An important and integral part of nuclear reactor design is a comprehensive safety analysis including hypothetical severe accidents. Such analyses are generally performed by high-fidelity simulation codes that include all relevant physics in great detail. As a result, the various phenomena happening at different time and length scales are all resolved, making such high-fidelity models very time consuming to execute and unsuitable for real-time calculations. This precludes them from being used as simulator tools to aid severe accident management during such scenarios.
The main objective of this PhD project is to construct no-compromise fast-running surrogate models of various physics modules that are part of the severe accident simulator. These surrogate models will be based on two approaches (i) reduced order modeling approaches based on non-intrusive techniques developed earlier in our group and (ii) machine-learning/AI approaches. The scientific challenge lies in trying to capture a multitude of difficulties, including coupling of different physics, high dimensionality of the system, dealing with time-dependent phenomena, or identifying large consequence and hard to calculate regions of the phase space.
The position is funded through the ASSAS (Artificial intelligence for the Simulation of Severe AccidentS) project, a European consortium of research groups and industrial partners in the field of severe accident analysis. You will be hired as a PhD researcher at TU Delft and will be a member of the reactor physics group where you will be supervised on a daily basis by Dr. D. Lathouwers (Danny) and Dr. Z. Perko (Zoltan). Frequent travel within Europe to meet consortium partners is foreseen. Within the group there will also be collaboration with other PhD students working on reactor modeling, Reduced Order Modeling and Artificial Intelligence projects.
To qualify for this position you must have:
- An MSc degree (or equivalent) in applied physics, applied mathematics, computer science or a strongly related field.
- Solid background in applied mathematics and computational physics, especially in numerical analysis and algorithm development.
- Demonstrated experience in programming in at least one current language (e.g., Python, Matlab, C/C++).
- A proven record and interest in further developing modelling, programming and analytical skills.
- Strong affinity and enthusiasm for state-of-the-art numerical modelling and deep learning methods, and their applications.
- Demonstrated ability to be results oriented, applying creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to produce innovative concepts and solutions.
- Demonstrated proficiency in expressing yourself verbally and in writing in English, proven affinity for scientific writing.
- The ability to work in a team and take initiative.
- Affinity for teaching and guiding students.
To be a strong candidate for this position, it is nice – but not necessary – if you have:
- Background in nuclear reactor physics
- Prior experience in numerical modelling/artificial intelligence/machine learning/data science.
- Demonstrated experience with convolutional neural networks, generative models and/or classification networks.
- Proven familiarity with modern deep learning libraries (PyTorch, TensorFlow, PyMC3).
All candidates will receive consideration regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability status, and all other characteristics protected by law. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, and we especially welcome applications from historically underrepresented minorities in the STEM field.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.
For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.
Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.
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. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.
Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. Challenge. Change. Impact!
Faculty of Applied Sciences / Department of Radiation Science and Technology
The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.
The position is in the Department of Radiation Science and Technology (RST, www.tudelft.nl/rst). Radiation ties the RST department together. The focus of our research is on energy and health. However various our interests, whether they be materials, sensors and instrumentation, energy and sustainable production or health, all our research is somehow related to radiation.
For information about this vacancy you can contact:
Dr. Danny Lathouwers, Associate Professor
Include ASSAS in the subject line
To apply for this PhD position, please submit your application on the online platform. You will need to include:
• Motivation letter (1 page, A4 size, font size 12, PDF format), highlighting past achievements that demonstrate your relevant competence and specific interest and enthusiasm for this project.
- Your CV (PDF format), including contact details of two references who we can contact if needed to attest to your academic attitude, skills and work ethic.
- A summary of your M.Sc. thesis (1 page, A4, font size 12, PDF format).
- A list of courses and grades taken for your B. Sc. and M. Sc. (or similar education).
• If applicable, a paper that you have written in which you demonstrate your writing skills (PDF format).
Applications which do no follow the format specifications, are incomplete or are not sent in via the application platform will not be considered. Emailed applications will not be considered. Screening applicants will start after 2022.08.15.