Mechanical metamaterials are a fascinating new class of materials. Metamaterials are architected materials, i.e. they have an inner micro-scale structure, that determines the macro-scale properties. Since this microstructure can be rationally designed, entirely new opportunities for designers arise: materials can be constructed with unique and tailored properties not found in nature. Also, by adapting the inner structure, the property can be actively tuned during use.
Mechanical metamaterials are expected to lead to innovations in many applications. In this project we explore mechanical metamaterials for use as compact motion components. Programmed deformation of the metamaterial can be used to fine-position objects, e.g. optical elements like lenses in complex machines: the material becomes a machine.
This PhD project focuses on the manufacturing of such metamaterials. Generally speaking, the metamaterial designs we envision are complex 3D multi-material structures. The smallest features will be in the micrometre range, while the entire design may be in the centimetre range. Multi-material 3D manufacturing at various length-scales is the key challenge this project addresses. The end-goal is to establish suitable manufacturing process flows, and experimentally proof their performance. We have a high-level laboratory facility, which includes 3D printers, ink-jet printers, 2 photon-polymerization and laser machining, as well as a range of tools for imaging and metrology. You will be trained to use these facilities. Developing new manufacturing approaches, involving precision assembly will be part of the project.
This position is part of a team we are establishing of in total 2 PhD’s and 1 Postdoc researcher. Next to the current manufacturing-oriented position, we have positions for design methods for metamaterials (PhD) and for integrating actuators (Postdoc).
The Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) of the 3mE faculty focuses on developing knowledge and methods for small, innovative, high-precision devices and systems, such as scientific instrumentation and biomimetic platforms for the molecular diagnostics and high-tech industry. Increasing miniaturization and functionality along with improving sensitivity, speed and reliability are the key topics in our work.
We aim for high-throughput and yet precise and multi-material manufacturing. To reach this goal we will use existing advanced micro-manufacturing techniques, and combine that with innovative manufacturing approaches. Successful candidates therefore will have knowledge on advanced micro-manufacturing techniques, such as micro-scale replication techniques (moulding, embossing), 2D/3D printing or two-photon lithography. Having knowledge on (polymer) materials and their manufacturability (i.e. compatibility with printing and curing processes) is a strong advantage. We will also develop new manufacturing processes, e.g. using precision assembly techniques. Successful candidates therefore preferably have the ability to research new experimental manufacturing approaches, and play a role in the design and realization of dedicated setups.
Several Dutch high-tech companies take part in this project. The collaboration with a team of fellow researchers and the interactions with the companies will give you the unique opportunity to learn a lot on the applications for which metamaterials have the potential of providing a breakthrough solution. Successful candidates must be able to operate in a team setting and be able to interact with companies.
We are looking for candidates that:
- Have a MSc degree in micro-manufacturing engineering, micro/nano engineering, mechanical engineering or related fields.
- Have knowledge on advanced micro-manufacturing techniques, micro-assembly techniques. Having knowledge on (polymer) materials from manufacturing perspective is an advantage.
- Have the ability to develop new manufacturing processes, and are able to conceive, design and (support the) building of experimental environments to implement and characterize these processes.
- Are team players who like to collaborate with colleagues from university and industry.
Conditions of employment
TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 in the fourth year. 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.
TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)
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!