PhD position in frictional colloids

PhD Student

December 7, 2016


In the Physics of Complex Fluids group at the University of Twente, a vacancy exists for a PhD student. In the project ‘frictional colloids’ we want to study how the surface roughness of colloidal spheres changes their dynamics in flow. The most dramatic effects are expected for very concentrated suspensions, where the flow engages large friction forces, which in turn cause jamming of the material. This fascinating rheological behavior will be studied via experiments and numerical modeling. To get more insight into the underlying mechanism, we also want to do microscopic experiments: Atomic Force Microscopy to measure forces and Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy to study the particle dynamics.

The vacant project in the PCF group focuses on the influence of particle surface roughness on the flow behavior of concentrated suspensions. It is expected that friction plays a central role, leading to a spectacular viscosity increase above a critical shear rate. The proposed transition from a ‘lubricated’ to a ‘frictionated’ particle contact will also be studied at the microscopic level, using Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. In collaboration with the Multi-Scale Mechanics group (Prof. Luding), also simulations on particles in flow (including their friction and rolling resistance) will be performed by the candidate.


For this position we are searching for candidates with an MSc or MEng degree in (physical) chemistry or (experimental) physics. Hands-on experience with colloids, rheology or AFM will be considered as an advantage, an interest in numerical modeling is expected. Considering the broad scope of the research (and the available broad expertise), we are looking for a team player with good communication skills.

Further information can be found on the websites: and or by contacting Dr. Michel Duits ( Applications should include a specific motivation letter and a detailed CV and before May 1st 2017. The project. The position is available immediately, the project should start before the summer of 2017.


We offer a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. As a PhD candidate you will be offered a full-time (38 hours/week) position for four years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis. After 6-9 months into the first contract year admission to years 2-4 is decided based on a qualifier exam. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2.191,-- in the first year to € 2.801,-- gross per month in the final year, plus a holiday allowance (8%), an end-year bonus (8,3% of the annual salary) and a number of additional benefits. The University of Twente provides excellent campus facilities, and actively supports professional and personal development.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.


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University of Twente is a university located in Enschede, Netherlands and partner of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU).

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