Research Assistant – Experimental aerodynamics of aero-engine turbines

Department Turbomachinery and Propulsion
Deadline None


1-2 years (with possibility to turn the assignment into a permanent position).

Application Deadline

Open Until Filled

Position Start Date

July-October 2019

Detailed description

We are seeking a full-time Research Assistant to join the von Karman Institute in the Department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion. The position is initially fixed-term for one or two years, that can be turned into a permanent position.

As part of a team investigating advanced technologies for future aero-engine turbomachinery, you will support the experimental research programs of the Turbomachinery and Propulsion Laboratory at the von Karman Institute. The research assistant will be responsible for the design, execution and management of measurement test campaigns investigating the aerodynamics of aero-engine turbines.

The candidate will be responsible for the commissioning and use of the VKI turbomachinery test facilities such as the world-class transonic rotating turbine rig CT3 and the high-speed low-Reynolds S1/C linear cascade. In particular, she or he will be responsible for the planning of the research objectives, the design of experiments, the implementation of measurement techniques and the processing and analysis of the acquired data. Most of the research activities will use a combination of experiments and computational modelling.

The successful candidate is expected to organize the research data and report results and findings to colleagues and external research sponsors. The candidate is expected to contribute actively to the dissemination of her/his research findings through conference participation and peer-reviewed articles.

The candidate will also assist with grant proposal preparation and will mentor graduate and PhD students involved in the experimental projects.


You will have a PhD in Mechanical, Aeronautical/Aerospace or related engineering field.

Experience is required in the field of experimental fluid dynamics. The successful applicant is familiar with experimental techniques for testing of turbomachinery. The job requires multitasking skills and predisposition towards teamwork while liaising closely with faculty, student and staff members.

A background in one of the following subjects is a valuable asset: turbomachinery flows, measurement techniques for wind tunnel testing, experimental data analysis and processing. Familiarity with optical techniques (laser techniques, infrared thermography, Schlieren) is also an asset. Knowledge and experience in turbomachinery CFD is an asset, but not a requisite. Fluent knowledge of English (oral and written) is mandatory.

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. 

The appointment is fixed-term (1-2 years). The salary and benefits are dependent on skills and experience. We maintain a very friendly and international working environment, which will provide easy adaptation for the selected applicant.

You will be required to upload a covering letter, CV, publication list and the contact of two referees as part of your application.

Further information on the position and informal enquiries may be addressed to Assistant Professor Sergio Lavagnoli (

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