PhD Vacancy on Reduced Order Methods for Damage Modelling in Composites University of Leuven, Department of Production Techniques, Machine Building and Automation




Last modified: 20/12/2017

The KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group is headed by Prof. Wim Desmet ( and currently counts 8 permanent staff members, 16 senior post-doc and 55 PhD researchers. The group has a longstanding history and internationally highly recognized expertise in the fields of engineering dynamics of (mecha(tro)nic) systems, vibro-acoustic modelling, simulation, analysis and testing, identification and control of (non-)linear systems, and lightweight structure design and analysis. The Noise and Vibration research group is also recognized for its yearly Acoustics (ISAAC) and Modal Analysis (ISMA) courses and for organizing the biennial ISMA Noise and Vibration Engineering Conference (
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The aim of this project is to develop robust Reduced Order Methods(ROM) that can be applied to damage modelling in composites at the micro- andmeso-scale. This project is a 4-year research project (funded by SIM Flanders)where the research group UGent-MMS at Ghent University (Belgium) willcollaborate with the research groups KUL-PMA and KUL-MTM at KULeuven (Belgium).The Industrial Advisory Board consists of Siemens Industry Software (SISW),Honda R&D, Materialise, LCV and TWE Meulebeke. This published PhD position is a joint PhD position between UGent-MMS andKULeuven-PMA, which will require an intensive collaboration and commutingbetween the two research groups. UGent-MMS will provide the know-how on damagemodelling in composites, and KUL-PMA the know-how and background on ReducedOrder Methods (ROM).


In previous and ongoing research, UGent-MMS is developing materialmodels for fibre-reinforced composites under static, impact and fatigueloading. Those models are applied to Representative Volume Elements (RVE) atmicro-scale (for unidirectional composites) and at meso-scale (for textilecomposites). The first step at micro- and meso-scale is homogenization of theelastic properties. This is straightforward at micro-scale, but not atmeso-scale. If a nested textile composite is modelled with a fine mesh andperiodic boundary conditions, this simple linear elastic step can already takeseveral hours of calculation time. When damage models are applied, the calculation times are exponentiallyincreasing, even at micro-scale. The combination of nonlinearvisco-plasticity/damage modelling in the polymer matrix and fibre/matrixinterface debonding quickly leads to long calculation times. 


The main aim of this PhD is to investigate to what extent Reduced Order Methodscan reduce the calculation times. In a first step, existing ROM will be appliedto linear elastic cases and damage modelling. In a next step, dedicated new ROMwill be developed. The PhD student will be assisted by two postdoctoral research fellows,respectively at UGent-MMS and KULeuven-PMA.



The PhD project is focused on reduced order modeling of composites. An ideal candidate has an M.Sc. in engineering and has a solid background in mathematics and preferably some knowledge about composites modeling.

  • We are looking for a candidate who enjoys working in the field of numerical modelling, who is curious and has the courage to try out new things.
  • Candidates have to be flexible in working both at the UGent-MMS site and at the KU Leuven-PMA site.
  • All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English.

  • All members of the network are equal opportunity employers, both female and male candidates are invited to apply.

  • The applicant may be of any nationality.



KU Leuven in cooperation with UGent offers to the selected candidate a stimulating and ambitious research environment [1] which is embedded in the DNA of the region of Leuven, a premier destination for Health, High-Tech and Creativity [2] and considered an extremely nice place to live and work.


To assist Fellows in matters of work permits, visas, living, mobility, housing,… , KU Leuven has the International Admissions Office (an Official Marie Curie mobility centre recognized by the Flemish government) with dedicated Officers which offers new colleagues HR, Recruitment and Career Management support [3].








To apply for this position, please complete part 1 and part 2 of the application: PART 1 (KU LEUVEN APPLICATION TOOL) You can complete part 1 of the application via the online application tool mentioned at the bottom of this page In this application tool, please upload your CV and motivation letter. Under 'Other' please upload: - Full list of credits and grades of both BSc and MSc degrees, as well as their transcription to English if possible - Two reference Letters - An English version of MSc or PhD thesis, or of a recent publication or assignment (if you have any) - Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, …) if available PART 2 (APPLICATION FORM OF THE DEPARTMENT) You can complete part 2 of the application via this online registration form: ***PLEASE NOTE: ONLY APPLICATIONS RECEIVED VIA BOTH FORMS WILL BE CONSIDERED!*** For more information please contact:
You can apply for this job no later than March 31, 2018 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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