Job Description

PhD Candidate

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!

TWD – A fun challenge to be part of

At TWD we love to create construction methods and design installation tools. We achieve creative, simple, and efficient solutions through committed teamwork. Thanks to our main pillars – fun, development, and happy clients – we grow at a rapid pace with over 250 talented people in four locations: Rotterdam, London, Athens, and Taipei.

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. Our no-nonsense, informal working environment offers you the opportunity to share your enthusiasm for engineering and work together with other passionate Engineers and Designers in the field.

To further strengthen our team in Rotterdam and realize our mission to contribute to a better world by making construction easier, we are looking for a PhD Candidate!

Who you are

We are looking for smart and eager people with a practical backbone and the following profile:

  • You have or master’s degree in a technical field
  • You are a passionate, quick learner and have strong technical insight
  • You are flexible and able to come up with ingenious solutions
  • You are enthusiastic, self-driven, and eager to work in an entrepreneurial environment
  • You have a sense of responsibility to get the job done

EU requirements on mobility within the Marie Curie program require candidates for the position not to have lived in the Netherlands for the past three years.

What comes along with working at TWD

At TWD we work hard to deliver quality and finish our projects in time. We believe a stimulative company culture with enough room for fun and development motivates our people to do so. That is why working at TWD also means:

  • Working in an exciting industry that contributes to the energy transition and key infrastructure projects worldwide
  • An open, young, diverse, and supportive working environment
  • Professional and personal development opportunities with many internal workshops
  • A healthy and sustainable lunch, including fresh fruit
  • A fun and amazing company trip each year
  • Friday afternoon drinks and special TWD events such as pub quiz, lady’s night, or drinks and dinner

The PhD candidate will receive a salary in accordance with the EU-regulations for PhD positions; €3.726,- per month and an additional monthly mobility allowance €600,- tax-free. In addition, the EU provides funds for training and expenses for travel in connection with network meetings, secondments and participation in international conferences.

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Happy Clients

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.


APRIORI project:

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.


Do you have what it takes to become our new colleague? We are happy to meet you! Please send your CV and motivation letter or contact HR via +31 (0)10 294 03 74 for further information.

Tags: vacancy, career, the netherlands, phd

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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!

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