Internship | Reliability-based calibration of reinforced concrete design formulas

Be involved in the development of a new generation of structural design formulas that allow for safer and more economic design!



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


Apply now


What will you be doing?

MSc thesis internship on a joint TNO - TU Delft project with joint supervision.

From a reliability point of view, the current design provisions for reinforced concrete structures in the Eurocode have many deficiencies:
  • They were not derived using reliability-based calibration, thus their reliability level is uncertain.
  • It is unknown what is the non-exceedance probability of the resistance obtained by using the characteristic values of the parameters in the formulas originally derived by the mean value of the parameters.
  • Uncertainties are introduced in an inconsistent and ad-hoc manner, e.g. drawing a bounding envelope of all experiments.
  • The considerations and assumptions regarding the derivation of the formulas are largely unknown or very difficult to unearth.
These deficiencies make it difficult to improve but even to modify the formulas, and to design experiments. Moreover, they make the formulas look more complicated than they are.

The aim of this MSc thesis is to develop a code (safety) format that addresses the above deficiencies.

You will:
  • continue the joint work of TU Delft and TNO researchers;
  • work closely with experts in structural concrete and structural reliability at TU Delft and TNO;
  • devise a novel code (safety) format for selected design formulas for reinforced concrete structures;
  • perform reliability-based calibrations of the selected design formulas;
  • outline a general methodology, including a general safety format, statistical processing of data, reliability-based calibration, and reporting requirements (for reproducibility);
  • complete a critical analysis of the current standardization practice in the light of your findings;
  • learn how to perform, document, and present your own research.
Conditional on good progress, we expect to publish one international journal paper based on the results of the MSc thesis and to present the results at EN1992 standardization committee meetings. If successful, in the future your work might be added to the Eurocode standard and used by thousands of engineers!

What do we require of you?

  • You are following a master program in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or any related fields.
  • You have at least two of these skills:
  • You have at least a basic knowledge on the mechanics and design of reinforced concrete structures (you probably know enough if you completed the following course: Prestressed Concrete CIE4160)
  • You have at least a basic knowledge on the reliability bases of structural standards and design of reinforced concrete structures (you probably know enough if you completed the following course: Probabilistic Design CIE4130)
  • You have demonstrated skills in at least one computer language, preferably with a focus on numerical computation, e.g. Matlab, Python, Julia, R. Matlab is preferred as our computer codes in this topic are written in Matlab.

What can you expect of your work situation?

You will be working at the Department of Structural Reliability of TNO and at the Department Engineering Structures of TU Delft with a group of enthusiastic researchers/consultants who are open for discussion and are willing to help out.

As an intern you have the possibility to work together with the experts of TNO and get a taste of how it is like to work in an applied research institute.

TNO is an independent research organization whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organizations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With 3000 people we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society. We work for a variety of customers: governments, the SME sector, large companies, service providers and non-governmental organizations. Working together on new knowledge, better products and clear recommendations for policy and processes. In everything we do, impact is the key. Our product and process innovations and recommendations are only worth something if our customers can use them to boost their competitiveness.

What can TNO offer you?

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contact: Arpad Rozsas
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 63650

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now



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