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1 Postdoctoral position and 2 PhD positions in computational mechanics of self-healing/tent structures/bird strike @UGent

 

More information on http://www.composites.ugent.be/PhD_job_vacancies_PhD_job_positions_composites.html 

The first postdoc vacancy is for the research project "Engineered Self-HEaling materials". This project is in collaboration with different departments at Ghent University and different departments of the Free University of Brussels (VUB).
This research program consists of two large projects: (i) SElf-healing CEmentitious and MINeral building materials (SECEMIN) and (ii) SElf-healing thermoset POlymers and COMposites (SEPOCOM).
The self-healing concept that is used in this study, is the one of encapsulation. Self-healing agents (typically polyurethanes and epoxy systems) are encapsulated in micro-capsules that are dispersed in the bulk material. When a crack grows in the bulk material and encounters a capsule, it breaks the capsule and the self-healing agent is released into the crack. The self-healing agent then cures in combination with moisture in the crack, with oxygen or with a second component in another capsule next to it.
Our research group has one full-time researcher contributing half-time to both projects. The task of our researcher is to develop simulation methods for crack growth in cementitious and polymer materials, study the interaction of the crack with inclusions (capsules with self-healing agent) and simulate the release of healing agent from the capsules. Simulations have already been carried out in the commercial finite element code Abaqus, using the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) to simulate crack growth.

 


This postdoctoral research is a purely numerical study, and the experimental input will be provided by other partners in the project. So a strong background in numerical modelling, fracture mechanics and computational mechanics is really necessary. As it is the objective to do the simulations in the commercial finite element code ABAQUS, experience with ABAQUS (VCCT, XFEM, cohesive elements,...) and Python scripting is certainly an advantage.

 

  • The second PhD vacancy is for the research project "Integrated analysis and experimental verification of Kinematic Form Active Structures (KFAS) for architectural applications". This project is in collaboration with the Architectural Department and the Department of Mechanics of Materials and Constructions at the Free University of Brussels (VUB).
    The topic of this project are foldable tent structures, or more correctly Kinematic Form Active Structures (KFAS). KFAS are reconfigurable lightweight structures usually covered with technical textiles. When implemented as a building skin these systems can control day lighting, shading, ventilation and so on and hence contribute to sustainable building.

    A major challenge for the design, analysis, optimisation and construction of KFAS, is the study of their geometric compatibility, pre-tension, curvature and hence stiffness and stability during all phases of deployment. The study involves: (i) numerical form-finding, (ii) design of a reference configuration and Finite Element (FE) analysis, (iii) adjusting the pre-tension, load analysis and optimisation of the reconfigurable system in different positions, (iv) experimental set-up and measurement of the structural behaviour. This integrated non-linear study including the stability analysis will provide the validation of the proposed methodology and support the design of lightweight KFAS in order to widen the scope of these systems.
    The contribution of our research group consists in the development of an adequate material model for the tent fabric. This is usually an orthotropic fabric covered with a water-resistant coating (also called technical textile or coated fabric). In a next phase, finite element simulations of the deployment, pre-tensioning and wind loading of the tent structure should be done. In a master thesis, several options for the material model have already been investigated and compared against uni-axial and biaxial test data on the coated fabric.
    This PhD thesis is a purely numerical study, and the experimental input will be provided by the Free University of Brussels. So a strong background in numerical modelling and computational mechanics is really necessary. As it is the objective to implement the strategies in the commercial finite element code ABAQUS, experience with ABAQUS and Python scripting is certainly an advantage.

     

  • The third PhD vacancy is for the 7th Framework European project "E-break - Engine Breakthrough Components and Subsystems". This is a multi-disciplinary project with 42 partners, including almost all major aircraft engine manufacturers in Europe.
    Our task in this project is the experimental testing of bird strike impact on composite engine components on the one hand, and bird strike simulations on the other hand. Our research group has already all facilities for bird strike testing and instrumentation, and has built up expertise with bird strike simulations, using the SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics) technique in the commercial finite element code ABAQUS.
    This PhD thesis is a combined experimental-numerical thesis. A strong background in mechanical engineering is required for the experimental testing and instrumentation. Additionally, a strong interest in numerical modelling is required. Experience with finite element modelling is a benefit.
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