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PhD position on multi-scale modelling of fatigue damage in composites @ Ghent University (Belgium)

The core idea of this project is to develop a consistent multi-scale modelling framework for fatigue damage in unidirectionally reinforced composites. Three scales are distinguished:

  • the micro-scale, where individual fibre filaments are arranged in a polymer matrix. Fatigue damage manifests itself by cracks in the polymer matrix, in the fibre/matrix interface or in the fibres themselves,
  • the meso-scale, where a single ply of fibre-reinforced polymer is constrained by adjacent plies with different fibre orientations, and where inter-layer cracks (= delaminations) can initiate from closely spaced cracks in the individual plies,
  • the macro-scale, where fully developed delaminations can grow further in fatigue, and stiffness degradation of one ply leads to stress redistribution in the neighbouring plies.

This project will run in close collaboration with the department of "Mechanics of Materials and Constructions" from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( At that department, testing procedures will be developed to generate reliable and consistent baseline data for multi-axial and variable-amplitude fatigue loading, that can be used as input for and validation of the developed multi-scale modelling framework. 
The contribution of our research group will focus on the multi-scale modelling and the computational framework.


The candidate should have a relevant background in computational mechanics of composites, preferably combined with experience in multi-scale modelling.

More information can be found on

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