Professor of Multibody Dynamics of Flexible Systems

Ref: 4306

University of Twente

Twente, The Netherlands

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Role Managed by:

Annabelle McLaren-Thomson

Research Associate

t: +31 (0) 202 404 370


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: competitive

Closing Date: 01/05/2020

Formal Interview Date: End May / beginning of June

The Faculty of Engineering Technology at the University of Twente is currently seeking to appoint a full professor in the area of Multibody Dynamics of Flexible Systems. The position contributes to work in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering, in the area of the control of (soft) robotic systems, and the Department of Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces and Systems, in the area of nonlinear dynamics. The chair will be positioned in the Department of Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces and Systems but the two Departments work in close collaboration.

Job Description

Modern multibody systems increasingly utilise flexible structures to replace hinges or to safely interact with the environment (i.e. a human operator). The dynamic behaviour of these flexible, inherently nonlinear structures becomes increasingly complex. Safe implementation and control requires accurate and fast simulation models to study deformations of individual components during large system motions. This is only possible with effective model reduction methods.

This research chair aims to develop techniques to evaluate and simulate the dynamic behaviour of flexible systems that may include intrinsic nonlinearities such as plasticity and interactions with other objects and the environment (e.g. air, fluid). Application areas are (soft) robotics, precision engineering, digital twins of manufacturing systems, wind turbines and offshore design.

Job Requirements

Working in close collaboration with the other professors in the Faculty and Department, the candidate will play a leading and inspiring role to strengthen and broaden our fundamental research portfolio and teaching programs in mechanical and biomedical engineering. As such, applicants will be selected based on their potential to initiate and lead novel scientific research, develop and contribute to modern educational programs and invest in international networks. Thus, the successful appointee will be expected to:

  • be an outstanding scientist within the field of nonlinear dynamics and complementary to the ongoing research at the University of Twente, with an affinity for biomedical engineering and high-tech systems;
  • have a clear and inspiring vision on the future development of the field;
  • have a passion for teaching and for developing education that cultivate student-learning (you hold a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) for Dutch Universities, a similar qualification, or are willing to obtain this);
  • be an excellent and inspiring teacher and coach, with a proven capability of leading a multi-disciplinary team;
  • be actively involved in the relevant academic networks and able to engage with both science and industry;
  • demonstrate a track record in successfully obtaining grant funding;
  • have strong communication skills in English.

Our offer

The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

We offer you:

  • A full-time tenured position as Professor with a competitive salary and excellent benefits.
  • An international work environment, with colleagues from many different countries from all over the world.
  • Excellent research facilities.
  • A startup package of maximum €300,000 for temporary personnel or infrastructure.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8,3%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 29 holidays in case of fulltime employment.
  • Possibilities to save up holidays for sabbatical leave.
  • Professional and personal development programs.
  • A family friendly institution, offering support for (the careers of) partners and family.

How to Apply

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver to assist the recruitment committee. Applications should consist of a covering letter explaining motivation and qualifications for the position and a full curriculum vitae, including a list of publications.

Dr Annabelle McLaren-Thomson may be contacted for informal enquiries and questions about the post on +31 (0) 20 240 4370 or Applications can be uploaded at, quoting reference number 4306. The deadline for applications for this position is 09:00 am (CET) on Friday 1st May 2020.

Applications will be considered by the recruitment committee and preliminarily shortlisted candidates will subsequently be invited for informal conversations with the University, after which a formal shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview and campus visits. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate will take place thereafter.

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