PhD Position in Experimental Thermo-Hydraulics

Department Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics
Deadline Sept. 5, 2022

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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 of the PhD: 4 years

Deadline: 5 September 2022

About the Research Topic

The last report of the IPCC enumerates the consequences of climate change. From extinction to displacement, the stated consequences would be disastrous causing a detrimental outcome for future generations. In addition, the current events in Eastern Europe display the significance of our daily energy consumption. It is therefore crucial to produce energy in a safe way, while also minimizing the emission of greenhouse gases. With the existing technologies, this objective can be reached with the use of a comprehensive mix of renewable energies, backed up by nuclear power (avoiding to resort to gas or coal). Besides the fact that nuclear energy is in fact low-carbon, local communities are still concerned about the risks of nuclear accidents.

As a PhD student, you will be a member of the LiquidMetal and Industrial Flows research group of VKI. Being part of this group gives you the opportunity to have an enthusiastic impact on the future of next generation. Your main focus will be to perform experiments in single phase water, to retrieve temperature and velocity fields in different configurations of deformed fuel bundle. In addition to these quantities, force and momentum measurements will be needed to validate the numerical computing performed at VKI and by its partners. The PhD student will be responsible for two test sections in order to conduct the required tests.


The student will receive an initial introduction and guiding phase, but will eventually be expected to become an enthusiastic driving force on improving the test sections and the measurements performed. The PhD program at the Institute provides the perfect opportunity to profoundly express yourself as a young scientist as well as being part of a long-standing history research in the field of fluid dynamics.

Selection criteria:

- Must hold a (research) Master in fluid mechanics and advanced heat transfer

- The candidate must be proficient in spoken and written English

- Good programming skills (Python preferred)

- The candidate is required to be trustworthy, committed and honest


- Employed (for 48 months if short term job) by the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in one of the most attractive areas of central Europe in the neighborhood of Brussels.

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

- Work in close collaboration with Belgian universities as well as an industry network;

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

- Experience the unique international workshop character of the VKI working environment;

- Access to specialized seminars and lecture series and to world-unique facilities.



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

Please refer to the general eligibility criteria for all VKI students and employees.


Contact information

For further information, please contact Philippe Planquart (Chief Project Management Officer) or Dr. Jean Muller


How to apply

Applications must contain a CV, motivation letter, publication list, contact information of two referees, copy of the Degree and Master title. 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 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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