The aim of this project is to develop robust guided waves NDT methods that can detect defects in Fiber reinforced plastic parts (focus on aerospace and automotive industry). There is a very strong need for such NDT methods, because although ultrasound inspection is considered to be the most accurate NDT technique today, it still suffers from many limitations :
- it is slow, because it is a point-wise measurement (in reflection or transmission) and inspection times of 15 minutes up to a few hours are very common for larger composite parts,
- the robot that mounts the ultrasound sensor (or phased array) needs to be programmed to obtain an optimized scanning path for every composite part, and for larger parts, this can take a few weeks of programming,
- a coupling medium is required,
- parts with complex geometry and sharp corners are difficult to handle for ultrasound, and are still inspected manually. Also sandwich panels are difficult to inspect due to the large scattering of the waves.
These considerations led to the conception of this project proposal. The general goal of this project is to develop novel NDT approaches on the basis of (full-field) guided waves, that can detect defects in composite parts with industrial complexity. Several steps will need to be tackled to achieve this goal:
- Study on optimal excitation strategy (e.g. contact(less), excitation location(s), wave signal …)
- Sparse and full-field sensing approaches
- Use of both linear and nonlinear signal responses to increase sensitivity to (incipient) damage
- Development of proper and advanced post-processing tools to get an enhanced damage map
- Development of numerical model to assist the experimental observations
The UGent-MMS group has all the needed facilities (autoclave, VARTM …) to produce composite parts with (artificial) defects. Through our industrial contacts, there are also actual defected composite parts available from aerospace, automotive and energy industry. The UGent-MMS research group has the needed hardware for excitation and acquisition of (full field) guided waves, e.g. a state-of-the-art 3D Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer (Polytec PSV-500-3D Xtra) is available. The group has also the needed expertise in FEM.
Further, the research group has a wide expertise in NDT methods (water- and air-coupled ultrasonics, resonance testing, active thermography …) and mechanical characterization (tensile testing, impact, fatigue …) of composites.
Only candidates with a Master degree should apply. The candidate should have a strong background in experimental nondestructive testing methods of materials, preferably combined with knowledge of composite materials and guided wave-based NDT methods. The candidate should be well experienced with signal processing and programming in Matlab.
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
- 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.
The candidate will work together with a senior PhD student and a postdoctoral researcher.