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BELGIUM - THESIS - ENHANCE MSCA ITN: Health Monitoring & Lifecycle Management of Advanced Aerospace Composite Structures (Ref.: BE-TP-2020-002)

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ESR2 position in Virtual Laboratory for Modelling and Optimization of Manufacturing of Composites Structures with embedded structural health monitoring systems


Damage of aerospace structures can be a financial burden to the operator and the manufacturer and ultimately lifethreatening for passengers. This is the main reason for which a large part of an aircraft’s lifecycle and operating cost is spent on inspecting its structural integrity on the ground. On-line detection and characterization of minor failures within composite aerospace structures can lead to a radical reduction of this cost. Computing the behavior of these active systems and their response over the whole life cycle through structural damage can be a computationally challenging task and manufacturing challenge.
The successful applicant will be expected to make significant contributions to the development of process monitoring and simulation of structures with integrated sensors used for prognosis in complex composites. The work will be carried out under the ESR entitled: Virtual Laboratory for Modelling and Optimization of Manufacturing of Composites Structures with embedded structural health monitoring systems.


The objective of the thesis taken on by the PhD candidate is to reach a development framework where the acoustoultrasonic SHM (Structural Heath Monitoring) system is an integral part of the manufacturing process of smart composites.
The technology and methodology will rely on the information that can be obtained through virtual multi-physical models.

Research and numerical simulation work will focus on:
  • Accurately predicting and understanding how sensors can be integrated as close as possible to “hot-spots” without jeopardizing structural integrity or manufacturing tolerances.
  • Accurately predicting and understanding initial stress levels in composites considering processing conditions & signals measured by sensors.
  • Developing damage mechanics methods for crack propagation prediction in laminated composite parts, exploring the effect of sensor integration and load cycling on lifetime assessment.

Specificities of the mission

Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria: (ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions). At point of appointment candidates must have had less than four years fulltime equivalent research experience and must not have already obtained a PhD. Additionally, they must meet the Mobility Rule which implies not having resided in the host country (BE) for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before beginning the ESR position. 
Please refer to https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/471470 (see the additional information section) for further details about eligibility.


This full-time post will be available from December 2020 and is offered on a fixed-term 36 months contract. The post benefits from a highly competitive salary, including a mobility allowance and a family allowances where applicable.


If interested, please send an application (in English) to docenciachiachio@ugr.es and rh@cenaero.be (see more details in attachment)

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