PhD Self-healing coatings for corrosion protection

Most of the protective coatings do not provide a perfect barrier against the ingress of moisture and oxygen. In particular, the introduction of mechanical defects during the life cycle of the coated metal may provide direct access of corrosive species to the polymer-metal interface. Active protection against corrosion could be a solution for coating deterioration. This could be by incorporation of film-forming agents and/or corrosion inhibitors in the coating and timely their release in case of defect or damage of the coating. Nowadays, the leaching mechanism is a key feature in the state of the art of active corrosion protection ensuring interaction with the substrate and protection of the substrate from the aggressive environment and corrosion. A thorough and detailed study of their protective action mechanism is lacking at this stage. It is therefore the aim of this Ph.D. project to mechanistically study the local electrochemical behaviour in and around coating defects for a shortlist of promising compounds, screened by advanced high-throughput testing, together with complementary local surface analyses.

This project is within a large European consortium aiming to develop, characterize, and model self-healing coating behaviours.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering undertakes innovative research dedicated to developing, producing, characterizing and manipulating materials, with a focus on metals. Our goal is to enhance fundamental understanding, forming the basis for better performance, a longer life cycle and preserved functionality, while at the same time improving the sustainable use of resources. With a focus on metals and metal related materials, the MSE department conducts research dedicated to the sustainable development and characterization of materials that perform better, last longer, enhance functionality, conserve resources and have a low environmental footprint, bridging the gap between societal needs and available resources.

It is expected that you will:

  • Setup the experimental platform required for this project
  • Conduct electrochemical spectroscopy, surface analysis and corrosion testing
  • Tune synthesis paraments together with other partners.
  • Provide experimental feedback to the modelers within the consortium.
  • Write a doctoral dissertation, publish results in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and present research in international conferences.
  • Engage in education activities, such as supervising master students.

You should have the following qualifications:

  • MSc in polymer engineering, chemical engineering or materials science and engineering or a related area.
  • Experience with electrochemistry and surface analysis.
  • Experience with polymers and organic compounds.
  • Eager to conduct a multidisciplinary project
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to be a team-player in a multidisciplinary setting.
  • Self-starter with initiative and ability to setup, organize, and execute your research.

contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Peyman Taheri, Assistant Professor, email: or tel: +31 (0) 15 278 4526.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Hilma Bleeker, HR-advisor email:

Please note that applications send by email will not be processed.


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