PhD position in advanced numerical methods for fluid flow simulation

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam has a vacancy in the Scientific Computing research group for a PhD position, on the subject of Discrete approaches to closure modeling for fluid flow simulation.

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam has a vacancy in the Scientific Computing research group for a

PhD position,

on the subject of Discrete approaches to closure modeling for fluid flow simulation.

Job description

In this PhD project we will take a new look at the classic closure problem in fluid flows by using a discrete perspective. The closure problem is a deep, fundamental challenge for simulating fluid flow, important for topics ranging from aerodynamics and pipe flow to weather forecasting and climate studies. Instead of tackling the closure problem at the continuous level (at the level of partial differential equations), in this project we will develop new techniques to solve the closure problem at a discrete level. At the heart of this problem lies a discrete inverse problem for which new reduction and reconstruction methods need to be developed, embedded in the framework of structure-preserving discretization methods. Within this framework, there are ample opportunities to develop novel discrete reconstruction techniques, for example machine learning methods that possess invariants or symmetries. The developed techniques will be applied to solve turbulent and multi-phase flow problems.

The PhD student will be positioned at CWI as part of the Vidi project “Discretize first, reduce next: a new paradigm to closure models for fluid flow simulation”. The main supervision of this position will be by dr. B. Sanderse (, with opportunities for close collaboration with universities and industrial partners. The project will benefit from several related projects on structure-preserving neural networks and structure-preserving discretization methods for fluid flows that are currently running in the Scientific Computing group at CWI.


We seek a talented and enthusiastic candidate with a Master’s degree in (Applied) Mathematics, Physics, or a related discipline, and a specialization in Numerical Analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamics, or a closely related field. We especially welcome candidates with a strong mathematical background and a keen interest or have a background in fluid flow simulation. Knowledge of ordinary and partial differential equations, discretization techniques, and scientific computing will be very relevant. As a candidate, you will benefit strongly from good programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python) are essential, and from good verbal and written communication skills in English.

Terms and conditions

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The initial labour agreement will be for a period of 18 months. After a positive evaluation, the agreement will be extended by 30 months. The gross monthly salary, for a PhD student on a full time basis, is € 2,407 during the first year and increases to €3,085 over the four year period. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling and help with housing for expat employees.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment:

Information and application

If you wish to apply, enter your detailed CV, a complete list of courses taken and grades obtained, a copy of your Master’s thesis, a motivation letter and at least two references. The preliminary deadline for this position is February 1, 2021. All application received before this date will be considered. The planned starting date is in spring 2021.

For more information about the vacancy, please contact Benjamin Sanderse ( For more information about CWI, please visit or watch our video “A Fundamental Difference” about working at CWI.

Diversity code

CWI encourages a diverse workforce: we endeavour to develop talent and creativity by bringing people from different backgrounds and cultures together. We recruit and select based on capabilities and talent. We strongly encourage everyone with the appropriate qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical abilities.

About CWI

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is an institute of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large. CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 30 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses.  CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam that is presently developing into a major location of research in the natural sciences in the Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.

About Research group

CWI’s Scientific Computing group performs high quality research at the frontiers of uncertainty quantification, machine learning and partial differential equations, with application to (computational) fluid dynamics problems, climate and weather systems, etc. For more information about the Scientific Computing group, visit