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2 open PhD positions

The  Structural  Mechanics  Section  of  the  Department  of  Civil  Engineering  of  KU  Leuven  invites

applications for

 

2 PhD positions on computational structural dynamics and vibroacoustic wave propagation


The Structural Mechanics Section of KU Leuven is performing internationally leading research on noise

and vibrations in the built environment and vibration‐based structural identification and evaluation,

combining both theoretical and experimental work. A wide range of applications is covered, including

sound insulation, monitoring of vibrations, dynamic  system identification,  parameter identification,

and structural health monitoring (http://bwk.kuleuven.be/bwm).

 

Research Project

The analysis of sound and vibration transmission in buildings, civil structures, cars, airplanes, etc., is a

complex problem since multiple  transmission paths are usually important, uncertainties can have a

large effect, performance requirements often conflict with structural and thermal requirements, and

accurate vibro‐acoustic modelling with currently available numerical prediction tools requires a huge

computational effort. An efficient yet  sufficiently accurate analysis  framework is  therefore needed,

taking all relevant uncertainties into account and opening up the way for model‐based optimization.

The development of such a framework is the main target of the research project VirBAcous, which is

being  funded  by  the  European  Commission  under  the  form  of  an  ERC  Starting  Grant

(http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/209704_en.html).

 

PhD topics

Within this project, there are 2 open PhD positions. Each PhD will focus on an important open problem.

With current state‐of‐the‐art methods, the vibro‐acoustic performance of relatively simple individual

structural elements (e.g., the airborne sound insulation of a layered wall with homogenous layers) can

be predicted with good accuracy at reasonable computational efforts. This is not the case, however,

for  complex  structural  elements  (e.g.,  lightweight  floors  or  facade  elements)  and  for  structural

systems, consisting of several coupled elements (e.g., buildings or aircrafts). PhD 1 will focus on the

development of methods for vibro‐acoustic analysis of structural elements that have a high degree of

geometrical  and/or  material  complexity.  PhD  2  will  focus  on  the  development  of  methods  for

predicting the  flanking vibration transmission across realistic, complex junctions between structural

elements such as walls, floors, roofs, beams, columns, etc. In both cases, the targeted development

will involve the exploration and hybridization of advanced concepts in structural dynamics and vibro‐

acoustic wave propagation, including finite element and boundary element techniques and modern

statistical energy analysis.

 

Profile

Candidates are expected to have obtained, or to obtain in the near future, a MSc degree (or equivalent)

in Civil or Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field with very good to excellent grades. A solid

background  and  demonstrable  interest  in  at  least  two  of  the  following  topics  are  essential:  finite

element analysis,  structural  dynamics, and engineering acoustics. Additionally, very good  research,

communication  and  programming  skills,  proficiency  in  English,  and  a  strong  motivation  towards

completing a PhD within 4 years are required.

 

Offer

We  offer  a  collaborative  and  internationally  oriented  research  environment  at  one  of  the  leading

engineering faculties worldwide. The successful candidates will be supervised by an ERC Starting Grant

holder.  They  will  have  access  to  the  fully  equipped  KU  Leuven  Structural  Mechanics  Laboratory

(actuators, transducers, acquisition systems and software for sound and vibration testing in laboratory

and  in  situ  environments),  the  KU  Leuven  Acoustics  Laboratory  (transmission  suite,  reverberation

chamber, anechoic chamber), and  to extensive computational  resources. The successful candidates

will also be encouraged to present their work at international conferences and they can benefit from

our  strong international  research network. The Civil Engineering Department is located  centrally in

Europe in a scenic setting, next to the Arenberg Castle at the outskirts of Leuven. The positions are full

time with a maximum duration of four years. The successful candidates are expected to take up the

positions between April and September 2018.

 

Application

Interested candidates who meet  the qualifications are encouraged  to apply  through  the link  to  the

online  application  tool  available  at  https://icts.kuleuven.be/apps/jobsite/#/vacatures/54501969  no

later  than  13  February  2018.  Applications  should  include  (1)  a  motivation  letter  (max.  2  pages)

describing why the applicant is applying to this particular position and how the position fits into his or

her career plans, (2) a full cv showing how the applicant’s profile fits the requirements, (3) a complete

transcript of records to date, (4) a proof of proficiency in English or Dutch (TOEFL/IELTS certificate or

native  speaker), and  (5) an electronic  copy  of  the MSc  thesis  or  research  project  report  (if already

available). For more information please contact Prof. Edwin Reynders  (tel.: +32 16 32 16 77, email:

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