Postdoctoral researcher on the development of in situ monitoring of industrial continuous ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic co
Delft University of Technology, Faculty Aerospace Engineering

Postdoctoral researcher on the development of in situ monitoring of industrial continuous ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites


Department/faculty: Faculty Aerospace Engineering 

Level: University Graduate 

Working hours: 38-40 hours weekly 

Contract: 2 

Salary: 3255 - 4274 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Aerospace Engineering


The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.

The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.


Job description


The aim of this postdoctoral research project is to develop an in situ monitoring system for continuous ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composite primary aircraft structures. Ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites is a very fast welding technique able to consistently deliver high-quality welded joints. Likewise, it allows relatively straightforward in situ monitoring, as already proven for spot ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites. In situ monitoring can be used for in line quality assessment of the welded joints, to define optimum processing parameters and, ultimately, as the basis for closed loop welding, a process in which the process parameters are automatically adjusted based on the value(s) of the monitored variable(s). In situ monitored continuous ultrasonic welding offers not only the high processing speeds associated to ultrasonic welding but also significant reduction of the subsequent part inspection time. The potential reduction of processing and inspection times makes continuous ultrasonic welding one of the most promising assembling techniques for the future single-aisle composite aircraft. As such it will be demonstrated in the multifunctional and integrated fuselage demonstrator, a project led by Airbus within the European Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking.

The research and development work to be performed in this project will be composed of the main following tasks:

(1) Development of in situ monitoring system:. Definition of appropriate monitoring variables and sensor selection/placement. Development of correlation models (empirical, analytical or numerical) to link process data with weld quality, definition of dynamic knock down factors as a function of process data and process data window. Analysis of impact of actuation system on accuracy of in situ monitoring system.

(2) Development of process control system: Development of process control system capable of automatically adjusting relevant process parameters (e.g. welding speed) as a function of process data relative to process data window. 

(3) Validation: Validation of the in situ monitoring and process control systems on variable-thickness welded joints following test pyramid (coupon to full scale validation). Qualification according to aerospace requirements.

This postdoctoral project will be primarily carried out at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TUDelft. The supervisory team will be composed by Dr. Irene Fernandez Villegas (TU Delft) and Dipl.-Ing. Olaf Rocker and Dip.-Ing. Remo Hinz (Airbus CTC Stade). Frequent travelling between TUDelft and CTC is expected during the project owing to its collaborative nature.





    • Skills and requirements for potential postdoc candidates:


    • • Driven, enthusiastic and independent thinker.


    • • PhD and MSc degrees on mechanical, aerospace, materials, production or mechatronics engineering. Knowledge on aerospace is highly valued.


    • • Fundamental knowledge about composites, especially thermoplastic composites (material and process)


    • • CAD (preferably CATIA v5) and Matlab skills


    • • MSOffice mandatory


    • • Basic simulation knowledge


    • • Very good English skills (written and spoken) are mandatory, German/French skills are valued



Conditions of employment


The 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. Coming to Delft Service organizes diverse events for new international employees and their accompanying partners, like Partner Career Workshops and Dutch Culture Workshops. Located on campus are the International Children’s Centre and an international primary school which are subject to availability as well as several bilingual schools in the nearby surrounding. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.You will have 232 hours of paid leave each year and in addition to your salary, at TU Delft you will receive an annual holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your salary.


Information and application


For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Irene Fernandez Villegas, email: 


For information about the selection procedure, please contact Ms. Marianne de Knegt-Overduin,    email:

We look forward to receiving your application until September 15th 2019. The application shall include (1) your CV; (2) two reference letters and two further references, and (3) a brief statement motivation and research interests. These documents should be compiled into a single pdf file named lastname_firstname_yearofbirth.pdf which will be sent to Applications not complying with these requirements will not be taken into consideration. 

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