PhD positions Constitutive material behavior in metal forming (2.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 36,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world (see our ranking:, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Two PhD positions are available in the Advanced Production Engineering (APE) research group at the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG), Faculty of Science and Engineering. For more information about the APE group please use the following link:

Job description

PhD position 1: Subcritical annealing of martensitic chromium steel on metal forming
Metal forming is a widely used method to form steel products efficient in mass manufacturing. As steel is highly recyclable its usage helps in creating a more sustainable world. A special group of steels are the martensitic stainless steels. This material is used for metal parts that need to be strong, corrosion and wear resistant. Current trend in metal forming is to form more and smaller details in a robust way by using multiple metal forming steps. Especially in small (micro) parts where the relation between material thickness and product size is large, the use of additional annealing steps give possibilities to extend the metal forming borders. The forming characteristics of the material after annealing are dependent on temperature, time and strains applied in the first steps. Yield strength, strain hardening behavior and anisotropy are all material parameters that are influencing the forming process. A thorough understanding of the material behavior and its sensitiveness is essential to predict the interaction of metal forming steps with the Finite Element Method and to design a robust metal forming process. This project will focus on the material behavior itself. Parallel to this project a second project is defined to create an implementation of the constitutive material model for the use in an industrial environment.

PhD position 2: Numerical implementation of constitutive material behavior in metal forming processes
In mass manufacturing, metal forming is an efficient way to use material and energy to create products with tight tolerances to the final shape and good recyclability. Modelling of metal forming processes has reached a high maturity in the last years. There is need for more accurate details in the products and to make the processes more accurate and robust in future. Additional usage of heat treatments helps to reach that goal. Research of material behavior is needed to be able to make the right design of metal forming steps in an early stage of product development. The constitutive behavior of the materials can be difficult to implement in finite element method (FEM), which is used to develop the metal forming processes. For example, in a heat treatment the grain growth, yield strength and strain hardening exponent are largely influenced by annealing temperature and time and have influence on the constitutive behavior after annealing. This project will focus on a general, if possible standardized, implementation method of the constitutive behavior in a non-linear FEM environment. To make the project more specific, a parallel project is defined to investigate the material behavior of a martensitic stainless steel by subcritical annealing.


Candidates should have a Master degree in materials science and engineering. A strong background in materials physics and metals processing, modeling and simulation in materials science and engineering will be a clear advantage for the two positions, respectively. The successful candidate is expected to have an excellent academic record and is curious, creative and ambitious. You should be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment in close cooperation with other experts and be fluent in English (both oral and written).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a full-time position (1.0 FTE) of four years
• a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth year for a full-time working week
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus

The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

The preferred starting date is 1 October 2022

Job Application

Applications should include the following:

- a letter of motivation
- a curriculum vitae including the contact information of at least two academic references
- transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
- a list of publications.

You may apply for this position until 31 July 11:59pm / before 1 August 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Jan Post

Prof. Y. Pei
+31 50 3632037

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222411-12

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