PhD position Smart Hysteretic Piezoelectric Actuators – Control and Modelling


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 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.

A PhD position is available in the Discrete Technology & Production Automation group at the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG), Faculty of Science and Engineering. For more information about ENTEG please use the following link:

Job description

Topic of research: Smart Hysteretic Piezoelectric actuator for set and forget wafer table

Piezoelectric actuators have been used extensively in high-tech systems due to their particular material properties allowing them to be deployed for high-precision engineering systems. Piezoelectric actuators are widely used in a broad range of application areas such as biomedical, aerospace, energy harvesting, etc. In most applications that use standard PZT material, a constant electric field is applied to the piezoelectric actuators in order to reach the desired displacement/material deformation. This actuation principle has introduced design challenges when a high-density and high-precision actuation array are required, such as, in high-precision deformable surface applications. The aim of this project is to investigate the multi-domain dynamical modelling and control of high-density Hysteretic Piezoelectric Actuators (HPA) systems in the ASML edge roll-off compensation table. The research will be done in close collaboration with ASML and Physik Instrumente. The successful candidate will work in a multidisciplinary research environment where engineering and materials science are to be combined to improve the development of highly efficient and reliable piezoelectric systems.

We are looking for a talented, curious, enthusiastic, and motivated life scientist for a four-year PhD position. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and conferences, and to assist in the supervision of research projects for both bachelor and master students.


Candidates should have a MSc degree with expertise/background in Mechatronics, Control Engineering or related fields. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates with background in Mechatronics, Control Engineering, piezoelectric devices. Relevant experience in the fabrication and control of systems will be a clear advantage.

The successful candidate is expected to have an excellent academic record and should be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment in close cooperation with other experts. Excellent communication skills and good command of English (oral and written) are also required.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- 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 and final year
- a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
- minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. 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 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.

Job Application

You may apply for this position until 23 October 11:59pm / before 24 October 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Documents to submit:

- motivation letter (no more than one A4 page)
- CV (no more than four A4 pages)
- list of publications (if any)
- transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees
- contact information of three academic referees (title, full name, affiliation, email address).

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:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

dr. Mónica Acuautla

Prof. dr. ir. Bayu Jayawardhana

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222633

Digital application form