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Within the last decade, porous metals have found their way into many industrial applications. This has been enabled among others by the recent progress made in 3D printing and other additive manufacturing technologies. Biomedical implants for bone replacement, structured catalyst architectures previously impossible to manufacture and a variety of highly designed industrial parts are just some examples.


In order to really benefit from the freedom of design, both the structural architecture and the surface characteristics of the 3D material need to be tuned towards the requirements set for a specific application. The interaction of a fluid or a gas within the porous material occurs at its surface and is typically governed by the combination of the chemical nature, morphology, porosity and roughness of the surface. As such, they are of primordial importance for the final performance of the materials.


The progress in manufacturing porous metals and the trend towards finer feature sizes of the porous architecture necessitate the development of new ways to change the surface of the porous material. One example of an alternative approach for the conventional wash- or dipcoating could be a chemical treatment like e.g. an alkali treatment. Depending on the process parameters, a wide variety of titanates with different surface morphologies can be formed by reaction with e.g. the titanium metal.


As such, this PhD project will explore innovative approaches for tuning the surface characteristics on porous titanium parts which are manufactured by an in-house developed3D micro-extrusion process.


Collaboration with University of Antwerp.

Registration deadline: 06/03/2020



Would you like to improve your career opportunities even more by gaining a doctorate? If so, be sure to familiarize yourself with the opportunities that VITO is able to offer you! Take a look at our PhD topic list.

VITO supports applicants wanting to do research for four years under the leadership of a university supervisor and a co-supervisor from VITO, resulting in the achievement of a doctorate and tying in with other research done at VITO.

Various options are possible:

VITO doctoral grant

At various times each year, VITO publishes a number of doctorate subjects, with the object of supporting VITO research. These subjects are selected carefully in advance, in the context of strategic collaboration with the university supervisor. As such, both the subject and the supervisor will have been established when an applicant starts his doctorate. The subjects selected for doctorates are usually very much application-oriented. View our PhD topic list to select a subject to get more information and apply. Check the PhD regulations for the acceptance criteria (degree, topic,...).

If you are selected you will be notified. From that moment on you get the chance to work out a PhD proposal, together with your promotor at VITO and your university supervisor. You will have to present your PhD proposal to the doctoral jury at VITO.

FWO-VITO research mandate

On 8th June 2009, FWO and VITO signed a protocol to fund 2 additional doctorates next to the FWO doctoral mandates that are granted annually. This procedure starts by submitting a standard application for an FWO research mandate. Places will be offered to applicants who are ranked high enough and whose research proposal is situated within a strategic VITO domain. More info

Doctorate in the context of European collaboration

If you have a particular interest in international issues, a doctorate in the context of a European project could present you with a unique opportunity. VITO participates in European networks, in which doctorates abroad are often made available.