Skip to main content

Warning message

PhD student / Research fellow positions for Masters of Science in Engineering with maritime specialisation (Naval Architecture) on mathematical modelling of ship manoeuvring in shallow water

PhD student / Research fellow positions for Masters of Science in Engineering with maritime specialisation (Naval Architecture) on mathematical modelling of ship manoeuvring in shallow water

Last application date
Dec 17, 2018 17:00

TW15 - Department of Civil engineering

Limited duration

Master of Science in Engineering: naval architecture, maritime engineering, or equivalent

Occupancy rate

Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description
The Maritime Technology Division ( is a research group within the Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Ghent University. Their research is focussing on hydrodynamics of ships and other floating structures in general, and more particularly on the behaviour of ships in confined navigation areas. Additionally, the division is involved in research w.r.t. hydrodynamics of wave energy conversion and, more recently, engineering aspects of aquaculture.
The behaviour of ships in restricted waters (access channels, canals, locks, harbour docks) is the major research topic of the Division. This research, covering the hydrodynamics of seagoing and inland vessels in navigation areas with restrictions in both depth and horizontal extent, is performed in close co-operation with Flanders Hydraulics Research (FHR, Flemish Government, Antwerp) within the Knowledge Centre Manoeuvring in Shallow and Confined Water ( This research can be considered as a niche within the field of ship hydrodynamics, as ships are mostly designed for open, deep sea; as a result, most ship hydrodynamics research worldwide is mainly focused on deep water conditions. For this reason, the Knowledge Centre has gained international recognition as one of the leading research groups in ship behaviour in confined waters. Such conditions are of main concern for ships in access channels to ports, harbour areas, docks, locks, berths.
Most research is based on ship model experiments (mainly executed at the Towing Tank for Manoeuvres in Confined Water - co-operation Flanders Hydraulics Research & Ghent University). The present facilities, located in Antwerp, consist of a basin with overall dimensions 85 m x 7 m x 0.5 m, equipped with a planar motion carriage allowing captive and free-running tests with ship models of up to 4.5 m length. The tank is equipped with a wave generator and an additional carriage for ship-ship interaction, and can be reconverted to account for the presence of banks and harbour layouts. The facility is unique thanks to its full automation, which allows unmanned operation 24/7. A new towing tank for manoeuvres in shallow water is under construction in Ostend (, in symbiosis with a Coastal and Ocean Basin; it will allow the use of models up to 8 m length thanks to the increased
dimensions of the tank (150 m x 20 m x 1 m).
The results of the model tests can be applied in several ways. Based on the output of captive manoeuvring tests, mathematical models for simulating the behaviour of manoeuvring ships can be developed, which can be validated by free-running model tests. Mathematical manoeuvring models can be applied in fast-time or real-time simulation studies. The latter can be executed on one of the three full-mission bridge simulators (one of them being dedicated to inland navigation) at Flanders Hydraulics Research, typically for designing new navigation areas assessing the accessibility of existing navigation areas for larger vessels.
In the frame of several acquired and future research projects, the Maritime Technology Division is looking for new staff members. The research topics are related to (list is not exhaustive):
+ the analysis of captive manoeuvring tests in shallow water for developing simulation models
+ the behaviour of ships in contact with a muddy bottom,
+ autonomous ships,
+ ship emissions in access channels and harbours.
You will be supervised by the professors and post-doctoral researchers of the UGent Maritime Technology Division and, depending on the research project, possibly also by the staff of the nautical research group of FHR. Your working place can be located in Ghent, Antwerp and/or Ostend. Depending on the type of research project, you will be either employed as research staff or granted a PhD scholarship.

Profile of the candidate
We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic Master of Science in Engineering with maritime specialisation (Naval Architecture or equivalent), with the following skills and competences:
+ Candidates should be well-qualified academically to masters level with maritime background. The project will require a mix of skills, including mathematical modelling, programming, simulation skills and practical engineering aspects. Involvement in experimental testing in a towing tank or flume is expected as well;
+ Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills. Due to the complex structure of the project consortium which consists of groups with quite varying professional background, communication skills are of high importance;
+ Candidates must be flexible, responsible and team workers;
+ Candidates must be proficient in English. Knowledge of Dutch is convenient, but not a requirement;
+ Mathematical programming expertise is highly required;
+ Prior experience in data analysis and related statistics using appropriate software tools is considered as an advantage

How to apply
Send your cv, academic records, proof of English proficiency, motivation letter and any other supporting material to

PhD student / Research fellow positions for Masters of Science in Engineering with maritime specialisation (Naval Architecture) on mathematical modelling of ship manoeuvring in shallow water

Ghent University, Antwerp
Permanent contract
Engineer, R&D Engineer