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Open Application (self-funded) PhD Positions

We are a multi-disciplinary research group at the Department of Architectural Engineering & Technology (AE&T), consisting of architects, structural engineers and material scientists, with expertise in structural mechanics, structural materials and structural design. We engineer novel materials, explore useful mechanical characteristics, develop new structural systems and associated design methods for safe, sustainable and elegant architectural structures.  We use a broad range of methods, including physical prototyping and experimental testing / characterization, numerical modelling, coding and AI.

We are constantly looking for outstanding individuals to join our research group. We are currently seeking self-funded PhD students in topics related to:

  • Innovations in architectural glass including: reuse and disassembly of glass units (e.g. IGUs); strength of glass; recycling of architectural glass; glass topology optimization; glass in restoration of historic monuments.

  • Artificial intelligence methods for structural systems for: life-cycle optimization; structural integrity management; infrastructure resilience; risk & reliability; design optimization.

  • Circular timber structures: urban mining and assessment of existing timber components; design and manufacturing of structural systems from timber waste or local and underutilized wood sources; longevity and reconfigurability of timber structures.

  • Bio-based architectural materials and structures: innovative structural applications for biobased materials (e.g. fibrous materials, earth); biomaterials from waste streams; remanufacturable biomaterials.

  • Novel architectural materials out of recycled waste: Recycling and manufacturing processes for challenging and contaminated waste streams (e.g. plastics, ceramics), and material characterization and mechanical properties evaluation of the novel materials.

Joining our group as a self-funded PhD means that you secure the funding required for your PhD.  This can be a personal scholarship or grant (full-time PhD candidate), or a sponsorship from your employer (part-time PhD candidate). It is advisable to do your PhD research on a full-time basis, if possible. The alternative is to keep your current job and stay where you live and work on your project part-time as an external PhD candidate. Both options require you to secure your own funding.


  • Research proposal: To join our group, you should be interested in multidisciplinary research and your proposal must fit within the portfolio of one of the research topics above.

  • You should be able to work in a team, take initiative and be creative.

  • Degree: You have a Master’s degree. We welcome Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in Architecture, Building Technology, Built Environment, Civil Engineering, Materials Science, Computer Science or another Engineering field that supports the research topics within our group. You should have a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 75% of the scale maximum.

  • Finances: If you plan to attain your PhD at our group with a scholarship, the living costs in the Netherlands for the entire (4-year) PhD duration must be covered by the scholarship of the PhDs study in addition to the mandatory tuition and bench fees (€21.000). You will be asked for evidence that you can cover these living expenses. We will not accept PhD candidates who we think will struggle financially. You can find more info on the exact costs via this link under the finances tab.

  • English Language Proficiency: The minimum requirement is a TOEFL score of 100 and IELTS of 7.0 (with scores of at least 6.5 for all sections) applies to all candidates wanting to pursue a PhD or PDEng programme at TU Delft. Native speakers will be exempt from the English test requirement. Non-native applicants who have obtained an English-taught Master’s degree may also be exempted, but this is subject to an internal review during the selection process.   

  • CV: You must provide a curriculum vita using the Europass-format.

  • Further info: You can find more information on self-funded PhDs at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment here.


Submit CV and

Research Proposal

Submission of Documents


Interview by ReStruct

Review and 

Interview by

Graduate School

Step 1: If you wish to join us via a self-funded PhD position, please submit your CV and a one-A4 page motivation and research proposal to Your motivation letter should indicate how you intend to finance your PhD (e.g. via scholarship, employer funding, self-funding). We will do a first review of your proposal within six weeks. Your proposal will be assessed based on the scientific quality and societal relevance of your research proposal/idea, the quality of your curriculum vitae and the (potential) fulfilment of our requirements.

Step 2: After a positive outcome we will invite you for a preliminary interview, in person or online.

Step 3: Following that , you will have to submit all the required documents (see full list here), including a more extensive research proposal (using this format)  via the A+BE Graduate School website.

Step 4: After a formal review of all required documents and an interview by our faculty’s Graduate School it will be formally decided if you are accepted as a PhD candidate.

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