Skip navigation MENU


PDEng position – Energy & Process Technology



Design of a new process route for closed die forging and subsequent energy-neutral heat treatment.

Job description/the challenge

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) program Energy & Process Technology offers you a 2-year position combining post MSc education and a design project to be carried out at VDL Weweler. The educational program, carried out at the University of Twente, will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with VDL Weweler in Apeldoorn, you will work on high level, creative new designs for complex issues.


Background of the PDEng Project

At VDL Weweler in Apeldoorn, parts are formed at high temperatures by closed die forging. For this purpose, commonly steel grade 51CrV4 is used. After forging, the product is cooled down somewhat to recrystallize, after which it must be heated again for a heat treatment. With a, for Weweler, new steel grade 61SiCr7, it must be possible to harden and temper the product directly after hot forming. The material then gets an ausferritic structure instead of the usual martensitic structure. This yields economic and ecological advantages because the product does not need to be re-heated. The product’s quality is determined by the microstructure of the material, which in turn depends on the thermo-mechanical history of the material (deformation and temperature evolution). The hardness, fatigue strength and surface roughness are most relevant properties for the current product. In this project, the relation between the microstructure and these properties must be determined. It is expected that the ausferritic structure is more ductile, which makes the surface roughness less critical.

The Project

The PDEng project title is:
“Design of a new process route for closed die forging and subsequent energy-neutral heat treatment”.

The evolution of deformation and temperature in the to-be-designed process can be predicted with the finite element program DEFORM. For this particular material, the flow stress evolution is not yet available and therefore, the influence on the forming process and the service life of the tools cannot be determined accurately. Silicon is an important alloying element that enables creation of the ausferritic structure in the tempering treatment. Steel grade 61SiCr7 is a commercially available material, but in this project also another (silicon-alloyed) steel with slightly different composition could be considered. In literature, the ausferritic structure does not seem to be studied a lot, compared to e.g. the bainitic structure. VDL Weweler therefore aims to obtain good insight in the effects of applying this material structure in their production process. To design a new process within the realm of the PDEng design assignment, you will investigate the following aspects:

1. What are the relevant product properties that are determined by the thermo-mechanical process?
2. What thermo-mechanical history leads to the required microstructure? If this is not sufficiently clear from literature or from the supplier, experiments can be performed with the Gleeble thermo-mechanical simulator at the University of Twente.
3. What models and model parameters in DEFORM are suitable to predict deformation in the forging process in the ausferritic phase of the material?
4. How does the fatigue strength of the product depend on the process settings?
5. Design a process in which hardening and tempering takes place directly after hot forming. Determine the process constraints such that the product fulfills the requirements.


We offer you a very challenging position for two years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. In the time, we will provide you with a tailor made post-master design program that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%). You will be supervised by a team of experts from both VDL Weweler and the University of Twente. See the application link of VDL for their salary and terms of employment.

On successfully completing the program, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree PDEng and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).

Position requirements

For this PDEng position, we expect that:

- You hold a MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, or related programmes with a clear focus on mechanical behaviour of materials;
- You have demonstrated affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments;
- You have a passion for finding solutions for complex technological issues;
- You have excellent collaboration and communication skills;
- You are self-starting and self-motivating, willing to take initiatives and feel the responsibility for your own project;

Candidates with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

Please send your Curriculum Vitae and letter of motivation before 30-04-2021 to VDL Weweler: Important, also add to your Curriculum Vitae a list with grades of courses attended, references and, if applicable, a list of publications.

We will contact you after the deadline for applying to this project is closed, which is after the 30th of April. Only applications submitted trough VDL Weweler will be considered.


If you have any further questions about this vacancy of the PDEng programme in Energy & Process Technology, please contact A.H. van de Boogaard:
Telephone: +31 53 489 4785

See for more information about the PDEng programmes.


VDL Weweler is part of VDL Group, an international industrial family-owned company that is a conglomerate of flexible, independent companies each with its own specialty. VDL Weweler belongs to the finished products division. The other divisions are car assembly, buses & coaches and subcontracting. The strength of VLD Group lies in the cooperation between the companies. VDL Weweler has approximately 180 employees and over the last nearly 100 years has developed into a leading international designer and manufacturer of (air) suspension solutions for trailers, trucks and buses. It produces, tests and sells air suspension systems, axle lift systems and parabolic springs.

VDL Weweler has a flat organizational structure with short lines of communication. Continuous effort is put into improving the existing no-nonsense culture in which informal, personal, professional and open communication predominates. The company’s culture is best described by the collective VDL credo: “Strength through co-operation”. As within all VDL companies, the heart of VDL Weweler is formed by the dedicated employees and the expert craftsmanship at all levels. VDL Weweler has attained and maintained their competitive position through the efforts of motivated and flexible professionals.

PDEng position – Energy & Process Technology
Published on: 29-03-2021
Collega's over AKOS
Stel een vraag