS is partner in the approved Marie-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) "VITRIMAT - Training in VITRImers: high performance MAterials and Trainees for cutting-edge industrial applications".
In this project, vitrimers will be applied to manufacture and characterize vitrimer composites. UGent-MMS has a PhD vacancy for 3 years on this large research project with a strong industrial consortium. The purpose is to manufacture and characterize the thermomechanical behaviour of vitrimer composites, by combining a diverse set of experimental testing methods. Those tests should be combined with dedicated instrumentation methods to provide valuable insights into the processing characteristics and thermomechanical behaviour of thermoplastic composites.
The PhD study is a purely experimental PhD, focussed on manufacturing of small-scale vitrimer composites and mechanical characterization of those composites. The PhD researcher will interact very frequently with the PhD researchers in vitrimer chemistry at the other partners in this project, so it is important to have good notions of polymer chemistry as well.
Only candidates with a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Civil Engineering, (Applied) Physics or similar should apply. You are interested to perform experimental research and to interact and collaborate with industry.
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.