Vacancy No. 1005/2020

Early Stage Researcher (ESR5) position (f/m/d)

Noise and vibration in eco-efficient powertrains (ECO Drive Project)

Job description

The Institute of Product Engineering – IPEK is an institute at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) that sees itself as a centre for scientific product engineering and innovation with a focus on drive systems, mobility and power tools. The basic research concept of the IPEK for the development of the KaSPro - Karlsruhe School for Product Development is the parallel research on methods and processes of the PGE - product generation engineering combined with the research for synthesis and validation of new technical systems.

Driving comfort and acoustic are playing increasingly important roles in vehicle development. On the one hand, the acoustic and vibration behaviour affects the qualitative evaluation of a vehicle, on the other hand legal regulations for noise emission and noise protection are getting stricter globally.

To support the vehicle development in this domain, it is important to consider the NVH behaviour of a vehicle in the early stages of the product development process. Especially the interactions between the subsystems and the overall system have to be analyzed and quantified. Therefore, we conduct research on efficient methods and processes, which realize a holistic and process-related validation regarding acoustics and vibration.

The successful applicant will carry out European Union-funded research within the “ECO DRIVE: Noise and vibration in eco-efficient powertrains” Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (lTN) project (Grant agreement no. 858018), which offers unique doctoral training and research opportunities. ECO DRIVE will develop new technologies for the testing and simulation of eco-powertrains, addressing the complex challenges related to combustion noise, the irritating sound from electric motors, transmission-induced NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) and driveline torsional vibrations, leading to new designs with improved ecoefficiency and NVH performance. The project offers a multi-disciplinary research-training program to the ESRs, with the ultimate aim being to create a new generation of NVH professionals for the transport sector. The technical-scientific challenges are tough: to investigate highly innovative simulation, testing and signal-processing methods for advanced NVH analysis and the engineering of downsized IC engines, e-motors, and novel lightweight transmission systems, to validate and demonstrate the applicability of the developed approaches in an industry context, on both powertrain tests rigs and new vehicles. ECO DRIVE has 9 Beneficiaries from leading academic institutions, top research centres and Europe’s premier vehicle producers. Together, they address the triple-I dimension of research training, being International, Interdisciplinary and Intersectoral. The ESRs profit from top scientific research guidance in combination with highly relevant industrial supervision through the secondment exchanges between the research organizations and the industry partners. The training programme is designed to cover not only eco-powertrains, but also critical transferable skills.

This full-time, fixed-term ESR position will be based at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, under the supervision of Prof. Albert Albers (Link) and will involve research and study in the areas of:

  • Transmission-induced vibrations and noise (e.g., gear whine, gear rattle) resulting from lighter, more flexible system components will be investigated by means of simulation models and transmission test-rig measurements, quantified by metrics and correlated with a subjective perception.
  • Development of a test-based method for the targeted design of gearboxes with regards to lightweight specifications and acoustic behaviour.
  • The impact of new production technologies, such as the additive manufacturing of gear wheels by selective laser melting, as well as acoustically promising materials, like foam structures or meta-materials, will be incorporated into the analysis.

The ESR will collaborate in research, attend joint training events, and contribute to workshops and conferences across the ECO DRIVE network. The post-holder will be expected to register to study for a PhD (5 years) as an integral part of this ESR position. More information on the project and the network can be found on the corresponding homepage (Link). The ESR will be provided with a generous stipend to cover their living costs and travel for the duration of the 3 years; tuition fees will be paid for this period. They will also receive funds to support their participation in the ECO DRIVE European-wide research and training events. The network ESR/PhD students will receive training primarily through their host institute with additional training provided by visits to other host institutes and industrial partners in the network.

