Postdoctoral Research Assistant – Experimental investigation of high-speed low-pressure turbines

The salary and benefits are dependent on skills and experience
Apr 25, 2019
Jun 25, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type


2 years (with a possible extension up to 3 years)

Detailed description:

We are seeking a full-time Postdoctoral Research Assistant to join the von Karman Institute in the Department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion. The position is initially fixed-term for two years, but can be further extended by one year.

As part of a team investigating advanced technologies for future aero-engine turbomachinery, you will support the experimental research programs of the von Karman Institute turbomachinery and propulsion Laboratory. The post-doc assistant will be responsible for the design, execution and management of measurement test campaigns investigating the aerodynamics of future high-speed low-pressure turbines.

The candidate will be responsible for the design, commissioning and use of the VKI turbomachinery test facilities such as the world-class transonic rotating turbine rig CT3 and the high-speed low-Reynolds S1/C linear cascade. In particular, she or he will be responsible for the planning of the research objectives, the design of experiments, the implementation of measurement techniques and the processing and analysis of the acquired data.

The postdoctoral assistant will work with internal and/or external technical services to drive the conception, mechanical design and production of test models and rig hardware using 3D CAD software including preparation of detailed technical drawings. She or he will direct the design and commissioning of instrumentation and control systems for the test facilities, with a leading role in the procurement of equipment.

The successful applicant must be familiar with experimental techniques for testing of high-speed turbomachinery, preferably with proven expertise in turbine aerothermal measurements and with previous lab experience on rotating rigs and/or linear cascade testing. The job requires multitasking skills and predisposition towards teamwork while liaising closely with faculty, student and staff members.

The position holder must have time management skills, being able to set independently work priorities to maintain stringent project schedules in a goal-oriented environment. Responsibilities will also include project and cost tracking.

The candidate is also expected to organize the research data and report results and findings to colleagues and external research sponsors. The candidate is expected to contribute actively to the dissemination of her/his research findings through conference participation and peer-reviewed articles.

The candidate will also assist with grant proposal preparation and will mentor graduate and PhD students involved in the experimental projects.


You will have a PhD in Mechanical, Aeronautical/Aerospace or related engineering field, preferably on a subject related to experimental testing of turbomachinery and high-speed flows.
Experience is required in the field of turbomachinery and experimental fluid dynamics. A proven background in the following subjects is demanded: turbomachinery flows, measurement techniques for aerothermal turbomachinery testing, experimental data analysis and processing. The position requires ability to design, prepare and execute activities related to aerothermal research wind tunnels including instrumentation selection and preparation, test data acquisition and signal conditioning.

Applicants with a record of accomplishment in experimental fluid dynamics and with demonstrated lab experience will be given preference. Familiarity with unsteady pressure measurement techniques for turbomachinery flows is preferred. Familiarity with optical techniques (laser techniques, infrared thermography, Schlieren, PSP, PIV, etc.) and previous testing experience in rotating rigs and/or high-speed wind tunnels is an asset. A background in the following subjects will also be a valuable asset: design optimization of turbomachines and active flow control techniques.

Knowledge of data-processing programming languages (such as Python or Matlab) is a requisite. Good knowledge of CAD software (such as CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, etc.) and capability to read and generate complex technical drawings is a requirement. LabVIEW expertise is an asset. Knowledge and experience in turbomachinery CFD is also an asset, but not a requisite. Fluent knowledge of English (oral and written) is mandatory.

Candidates are expected to be self-motivated, hardworking and team players. We ensure a high-level of interaction in a world-known international research center specialized in fluid dynamics for aerospace, environmental and propulsion applications.

The appointment is fixed-term (2 years). The salary and benefits are dependent on skills and experience. We maintain a very friendly and international working environment, which will provide easy adaptation for the selected applicant.

You will be required to upload a covering letter, including a brief statement of research interests (describing how past experience and future plans fit with the advertised position), CV, publication list and the contact of two referees as part of your application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Assistant Professor Sergio Lavagnoli (

This position is ONLY open to citizens of member countries of EU or NATO.

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