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PhD Scholarship 'Mechanics of Materials and Constructions'

Category:  PhD

1 - Working at the VUB

For already 50 years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has stood for freedom, equality and connectedness. These values are strongly present on our campuses, in our students as well as our staff. At the VUB, you’ll find a diverse collection of personalities: pure innovators and especially people who are 100% their authentic selves. With about 3.500 employees, we are the largest Flemish-speaking employer in Brussels, an international city with which we are all too happy to be connected, and around which our four campuses are located.


Our education and research are grounded in the principles of free research with an eye on human progress. We disapprove of every purely authoritative argument and guarantee the free formation of judgement that is necessary for this basic principle to be incorporated in the community.


The VUB is autonomous and managed democratically. As such, we guarantee fundamental freedoms within our university, as well as the right of the university community to be involved in making and checking university policy.


The mission of the university includes:

  • the development, the transfer and the application of high-standing academic education and scientific research, free from any prejudice;
  • community integration of this in a spirit of social compassion;
  • critical development of everyone in light of the responsibilities borne in the community.

2 - Position description

The Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen, Department Mechanica van materialen en constructies, is looking for a PhD-student with a doctoral grant


More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains: 

  • You will perform research on mechanical performance of components additively manufactured by means of the laser metal deposition technology. 
  • You will be working in a dynamic environment. Currently, 12 junior researchers (PhD students) and 4 senior researchers (post-doc’s) are working in our MeMC department. In the last five years 21 PhD students successfully graduated. MeMC has established an internationally recognized expertise in the mechanical characterization and the design and analysis of innovative lightweight material systems, components and structures. Their mechanical performance is studied under complex loading conditions by means of (combined) experimental testing and advanced numerical modelling.
  • You will contribute to research on metal additive manufacturing (AM). Distortion, residual stress and fatigue strength of components fabricated by means of laser metal deposition technology are quantified. Their material and mechanical properties in relation to processing performance are characterized.
  • Three VUB research groups, the department of Mechanical Engineering (AVRG research group), the department Chemical and Materials Engineering (SURF research group), and our Department of Mechanics of Materials and Constructions (MeMC) cooperate on this research topic.
  • The project has two academic partners KULeuven and University of Antwerp and an industrial advisory board.
  • Our VUB-MeMC research group focuses on aspects of experimental and numerical characterization of mechanical properties. The targeted knowledge leap is to get insight in the (micro-) mechanical properties. Experimental data analysis, supported by finite element models, will give insight in the performance of these AM metals and contribute to the general understanding of the mechanical behaviour.  
  • Access to experimental facilities and a large computing infrastructure is available.
  • MeMC has established intensive collaboration at the national level with industry and universities performing research in related fields.
  • You will get the opportunity to present your work in international conferences.


For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

3 - Profile

What do we expect from you?


  • You hold a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, or a related field. 


  • You want to contribute to innovations in materials and link it with processing conditions and mechanical performance.
  • You are highly motivated.
  • You have a solid background in mechanics of materials, computational mechanics and experience with finite element simulations.
  • You have programming skills (preferably in Python or C++).
  • You are a person showing the necessary reliability, autonomy and initiative.
  • Former experience with (non-destructive) experimental material characterization is an advantage.
  • You are interested to perform experimental and numerical research.
  • You are interested to interact and collaborate closely with academic and industrial partners during the PhD study.
  • You are a team-player and can work in an international environment using English as a scientific communication tool.
  • You have an affinity for writing as you will be strongly encouraged to publish your work in peer-reviewed international journal articles.


  • You have not performed any works in the execution of a mandate as an assistant, paid from operating resources, over a total (cumulated) period of more than 12 months.

4 - Offer

Are you going to be our new colleague?


You’ll be offered a full-time PhD-scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 01/02/2022


You’ll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.


IMPORTANT: The effective result of the doctorate scholarship is subject to the condition precedent of your enrolment as a doctorate student at the university.


At the VUB, you’re guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.


As well as this, you’ll enjoy various benefits:

  • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
  • Cost-free hospitalisation insurance;
  • The space to form your job content and continuously learn via VUB LRN;
  • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise;
  • Ecocheques;
  • Delicious meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants;
  • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract). 

5 - Interested?

Is this the job you’ve been dreaming of?


Send us ONLINE and at latest on 30/11/2021:

  • your letter of motivation
  • your CV, including:
    • your personal details;
    • your education, degrees and the subject of your master thesis;
    • transcripts of records of your Bachelor and Master degree;
    • eventually, your work experience;
  • a copy of your Bachelor and Master Diploma (not applicable for VUB alumni).


Incomplete applications are not considered.


Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Lincy Pyl at or on 003226292920.


Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the VUB? Go to and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.


You can contact the person mentioned in the job description.