Are you eager to pursue your PhD studies alongside a dynamic and innovative team at the forefront of Method Engineering & Equipment Design in the Offshore Wind industry? If so, we invite you to join us!

PhD topic

Friction is present in applications to everyday life and can simply be defined as the resistance to motion of one object in contact against another one. As simple as this concept may sound, friction keeps being one of the most complex problems in physics and engineering. One of the current grand challenges concerning friction in modern engineering consists in improving the understanding and prediction of the so-called pre-sliding regime, which is characterized by built-up of the friction force, by micro surface displacements and the transition point to the sliding regime.

Within this PhD project you will explore such pre-sliding friction regime with reference to offshore wind applications concerning seafastening techniques and structural constraints in mission equipment on offshore wind installation vessels. Future mission equipment in the offshore wind industry will rely more on friction-based connections since both the mission equipment as well as transported objects are exceeding vessel sizes. These connections merely rely on contact mechanisms between the transported structure and the support elements such as friction pads or rollers. Currently, there is a lack of high-fidelity guidelines for the design, characterization and selection of these friction-based support elements. To fill this gap, you will develop testing and predictive models to quantify the friction force variation during its pre-sliding regime and quantify the variability of friction with reference to the interface features, such as interfacial stiffness, roughness, hardness and other material, environmental, and operational properties. Potential friction models will be sought within the direction of physics-informed probabilistic models, by integrating aspects of contact mechanics, tribology and acquired experimental data.

As a PhD student, you will work at the company TWD and you will also be a member of the Mechanics and Physics of Structures group (MPS), a section of the Department of Engineering Structures at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft. TWD and MPS are both young and enthusiastic groups, and whose members are nationally and internationally recognized, respectively, in their fields of application. The scientific aim of MPS is to develop new physical insights and know-how in the field of mechanics and physics of structures, while the aim of TWD is to increase awareness and develop predictive capabilities on the reliability and functionality of their mission equipment.

This doctoral project is part of a larger, multidisciplinary, and international project APRIORI: “Active Product-to-Process Learning For Improving Critical Components Performance” (no. 101073551) funded under the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks within the Horizon Europe Programme of the European Commission.

What Makes You Great

You are a passionate, quick learner and have strong technical insight. With your enthusiasm and eagerness, you come up with ingenious solutions. You are self-driven, responsible, and committed to ensuring that the job gets done.

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

EU requirements for mobility within the Marie Curie program stipulate that candidates for this position must not have resided in the Netherlands for the past three years.

TWD – A Fun Challenge to Be Part of

At TWD, we love to create construction methods and design installation equipment. We achieve creative, simple, and efficient solutions through dedicated teamwork. Thanks to our core values – Fun, Development, and Happy Clients – we grow at a rapid pace with over 300 talented people in five locations: Rotterdam, London, Athens, Taipei, and Perth.

Every day we contribute to the energy transition and key infrastructure projects worldwide. We do this by offering innovative design solutions to our clients, mainly in the offshore wind and heavy civils industry.



Happy Clients

Why You Will Love Working at TWD

Working at TWD means working in an exciting, fast-paced industry and making a difference in shaping a more sustainable future. We offer a collaborative and supportive working environment that will stimulate you to take the lead in your professional and personal development. Our people describe TWD’s culture as open, no-nonsense, diverse, and informal – valuing your ideas and contributions.

Working at TWD includes:

  • A salary in accordance with the EU regulations for PhD positions: € 3,000 gross per month
  • An additional monthly tax-free mobility allowance of € 600
  • Funds for training and travel expenses related to network meetings, secondments, and participation in international conferences
  • 8% holiday allowance per year
  • Collective pension
  • Monthly travel allowance
  • 25 holidays per year and compensation of overtime
  • A healthy and sustainable free lunch buffet, prepared daily in our own Lunchroom
  • An exciting company trip each year where TWD offices come together
  • Friday afternoon drinks and special TWD events such as sports events, pub quizzes, ladies’ night, and various social gatherings

Join Our Team!

Do you have what it takes to join our team? We are happy to meet you! Submit your CV and motivation letter through the apply button. We will get in touch with you within one working week.

At TWD, we celebrate diversity and inclusivity, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds. We continuously work on enhancing our recruitment process, ensuring fairness and inclusiveness at every step.

  • Technical
  • Rotterdam (NL)

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Career Development

People are the backbone of TWD. We care about your development and encourage you to take the lead. We provide unique opportunities where you can develop on-the-job as well as through workshops and training. Read more to get a glimpse of your future career path!