PhD Candidates in Experimental Multiphase Flow

Delft University of Technology



The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits. 

The projects are hosted by the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE), in particular by the groups of Fluid Mechanics ( J. Westerweel), Ship Hydromechanics ( T. van Terwisga) and Multiphase Systems ( C. Poelma). These groups have an ongoing, strong collaborative relationship. PhD candidates will enroll in the Graduate School for a structured curriculum, and can make use of graduate-level courses offered by e.g. the J.M. Burgerscentre (Netherlands research school for fluid mechanics). 

Job Description

The primary objective of the NWO-sponsored AQUA program is to gain a better understanding of the effect of water quality on multiphase flow dynamics, in particular on cavitation and air lubrication for drag reduction. The participating universities and research institutes include Delft University of Technology, University of Twente (Physics of Fluids group), and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. At Delft University, we currently have 3 open PhD positions related to this program. 
Air bubbles in water attenuate underwater sound and can reduce the friction drag of a ship, as a result of which less fuel is needed. Although the behavior of air bubbles in freshwater is known reasonably well, bubbles in saline seawater behave very differently. In this program, the researchers will compare air bubbles in different types of water, varying from freshwater to natural seawater, to gain a better understanding of how bubbles can be used to manage friction, sound propagation and cavitation. The ultimate aim is to be able to predict how the water quality (gas and chemical content) influences drag reduction and cavitation hindrance.

Project Description 

The advertised positions concern the following research topics: (1) Dynamics of transitional air layers, (2) Water quality effects on cavitation and noise, (3) Cavitation inception in tip vortices. All projects are experimental in nature and will make use of a new, unique Multiphase Flow facility that is currently under construction. Furthermore, strong collaboration is expected, e.g. by co-developing state-of-the-art flow measurement techniques. The required infrastructure (high-speed imaging, tomographic particle image velocimetry) is available. The total duration of each PhD project is 4 years, with a target starting date of September 1st, 2019.

Job Requirements

We are looking for 3 enthusiastic researchers, who want to develop their know-how and experience in a challenging academic environment. In more specific terms:

    • The successful applicants are in the first 4 years after graduation (MSc) of their research career. 
    • A degree in Mechanical Engineering, Maritime Technology, (Applied) Physics, Aeronautics, or equivalent degree with a clear focus on fluid mechanics is a prerequisite.
    • Experience in conducting experimental work is regarded as a strength.
    • A critical and inquisitive attitude with regard to results is expected, which translates into formulating new research questions.
    • Ability to function both in a team and independently.
    • Good communication skills, with a sound knowledge of the English language, and both oral and written proficiency.

Terms of Employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Inform and Apply

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. T. van Terwisga, email: For information about the selection procedure, please contact Nathalie van Benthem, HR advisor, e-mail:
To apply, please e-mail an up-to-date, detailed curriculum vitae and a motivation letter by 28 June 2019 to Patty Bokop, and cc to  
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3mE19-46.

In your application, please refer to