Personal qualification

The following qualifications are required seeking your consideration for this position:

  • Excellent or very good Master’s degree (MSc) or equivalent such as MEng or MPhys (but not BSc) in mechanical engineering, physics or a related field
  • Very good knowledge in NVH, vehicle acoustics and structural dynamics
  • Good organizational skills, independent and self-responsible working
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Good computational skills including use of Microsoft Office (or equivalent) for text and data manipulation

Desirable criteria:

  • Demonstrated ability and self-motivation in acoustical measurement methods like pass-by measurements, transfer path analysis and operational vibration analysis
  • Publications in the area of acoustics and NVH in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience in NVH analysis software like LMS Test.Lab or HEAD Acoustics ArtemiS Suite
  • Knowledge in additive manufacturing and acoustical meta materials
  • Previous experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment

Required Language(s):

  • English – It is a requirement that applicants can demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficient for them to derive the full benefit from the network training, and to embark on a PhD at a German university.
  • A basic working knowledge and experience of German represents an advantage.

There are strict eligibility and residency requirements that must be met. Applicants must be either European citizens (from EU Member States or Associated Countries, but not residents of Germany), or from Other Third Countries (i.e. USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, China, etc.).

At the time of recruitment (i.e. first date of employment/signature of the contract), the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have less than 4 years research experience (measured from the time their Master’s or equivalent awarded degree).
  • Not have a doctorate/PhD.
  • Be a national of any country other than Germany, the country of the premises of the host organization to which they are applying (unless they have legally resided outside Germany for at least 3 out of the last 4 years).
  • Not have resided in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany) – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention.

Salary range (gross): from 45.262,80 € (without family allowance) to 48.262,80 € (with family allowance) per year

The funding for this Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher position provides for a remuneration starting from 45.262,80 € (gross) per year. Actual salary will depend on employer deductions, personal circumstances and the exchange rate applicable to the fellowship (if not paid in Euros). This amount includes an annual living allowance and a mobility allowance (to cover the expenses associated with working in a different country).

Allowance eligibility depends on the personal circumstances of the ESR:

Living Allowance: total amount 38.062,80 € per year. This figure is inclusive of the country coefficient of 97%.

Mobility Allowance: total amount 7200 € per year.

Family allowance: total amount 3000 € per year (eligibility depends on supporting evidence that at the time the ESR position starts the ESR is married, in a partnership equivalent to marriage in the country it was formalised or have dependent children).

Application Procedure

The subject of the application email must contain the following information:

"Noise and vibration in eco-efficient powertrains – ECO DRIVE Project (Grant agreement no. 858018)”.

The application email must be accompanied by the following documents:

i)        A standard application letter of no more than 2 pages (written in English) signed by the applicant indicating their full name, date and place of birth, citizenship, postal address, and email address. The letter should clearly indicate the applicant’s motivation for applying for this ESR position and describe their relevant experience. Additionally, the applicant must explicitly declare that they fulfil the eligibility criteria set out in article 3.4 of the H2020 Guide for Applicants Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Innovative Training Networks (ITN), see:

ii)       Contact information (including email addresses) of TWO academic referees.

iii)      A detailed CV (of no more than 3 pages) in English illustrating the candidate's educational background, a list of undergraduate exam results and degrees held (with grades/rankings); a list of publications, poster and oral presentations (if any); academic prizes or scholarships, etc.; and scientific experience and skills. The document must be signed by the applicant. A template CV, which can be found at must be used.

iv)      Where relevant, a copy of Master’s thesis or equivalent (in pdf format) including a 1 page summary written in English.

v)       Scanned copies of academic transcripts and degree certificates for the higher education qualifications held.

vi)      Official translation in English and equivalence certificate of the Master’s degree or equivalent will be required at the point of contract signature.

Organizational unit

Institute of Product Engineering (IPEK)

Starting date


Contract duration

limited to 36 months

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Petersen, phone +49 721/608-47204.


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 1005/2020 .
Personnel Support is provided by 

Ms Brückner
phone: +49 721 608-42016,

Kaiserstr. 12, 76131 Karlsruhe

We prefer to balance the number of employees (f/m/d). Therefore we kindly ask female applicants to apply for this job.

If qualified, severely disabled persons will be preferred.