Postdoctoral Research Assistant – High-Pressure turbine design and optimization

Department Turbomachinery and Propulsion
Deadline None


The appointment is for one year (with a possible extension up to three years).

Position Start Date

June/July 2017

Detailed description:

We are seeking a full-time Postdoctoral Research Assistant to join the von Karman Institute in the Department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion. The position is initially fixed-term for 1 year, but can be extended.

As part of a team developing novel methodologies for the design of aero-engine turbomachinery components, you will be responsible for the design and optimization of a high-pressure turbine stage using state-of-art CFD simulations and advanced optimization strategies. In the pursuit of high-efficiency turbines by advanced shape optimization for turbine flow control, the project targets the optimization of the turbine rotor tip and hub platforms. A significant part of the work will be dedicated to the setup of accurate numerical simulations of engine-representative rotor tip and hub disc cavity flows. The post-doctoral work will deliver a set of optimum turbine geometries that will be then experimentally tested in the short-duration transonic turbine rig of the von Karman Institute.

You will have a PhD (or near completion) in Mechanical Engineering or Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering, preferably on a subject related to turbomachinery design. A solid background in the following subjects is valuable: Turbomachinery, Design optimization, Computational Fluid Dynamics. Knowledge of Linux/Unix environment, programming languages (such as bash scripting, Python, Matlab) and expertise in turbomachinery CFD solvers (such as CFX, Numeca Fine Turbo/Open, etc.) may be beneficial. Applicants with numerical backgrounds will be given preference. Working knowledge of CAD software (such as CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, etc.) is also an asset. Fluent knowledge of English (oral and written) is mandatory.

Candidates are expected to be self-motivated, hardworking and team players.

The appointment is initially for one year (with a possible extension up to three years). We maintain a very friendly environment, which will provide easy adaptation for the selected applicant.

You will be required to upload a covering letter, including a brief statement of research interests (describing how past experience and future plans fit with the advertised position), CV, publication list and the contact of two referees as part of your application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Assistant Professor Sergio Lavagnoli (

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