PhD candidate position: “Multiscale analysis of corrosion-induced structural degradation in reinf...

KU Leuven
August 22 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Within the Science & Technology Group of KU Leuven, the Department of Civil Engineering is hiring a junior researcher interested in degradation assessment and structural behavior of reinforced concrete structures. The doctoral research is performed at the Building Materials and Building Technology Section of the Department of Civil Engineering at KU Leuven. The applied research methodology is based on a combination of experimental, analytical and numerical investigation, aiming at quantifying the effects of degradation phenomena, such as reinforcement corrosion, on the structural behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) components.

Research at the group of “Building Materials and Building Technology” (MAT) at the Civil Engineering Department of KU Leuven has a strong focus on historical materials and structures and the assessment and retrofitting of existing structures. The research unit combines expertise in materials science, structural analysis and construction technology. The structural behavior of existing structures is assessed at multiple scales by means of numerical analysis, experimental methods, advanced non-destructive techniques (NDT) and monitoring. In collaboration with construction industry and public services, new and innovative materials and retrofitting techniques are being developed. For restoration and renovation, emphasis is put on the analysis of compatibility and durability of brittle construction materials, on non-destructive testing and on structural diagnosis.

The Department of Civil Engineering has fully equipped test facilities for experimental ... For more information see

The extended lifetime of existing buildings andinfrastructure puts pressure on structural integrity. As structures are ageing,maintenance isn't always proactive and re-use may imply changes in loadapplication. So, need for economical assessment tools and concrete repair aregrowing. Therefore, there is an urgent need for dedicated research onquantifying effects of degradation processes on RC member's structural capacityand durability, to support efficient re-use, retrofitting and maintenance. Toquantify the effects, a multi-scale approach is needed to link the materiallevel, the level of structural components and the level of the structure. ThisPhD research will focus on the level of the components, and make the link withthe material level and the structural level. The work involves advancednumerical modelling (e.g. finite element modelling of degraded RC components) andthe development of non-destructive inspection tools (e.g. acoustic emissiontechnique) to be used in laboratory experiments and a benchmark case study.

The successful candidate's range of duties include thefollowing:

Literature survey and development of a state-of-the-art;

Analytical, numerical and experimental research;

Presentation of research results at internationalconferences;

Publishing of research results;

Punctual contributions to teaching and evaluation ofstudents;

Writingand defending a doctoral dissertation.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess