Postdoc (2 years) for impact behaviour of 3D woven composites in structural automotive parts

The postdoc vacancy is for experimental testing and numerical modelling of impact on 3D woven thermoplastic composites for automotive applications. Our research group is partner in the European FP7 project 3DLightTrans "Large scale manufacturing technology for high-performance lightweight 3D multifunctional composites" (http://www.3d-lighttrans.com/). Key industrial partners are Fiat, Bentley, Federal Mogul, Van de Wiele,...
Textile reinforced polymer composites (TRPC) hold the promise for enhanced products featuring superior properties, such as light weight and high strength, with comparatively low material costs. This promising potential is nevertheless hindered by the lack of appropriate processing technologies to enable low-cost manufacturing of mass products with sufficient quality. The goal of the 3D-LightTrans project is to create a highly flexible manufacturing chain for low cost production of integral large scale 3D TRPC parts, based on innovative approaches for the individual processes and its integration in the complete supply chain. This will enable to shift TRPCs from its current position in cost intensive, small series niche markets -like aeronautics-, to broadly extended mass product applications not only in transportation, but also in health, energy, leisure and other key sectors.
The task of our research group is to test and simulate the impact behaviour of 3D woven thermoplastic composites, which are innovative materials and their impact behaviour is not really known. The focus is on automotive applications, and large-scale demonstrators will be realized and tested by the end of the project.
This study is a combined experimental/numerical study. Experience with experimental (dynamic) testing and a strong background in numerical modelling and computational mechanics is really necessary. As it is the objective to implement the strategies in the commercial finite element code ABAQUS, experience with ABAQUS and Python scripting is certainly an advantage.

More information can be found on the website of our research group (http://www.composites.ugent.be/PhD_job_vacancies_PhD_job_positions_compo...).