The PhD researcher will contribute in a large research program RELFICOM ‘Reliability of fibre-reinforced composites: materials design and variability’ part of the program NANOFORCE ‘Next generation nano-engineered polymer hybrids‘, that is funded by the Flemish funding organization SIM (Strategic Initiative Materials – http://www.sim-flanders.be/). This project addresses the reliability of fibre-reinforced composites, through improved material design and through better understanding and controlling variability. This will lead to reductions in safety factors, and hence lighter and safer composite structures.
The department of Materials Engineering (MTM), Composite Materials Group (CMG) of KU Leuven (Dr. Y. Swolfs, Dr. L. Gorbatikh and Prof. S. Lomov) is the project coordinator. Other research partners are the department of Mechanical Engineering, Production engineering, Machine design and Automation group (PMA) of KU Leuven (Prof. D. Vandepitte), the Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials group (PBM) of UGent (Prof. S. Van Vlierberghe) and our Department of Mechanics of Materials and Constructions (MeMC) (Prof. L. Pyl and Prof. D. Van Hemelrijck). The project has six industrial partners (REIN4CED, Tridea, TWE, Toyota Motor Europe, Optimum CPV and Siemens Industry Software).
Our VUB-MeMC research group in close collaboration with the UGent-PBM group will focus on aspects of improved recyclability of composites by using/developing fibre-reinforced filaments in 3D printing based on recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The candidate should have a strong background in materials (mechanics, chemistry, characterization).
The Mechanics of Materials and Constructions Department consists of 4 full-time professors and 0.5 part-time professors, 5 postdoctoral researchers and 25 PhD students. The successful candidate can benefit from strong collaborative links with other universities (UGent, KU Leuven,…). Besides, 15 PhD students have successfully obtained their PhD degree in the last five years.
The PhD student will also be assisted by a postdoctoral research fellow.