PhD Tailoring nano-silica and its application in smart concrete

Publicat: 19 Nov 2015 00:00

The Department offers a BSc in Building Science and MSc programmes in Architecture, Building and Planning, Building Services and Construction Management and Engineering. Education and research in the Department focus on the development and use of technology for the design and construction of a comfortable, healthy and sustainable built environment. The Department’s philosophy is “Beyond Building”, which reflects our multidisciplinary, integral and innovative approach in the construction, evaluation and improvement of buildings and urban areas. Our research is based on fundamental scientific insights and methods and their application for the built environment.

This PhD research is one part of the STW project “Tailoring nano-silica and its application in smart concrete”. In the current project, one postdoc researcher is working on developing nano-silica via a sustainable and economically effective production technique and one PhD researcher is working on developing new photocatalyst based on the modification of TiO2 by using nano-silica. The selected PhD candidate will work on developing advanced and functional concrete by applying the developed nano-silica and new photocatalyst. The PhD candidate is expected to collaborate with the other two researchers in this project and he/she will focus on the following tasks:

(1) Investigation of nano-materials application in/on concrete;

(2) Design and performance evaluation of high performance and functional concrete;

(3) Fundamental research on the self-cleaning mechanism;

(4) Long term performance and durability investigation.

In the group already sixteen PhDs and 2 postdocs work on new materials that are based on secondary raw materials and with additional functionalities, meeting requirements with regard to constructive, chemical, physical and aesthetic properties. Examples of deployed ingredients are fly ashes, silicas, slags, agricultural and industrial wastes, and recycled aggregates, from varying and non-traditional sources. Functionality is introduced by incorporating photocatalytic powder, phase changing materials etc. So far attention was mainly focused on concrete, but the group is rapidly expanding its interest to other materials as well.

The research group possesses excellent computational facilities, advanced granular packing models, microstructure models, and well-equipped and –staffed building material laboratories for physical/chemical/mechanical testing.

The research group maintains close contacts with the building materials chain and with public authorities, and regularly convenes with their representatives that form a sponsor/user group. Furthermore, there is frequent and intensive contact with other researchers, both domestic and abroad (mostly Europe, China and Japan). All researchers and PhD candidates are externally funded, by the building sector and/or by governmental project funding (national and international, such as the European Commission). The current project is financed by the Dutch Technical Science Foundation (STW), and prof. dr. ir. J. Geus from Utrecht University is involved in this project too.

Job requirements

We are looking for excellent and highly motivated candidates with a MSc degree in mechanical/chemical engineering, earth sciences, physics, chemistry, or similar discipline. Interest in physical/chemical processes in the built environment, and in sustainable and durable building materials is essential.

We offer a stimulating and ambitious research environment. To complement this environment and for the specific projects mentioned above, we are looking for outstanding candidates that meet the following requirements:

- You are highly motivated, talented and enthusiastic

- You have a relevant MSc degree as indicated above.

- You have an independent and well-structured working style.

- You are interested in guiding master students of the group

- You have strong communication skills and the attitude to participate successfully in a multidisciplinary team.

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