ESR 7: Effect of polymer coating chemical topology on ice formation and adhesion on smooth coatings

Technische Universiteit Delft, Delft (The Netherlands)

Supervisor: Santiago J. Garcia

Doctoral position

We are looking for a young graduate with a Master’s degree in Polymer Science or equivalent, with experience in polymer synthesis, biomolecules, surface science and/or coatings for a 48-month doctoral position in the area of icephobic coatings.

The candidate will participate as an early-stage researcher (ESR) to the Marie Skłodowska – Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN) project: “Smart surface design for efficient ice protection and control” (SURFICE). A project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

The project will be carried out at the Novel Aerospace Materials group of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology under the supervision of associate professor Santiago Garcia. Secondments of 3-6 month at different MSCA-ITN partner institutions will be part of the project.

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering is one of the largest of the eight faculties at TU Delft and possibly the largest faculty entirely devoted to aerospace engineering and science in Europe. It is consistently one of the highest ranked faculties of its kind in the world. Through the years, the Faculty has responded to the increasing demands of the aerospace industry and related sciences by further expanding its facilities and laboratories. The Faculty is divided in four departments including Aerospace Structures and Materials (ASM) which hosts the Novel Aerospace Materials group (NovAM) and is responsible for the structures manufacturing and testing labs and the materials synthesis and characterization labs. NovAM is a social, trully international and multidisciplinary materials science group devoted to perform high-risk and disruptive research on novel material concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the aerospace sector in the mid and long term. In our research we explore unconventional approaches, focus on fundamental concepts but also develop successful ideas to a level suitable for absorption by the industry. The current areas of research are focused on thermodynamic design of novel alloys, novel polymers, self-healing materials, functional coatings and space materials.

The ESR will be matriculated at the PhD Graduate School of the TUDelft ( to increase disciplinary competences and to be trained in transferable and research skills. Other topic-related courses at the TUDelft or somewhere else will be offered.

Job Description

The NovAM group is looking for a PhD candidate to study the effect of polymer chemical topology of coatings on ice growth and ice adhesion. Although application aspects will be considered to bring the technology to higher maturity levels, the project is of a fundamental scientific nature. The candidate will work on polymer synthesis with initial focus on block copolymers and liquid crystals as well as advanced (polymer) characterization. You can therefore expect your work to be a good combination between polymer science and physical characterization of environmental-conditions dependent surface dynamic processes.  

Your profile

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a BSc and MSc in polymer science or/and biopolymer chemistry or Bionanotechnology with interest in applied polymer science and surface science.

The candidate should have experience with polymer synthesis and structure-property relationships, preferably related to coatings or thin films, copolymers and/or liquid crystals. A scientific mindset, team spirit and a clear motivation to go beyond the initially proposed ideas and goals is required. Prior experience on icing research and experience with advanced physical characterization of surfaces and interfaces will be an asset. The candidate should be proficient in English, both spoken and written, and demonstrate excellent communication and writing skills.

Institution address

Novel Aerospace Materials group, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands.

Important dates

Expected starting of the working contract: 1st June 2021.
Interviews for ESR7 have started, based on the CVs collected before 31st March. New applications will be considered, only until the positions are filled.

Application process

To apply for the position: submit the requested documents using this link  send an email to to indicate you submitted an application to the attention of Dr. Santiago Garcia.

Please include the application form and other documents given in the general information. The general information also indicates the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, the application requirements and the selection process.

For questions and further information on the position, please contact Dr. Santiago Garcia: .