Assistant Professor Acoustic Materials (TUE, Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

Application deadline: Fri 30 Sep 2022

Job description

The Department

The Department of the Built Environment  houses a unique wide spectrum of disciplinary knowledge in the fields of architecture, urban planning and building technology (e.g. structural design, building physics, materials technology and building information modelling). We act at various levels of scale, from materials to buildings to cities and pay attention to the impact of design and technology on humans. This diversity profiles us, and we cherish it. Our mission is to educate students and advance science and technology from the perspective of the built environment and for the benefit of humanity. We integrate teaching, research and design in one educational program to empower students to become thought leaders, to (re)shape cities and the construction industry beyond the limits of the current imagination.

The department employs about 260 academic staff members, including approximately 190 PhDs, PDEngs and Postdocs, organized in disciplinary units. Scientists within the units are encouraged to team up over the borders of their own field of expertise in cross-disciplinary research and education on the themes: energy transition, sustainability and inclusiveness. Through cooperation with other departments in the TU/e institutes on Energy Transition (EIRES), Artificial Intelligence (EAISI) and the self-founded Urban Development Initiative (UDI) we create new ecosystems with governmental agencies and industry and thereby contribute to a healthy, sustainable and inclusive built environment.

Academic field and positioning

The Building Acoustics research group of the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for an assistant professor (on a tenure track position) in the area of acoustic materials. The position has been made possible through means of the Dutch sectorplan engineering, which aims to strengthen the disciplinary basis at universities.

Sound is everywhere around us in the built environment. It is created by natural and human sources of sound. Sounds can be pleasant and informative but they can also be a serious threat to our health. Unfortunately, sound is the second biggest environmental problem affecting health, causing annoyance, sleep disturbance and cardiovascular diseases. Yearly, it is estimated that 1,6 million disability-adjusted life years in Europe are lost from environmental noise. Continuously, new sources of sound arise (e.g. wind turbines, drones) as well as new building concepts. These facts face the Building Acoustics chair of the unit BPS with ever emerging challenges where adverse health effects due to sound sources should be minimized and the acoustic quality of spaces (for example to enhance speech intelligibility) should be guaranteed.

The essence of the research area of the chair is to study the influence of the built environment on the propagation of sound from sources to our ears. For this reason, it revolves around the continuous development of computational and experimental acoustic methods. The aim of these methods is to a) support fundamental and strategic research on understanding production (e.g. footsteps on a floor), propagation (wind effects outdoors) and perception (providing auralization tools) of sound in the built environment as well as to develop solutions and b) offer researchers and designers tools to integrate and optimize acoustics for a sustainable (re)design of the built environment. The research areas of the group are in Virtual Acoustics, Environmental Acoustics, Acoustic Materials and Effects of the Sound Environment on Humans.

Together with the impact of noise and the set aim towards a circular society regarding the use of materials in the building industry, it is important to keep developing sustainable materials for the built environment that possess favourable properties in terms of blocking but mostly absorbing sound and vibration. The research arena on this topic is recently accelerated by an increased involvement of additive manufacturing techniques. It is the purpose of this assistant professor position to develop such sustainable materials, with either a focus on numerical or experimental techniques, targeting to integrate them for built environment applications. The Building Acoustics research group has access to experimental facilities via the Building Acoustics laboratory Echo on the TU/e campus, and to 3D printers.

Research activities

The candidate is expected to carry out high quality scientific research in the field of acoustic materials for the built environment. It is the challenge to develop such materials that are lightweight, thin, sustainable, act in a wide frequency range, and have the potential to be constructed in real life. For this purpose, the candidate is expected to exploit 3D printing techniques, and where possible combine various absorbing or damping mechanisms. The assistant professor may have a focus within this research topic. The candidate is expected to acquire research funding to carry out the research together with junior researchers as PhD candidates and postdocs.

Research results should be communicated in high quality scientific journals, which should continue to strengthen the high impact  of the Building Acoustics research group. Besides, the group is developing an open research software and data policy and the assistant professor is expected to collaborate in this direction such that the related academic field can benefit from these developments and to pave the way to engineering applications.

