The PhD researchers are motivated to perform at the highest international level. They are encouraged to participate in international research committees and to present their research results on conferences and to discuss their results with researchers from academia and industry.
The progress is evaluated and monitored in regular meetings while bottlenecks are discussed to guarantee high standard results. The next phases of the project are discussed among the researcher and his supervisors and, if necessary, reconsidered and adjusted to incorporate the latest state of the art ideas.
Ideas for innovative research topics are elaborated in regular brain storm sessions with our external partners. As an example the research into the application of high strength and very high strength steel grades in civil engineering structures was the outcome of such debates. Another example, not yet fully developed but with high potential, is the development of so-called plug and play connections (connections that need no bolts nor welding) using clamps, clinching (deformations) and adhesive bonding.
A PhD student investigates one major topic for a period of four years. Experiments are often performed in the first phase of a project in order to investigate a phenomenon or failure mechanism. In addition to that, the PhD student has time to analyze data thoroughly and make a model to explain the experimental results in a better or more comprehensive way. Software based on Finite element method are often used, but also analytical or physical models are developed. Furthermore, PhD students work on their personal development via a training program of the TU Delft Graduate School.
An overview of the current PhD researchers can be found here.