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PhD position Dynamic analysis and human vibration perception of hand held (V23.0732)

Job description

We are looking for a candidate to undertake research in the field of dynamics and vibration, with a particular focus on dynamic analysis and modelling of in hand vibrations of consumer products. This project is in collaboration with Philips.

The aim of this project is to analyse the vibrations transmitted by consumer products to their hands in order to improve their perception. An accurate model of the product dynamics coupled to hand can provide us with predictions on how the vibrations are perceived by the consumers. These predictions from the models can be made at an early stage before any prototypes are made. If unpleasant human perception being predicted, then the vibration levels can be reduced by design modification for healthy products.

First, a numerical model of the product coupled with hand will be generated in order to understand its vibration behaviour and interaction with hand. Initially, a simple model will be proposed, for example a single spring and a damper to be considered as the coupling system and then the number of degrees of freedom/complexity will be increased by adding more elements in order to accurately represent the vibrations of the coupled system.

Then experiments will be carried out on the prototypes for several users/subjects to measure the response on the hands as well as on the product and monitor how individuals perceive these vibrations. Fourier transform will be applied to the measured time signals in order to obtain the frequency components of the signal. Operational modal analysis will be carried out to obtain the eigenvalues and the mode-shapes. The experimental modal parameters ( natural frequencies, modeshapes) can then be used in order to update the model and to have a better dynamic representation of the coupled system. The vibrations of the coupled system will then be analysed under different operating conditions such as varying forces, friction and changes in the stiffness of components.

Then a prediction of human perception to vibrations will be obtained from subjects in order to quantify if the vibrations are perceived to be uncomfortable or unpleasant. The results from human perception will then be used in the model to predict unpleasant in hand vibrations. An in hand discomfort model can be developed using machine learning approaches. Finally, we build an “in hand vibrations” discomfort standard.

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has been our top priority for over four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University. We offer first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering subject areas, from mathematics, astronomy and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy and nanoscience. Our community has an open and informal character with students and staff from around the world.


• a recognized institution has granted a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing with a notable academic track record
• proficiency in theoretical aspects of vibration testing and control, as well as the processing and analysis of vibration signals, with an added advantage of familiarity with structural health monitoring
• desirable practical expertise in utilizing data acquisition systems such as dSpace, NI modules, Siemens Scadas, and equipments such as modal shakers, accelerometers, etc.
• proficient programming skills in Matlab/Python/LabVIEW
• demonstrated capability in independent research, exemplified by exceptional performance in the MSc thesis
• excellent proficiency in both spoken and written English, and knowledge of spoken Dutch would be advantageous for this purpose
• possession of a critical mindset and the ability to think analytically.


Conditions of employment

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth and final year (based on a full-time employment)
• a holiday allowance and end-of-year bonus of respectively 8% and 8.3% of your gross annual income
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE) for four years: first, you will get a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years; prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and you will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

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Applications for the position should include:

• a cover letter (1–2 pages) introducing yourself and describing your motivation to apply for this position and how your background fits with the position
• a CV (max 2 pages) demonstrating academic excellence, including details of BSc and MSc degrees
• copies of your academic records from your BSc and MSc studies
• contact details of two academic references

You may apply for this position until 30 January 11:59 pm / before 31 January 2024 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the online application form (click on “Apply” below the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Prof. Maryam Ghandchi Tehrani, m.ghandchitehrani

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.