At TU/e, there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate within and outside the Building Acoustics group, which is in the spirit of the university and department. For example, there is the Building Materials research group and the 3D Concrete Printing group. Internationally, the candidate is expected to play an active role in the research community on acoustic materials, which is in line with the profile of the Building Acoustics group.

Besides academic collaboration, involvement of industry and stakeholders is essential to transfer knowledge and products to industry. For this reason, it should be targeted to collaborate with such partners in research projects if appropriate.

Teaching activities

The candidate is expected to contribute to courses as well as to guide students in individual and group projects, both related to courses and projects of the Building Acoustics research group as well as in inter/multi-disciplinary and thematic courses and project work. The assistant professor is expected obtain his/her university teaching qualification (UTQ) and to become responsible for a course. The research area of the assistant professor is connected to courses both at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level.

Management and leadership skills

The assistant professor is expected to play an important role in the development of the Buiding Acoustics research group and its daily working atmosphere, as well as the department as a whole. This requires an open, collaborative, respectful and inspiring attitude to all coworkers and students with strong written and verbal communication skills.

Whilst not sharing final responsibility, the assistant professor will share the daily management tasks with postdocs, and the other staff members of the group, such as finances, personnel and HR, project acquisition and recruitment of PhD students and post-docs, daily supervisor and co-promotorship of PhD students. The candidate will also be involved in a departmental-wide management committee.

Future expectations

The assistant professor has his/her own research profile and is expected to develop his/her own research team when tenured, as an autonomous senior scientific research and educator taking initiative in high quality research and delivering high quality education. This team of the assistant professor is expected to be strongly intertwined with the Building Acoustics research group as a whole. The candidate is expected to be open for collaboration in research and education.

Job requirements

Knowledge, experience and skills

We are looking for a candidate with the following experience:

  • Possesses a PhD in the field of acoustics, preferably in acoustic materials;
  • Publishes research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • Has experience on a postdoc level, either in industry (R&D) or an academic institute;
  • Has the capacity to develop new acoustic materials based on a rigorous understanding of the involved physical processes;
  • Has the affinity to collaborate with related research areas as additive manufacturing, material science as well as architects in order to bring the acoustic concepts to a next level for getting attractive to industrial partners that are willing to manufacture it for the market, whereby addressing societal questions as circularity of materials;
  • Is reaching out to industry for collaboration;
  • Has a collaborative attitude;
  • Has strong verbal and written communication skills;
  • Is an inspiring researcher and educator;
  • Has the capacity to connect the outcomes of scientific research to education.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time position (0.8-1.0 FTE) in a dynamic and ambitious university with a broad (inter)national network.
  • A Tenure Track of five years. After a maximum of four years the tenure decision will be made, which may include a development path towards becoming an associate professor. If you have a more senior profile, a tailor-made career proposal will be considered.
  • Access to first class laboratory facilities, including laboratory on structural design, acoustics, materials, building physics, BIM (VR/AR) and robotics, including large scale 3D print facilities.
  • Free access to high-quality training programs for academic leadership, the university teaching qualification program, research and valorization competences, and a dedicated mentoring program to help you get to know the university and the Dutch (research) environment.
  • Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as the Dual Career Opportunity program to support accompanying partners, an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as is a tax compensation scheme (the 30% Facility) and Partner Career Support.

Information and application

About us
Eindhoven University of Technology  is a top-ranking Dutch university that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a number 1 position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

Curious to hear more about what it is like as an assistant professor at TU/e? Please view the video.

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact professor Maarten Hornikx (m.c.j.hornikx[at]tue.nl).
For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HR Services via HRservices.be[at]tue.nl.

Applications
We invite you to submit a complete application by using this link. Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of two references.
  • List of five self-selected ‘best publications or patents’ with a short description for each why you selected them.
  • Description of your scientific interests and plans (1-2 pages).
  • Statement of your teaching goals and experience (1-2 pages).

You are kindly invited to embed your vision on cross-disciplinary collaborations within the department in the description of your scientific interest and the statement of your teaching goals.
We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.