Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Utrecht


The design of dynamical systems is a cornerstone discipline within Mechanical Engineering and industry needs engineers with excellent design skills, combining both analytical and creative skill sets. Moreover, society and industry pose increasingly stringent requirements on the functionality, performance, safety and agility of both products and processes. Examples are manufacturing processes, automotive systems, energy conversion, storage and exploration applications, health applications, such as medical imaging systems, manufacturing plants and distribution centers, high-tech systems, robots for manufacturing, care and cure, and many more. Such increasing expectations for engineering systems lead to a matching increase in the complexity of the related design process, which can only be tamed by an inherently multi-disciplinary model-based design process.

Research field
Shaping the design process for the engineering systems of the future poses many challenges related to system complexity. Namely, the complexity of such engineering systems is induced by 1) the required level of (multi-)functionality and safety, 2) their (inter)-connectivity, to other engineering systems and humans, and 3) the requirements on agility (responsiveness, autonomy). Research to support such complex engineering design demands a cross-disciplinary attitude of researchers and a multi-disciplinary research approach, relying on expertise not only from disciplines within Mechanical Engineering (dynamics, material science, thermo- and fluid-dynamics, acoustics, etc.), but also from Physics, Electrical and Chemical Engineering. In fact, when envisioning a model-based design approach, which e.g. has proven merit to state-of-practice high-tech systems design, we need models that
- are multi-physics (involving structural dynamics, thermal dynamics, solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, acoustics, sensing and actuation, electronics, etc.),
- are multi-scale (both in space and time),
- have predictive capacity, while only exhibiting modest model complexity,
and matching numerical simulation and dynamic analysis tools that support design decisions and design optimization. These multi-physics modelling and dynamic analysis tools can then 1) be employed as a platform in which inter-disciplinary design tradeoffs can be made explicit and on which early design decisions can be based and 2) serve as collaborative platforms for multi-disciplinary engineering design teams. The ultimate goal is to exploit these tools for the development of novel design concepts for the future's engineering systems and processes, providing solutions to societal challenges on energy, health, food, etc.

This research theme provides ample opportunity for fundamental, interdisciplinary research and valorization in a wide range of applications, many of which are strongly rooted in the Dutch high-tech & manufacturing industry, and the agriculture and transportation sectors.

Research field candidates
The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the TU/e seeks to hire an outstanding (tenure-track) assistant professor in the field of 'Multi-physics Dynamical System Design', which should play a leading role in addressing these challenges and trends in the above-mentioned areas. Core disciplines that are envisioned to be needed are:
- Modelling and simulation of multi-physics, dynamical systems,
- (Numerical) analysis of (Partial Differential Equation, PDE) models,
- Integrated systems and process design,
- Model complexity reduction,
- (Boundary) control of PDEs,
- Design optimization,
- Knowledge on relevant application domains such as, for example, transport systems, health applications, smart industry, energy, agricultural systems, robotics, etc.
Candidates who apply are expected to have a solid background on at least two of the core disciplines mentioned above. More importantly, the candidate should aspire to function in a multi-disciplinary research environment. The candidate should have the ambition set up a strong, internationally renowned research group, while fostering a collaborative network with other academics working on the topic within the department, the university and industry. The candidate should contribute to the progress in the field of model-based dynamical systems design, in order to be able to meet the future demands on engineering system design in industry and society.

The candidate will contribute to the existing BSc program Mechanical Engineering and the MSc programs Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Systems and Control (S&C) within the department.

The candidate's group will initially be embedded in existing groups in the Department, in particular the groups within the sections of Dynamics and Control and/or Control Systems Technology. The department fosters a personnel strategy stimulating personal growth towards faculty forming independent groups within larger coherent sections.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering currently seeks to hire three tenure-track assistant professors with a focus on Engineering Design, each with an individual disciplinary emphasis, one on Dynamical Systems and Control, related to the above profile, one on Energy and Flow and one on Materials and Mechanics. The candidate is expected to develop an independent profile while actively seeking collaboration with the other faculty focusing on engineering design aspects and contributing to the building of a multidisciplinary engineering design team.

The candidate's group will be embedded in the High-Tech Systems Institute within the University. The group will also be embedded in research schools of the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC) and Engineering Mechanics (EM).

Function Elements
- Translation of developments within the field of research to international research projects and programs.
- (Inter)national authority within the research field, as evidenced by:
- relevance and visibility of own research within society and industry;
-scientific publications in leading scientific journals, often cited by leading scientists;
-editorship within the most important journals;
-groundbreaking results in research;
-invitations as key note speaker on seminars where state-of-the-art results in science are presented;
- Representing and leading international committees or working groups, by which the institute is positioned.

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