PhD Candidate for Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer Research of High-Speed Aircraft Engine Turbines

Department Turbomachinery and Propulsion
Deadline None

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Careers at the von Karman Institute: Construct the future together!

For 65 years as international center of excellence in fluid dynamics, the von Karman Institute brings together young engineers and scientists from all over the world to study, improve their skills and perform their research.

Construct the future together! Besides its mission of education, the von Karman Institute gathers the top-level scientists and engineers to work on very challenging projects as the next generation of engines, new propulsion concepts, the new green energy, the safety of industry, solutions for a cleaner space, the Mission to Mars and many other fields of research which can make the difference for the human kind. Those scientists have access to more than 50 wind tunnels and test rigs, some of them unique in the world to help them in their projects.

VKI is a team of people looking in the same direction, for a better future, not only scientists and engineers but also students, PhD candidates, PostDocs, IT, Human Resources, accountants, librarians, designers and technicians and more....

“A scientist studies what is, whereas an engineer creates what never was“, Théodore von Kármán

Duration: 3-4 years

Deadline: open until fulfilled

Position Start Date: According to mutual agreement

Background and Motivation

We are seeking a Ph.D. student to join the von Karman Institute in the Department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion.

As part of a team investigating advanced technologies for future aero-engine turbomachinery, you will support the experimental research programs in tight collaboration with leading industry partners. In a fast-changing world committed to greener energy conversion technologies, the research effort of the Turbomachinery and Propulsion Department focuses on advancing turbomachinery further for the transformation into a carbon-neutral technology.

The Turbomachinery and Propulsion Department operates experimental facilities to perform aerothermal tests on future technologies for gas turbine components at engine representative conditions. We develop and implement novel measurement techniques and high-precision instrumentation for research and for industry applications. We advance data assimilation techniques for hybrid experimental testing, robust uncertainty quantification and multi-physics design and optimization with growing application of high-resolution Numerical Simulations and Machine learning.

Typical tasks will be on setting research objectives, deriving design of experiments, planning and directing the implementation of measurement techniques as well as data treatment methods for advanced flow analysis through data mining and machine learning tools. Most of the research activities are carried out by a combination of experiments and computational modelling. You will organize the research data and report results and findings to colleagues and external sponsors. You will have the opportunity to present your research work at international conferences and publish high-quality scientific articles.


- You have a M.S. in Mechanical, Aeronautical/Aerospace or related engineering field.

- Experience is required in the field of experimental and / or computational fluid dynamics with application to turbomachinery aerodynamics or aeroelasticity including measurement techniques, data reduction techniques and data analytics.

- Ideally, you have become familiar with or interested in several of the following fields: optical measurement techniques such as laser techniques, infrared thermography, Schlieren visualization, turbomachinery CFD, scale-Resolved simulations, turbulence and transition modelling, uncertainty quantification, machine learning.

- You can work effectively in an international multi-cultural working environment that emphasizes on collaboration.

- You are a team worker, who can also lead a project team and provide mentoring to graduate students.

- You are proficient in English in speech and writing, ideally you also speak Dutch and / or French.

- Candidates are expected to be self-motivated, hardworking and team players. We ensure a high-level of interaction in a world-known international research center specialized in fluid dynamics for aerospace, environmental and propulsion applications.


- Work at the internationally renowned von Karman Institute in a key role advancing technologies for future propulsion and energy systems

- Work in close collaboration with leading aero-engine and turbomachinery companies as well as other industries

- Become part of the VKI network with global access to industry experts and academics in the field of fluid dynamics, propulsion, and energy conversion

- Experience the unique international character of the VKI working environment

- Competitive salary and living in one of the most attractive areas of central Europe in the neighborhood of Brussels

- Advance as a personality supported by mentoring and attendance of further educational programs, e.g. the VKI lecture series


VKI does strictly adhere to the ethical standards of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers ( . Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply. A strict equal opportunity, gender-neutral and internationally comparable recruitment procedure is implemented.


Contact information

Further information on the position and informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof. Sergio Lavagnoli ( or Prof. Frank Eulitz (

How to apply

You will be required to upload a covering letter, CV, copies of diplomas and university record transcripts, publication list and technical reports and the contact of two referees as part of your application. CV must clearly indicate the exact dates of (1) each position hold in the past, and (2) countries of residence in the last 5 years.

All the fields (including pdf files and references) should be filled in to allow you to confirm your application. Only full applications will be taken into account. Please do not use white spaces or special characters to name your files. If you have not received a confirmation email it means that you have not fulfilled all required fields.

Short-listed candidates are called for an interview with the search committee at the von Karman Institute. The selected candidate must comply with the internal procedures of the von Karman Institute and receive clearance from the Institute Board of Directors before she or he can begin to work. The von Karman Institute reserves the right not to appoint a candidate if no suitable candidate is found.

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