Research Associate / Research Engineer

Department Turbomachinery and Propulsion
Deadline April 30, 2018

Position type: Research Associate – Turbomachinery Heat transfer and Aerodynamics

Duration: Permanent post

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Position Start Date: June-October 2018

Detailed description:

We are seeking a full-time Research Associate to join the von Karman Institute (VKI) in the Department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion. The position is permanent.
As part of a team investigating advanced technologies for future aero-engine turbomachinery, you will support the experimental research programs of the von Karman Institute turbomachinery and propulsion Laboratory. The research associate will be responsible for the design, execution and management of measurement test campaigns investigating the aerodynamics and heat transfer of turbomachinery components. Responsibilities will also include planning of research objectives, design of experiments, project and cost tracking, design and implementation of measurement techniques, data processing and analysis.

The candidate will be responsible for the design, commissioning and use of the VKI turbomachinery test facilities such as the world-class transonic rotating turbine rig CT3 and other high-speed turbine cascade rigs. The successful research associate must be familiar with experimental techniques for testing of high-speed turbomachinery, preferably with proven expertise in heat transfer measurements and measurements in rotation, with previous lab experience on rotating rigs.

The research associate will work with internal and/or external technical services to drive the conception, mechanical design and production of test models and rig hardware using 3D CAD software including preparation of detailed technical drawings. She or he will direct the design and commissioning of instrumentation and control systems for the test facilities, with a leading role in the procurement of equipment/instrumentation/parts.

The job requires multitasking skills and predisposition towards teamwork while liaising closely with faculty, students and staff members. The position holder must have time management skills, being able to set independently work priorities to maintain stringent project schedules in a goal-oriented environment. The candidate is also expected to organize the research data and report results and findings to colleagues and external research sponsors.

The candidate will also assist with grant proposal preparation and will mentor graduate and PhD students involved in the experimental projects. The candidate is expected to contribute actively to the dissemination of her/his research findings through conference participation and peer-reviewed articles.


You will have a PhD in Mechanical, Aeronautical/Aerospace or related engineering field, preferably on a subject related to experimental testing of turbomachinery and high-speed flows.

Experience is required in the field of turbomachinery and experimental fluid dynamics. A proven background in the following subjects is demanded: turbomachinery flows, measurement techniques for aerothermal turbomachinery testing, experimental data analysis and processing. The position requires ability to design, prepare and execute activities related to aerothermal research wind tunnels including instrumentation selection and preparation, test data acquisition and signal conditioning.

Applicants with a record of accomplishment in experimental fluid dynamics and with demonstrated lab experience will be given preference. Familiarity with unsteady heat transfer and pressure measurement techniques for turbomachinery flows is preferred. Familiarity with optical techniques (laser techniques, infrared thermography, Schlieren, PSP, PIV, etc.) and previous testing experience in rotating rigs and/or high-speed wind tunnels is an asset.

Knowledge of data-processing programming languages (such as Python or Matlab) is a requisite. Good knowledge of CAD software (such as CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, etc.) and capability to read and generate complex technical drawings is a requirement. LabVIEW expertise is an asset. Knowledge and experience in turbomachinery CFD is also 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 permanent. 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, 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 (

This position is ONLY open to applicants who are EU citizens.

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