PhD on droplet microfluidics: Stability of emulsions in shear flows – University of Delft (the Netherlands)


Industrial production of emulsions comprises a rich set of multiphase phenomena, not only during the initial emulsification, but also after production, e.g. during pumping, filtering, and filling. In a flowing emulsion, droplets can deform, aggregate, break up, coalesce, stick to/release from the wall, or migrate and self-organize within the flow field. The dynamics of these phenomena become even richer when considering the spreading of surfactants/polymers to facilitate the flow as for example done in enhanced oil recovery. Understanding these different phenomena is crucial for predicting the performance and stability of emulsion-based products. This project does not stand on its own, but is part of a larger synergetic research program between different academic and industrial partners.


The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The Department of Chemical Engineering ( promotes the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge in chemical engineering, with a focus on materials for energy and health applications. We aspire to improve the quality of life in a sustainable society through discovery and innovation, the quality of life of our graduates through inspiration and teaching, and the quality of life of our peers through collaboration and exchange. With a proud heritage in chemical engineering, the department seeks to break new ground in areas where molecular understanding and engineering design meet.


The goal of this project is to advance the current understanding on how concentrated emulsions flow through narrow constrictions. More specifically, we aim to understand how complex flow patterns are governed by the rich interplay between the cooperative motion of the droplets, the microstructure of the emulsion and the geometry of constrictions. To this end, we will develop and use experimental techniques, such as micro Particle Image Velocimery, to study such flows in model geometries made in microfluidic devices.


We are looking for a PhD student with interest in the areas of microscale fluid dynamics, emulsions, and soft matter physics. You should have:

  • a MSc degree in applied physics, chemical engineering, food technology, mechanical engineering or a similar discipline, with excellent laboratory skills (preferably microscopy and microfluidics).
  • a strong theoretical background in fluid dynamics and transport phenomena, preferably complemented with a good understanding of surface tension phenomena and soft matter physics.
  • a curious mind-set, are self-driven, not afraid to take initiative, and able to easily communicate with others.
  • a high English proficiency in speaking, writing and reading.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


In case you have questions on the contents of this project, please contact Volkert van Steijn, the PI on this project, directly through:

Minds for Innovation is the recruitment partner for this project. For more information regarding recruitment please contact Jolanda de Roo. E:, T: + 316 572 913 50.


To apply, please submit:

• a detailed CV
• the abstract of your thesis (one page and if available)
• two references
• a letter of motivation in PDF file.

“although the position is open until filled, candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their application before April 7.

This project needs to start per direct.

As one of the first selection steps, you will be invited to participate on our specialised online assessment. If you would like to know more about why we use this and how we have set it up, then check out our website.