The aim of this project is to develop robust Reduced Order Methods (ROM) that can be applied to damage modelling in composites at the micro- and meso-scale. In previous and ongoing research, UGent-MMS is developing material models for fibre-reinforced composites under static, impact and fatigue loading. Those models are applied to Representative Volume Elements (RVE) at micro-scale (for unidirectional composites) and at meso-scale (for textile composites). The first step at micro- and meso-scale is homogenization of the elastic properties. This is straightforward at micro-scale, but not at meso-scale. If a nested textile composite is modelled with a fine mesh and periodic boundary conditions, this simple linear elastic step can already take several hours of calculation time. When damage models are applied, the calculation times are exponentially increasing, even at micro-scale. The combination of nonlinear visco-plasticity/damage modelling in the polymer matrix and fibre/matrix interface debonding quickly leads to long calculation times.
The main aim of this PhD position is to investigate to what extent Reduced Order Methods can reduce the calculation times in multi-scale modelling of composites. In a first step, existing ROM will be applied to linear elastic cases and damage modelling. In a next step, dedicated new ROM will be developed. The PhD fits in a 4-year research project (funded by SIM Flanders) where the research group UGent-MMS at Ghent University (Belgium) will collaborate with the research groups KUL-PMA and KUL-MTM at KULeuven (Belgium). The Industrial Advisory Board consists of Siemens Industry Software (SISW), Honda R&D, Materialise, LCV and TWE Meulebeke. This published PhD position is a joint PhD position between UGent-MMS and KULeuven-PMA, which will require an intensive collaboration and commuting between the two research groups. UGent-MMS will provide the know-how on damage modelling in composites, and KUL-PMA the know-how and background on Reduced Order Methods (ROM). The PhD student will be assisted by two postdoctoral research fellows, respectively at UGent-MMS and KULeuven-PMA.
Only candidates with a Master degree should apply. The candidate should have a strong background in mathematics and preferably have some knowledge about composites modelling. During the project the applicant has to be flexible to work both at the UGent-MMS site and at the KULeuven-PMA site.