Internship | High-speed projectiles against non-metallic armours
About this position
Understanding and predicting the interaction between high-speed projectiles and armours is paramount for the design of appropriate protection systems. Due to the weight penalty of steel armours and with the availability of advanced materials such as polymer matrix composites and engineered ceramics, the interest in non-metallic armours has grown. The possibility of substituting heavy steel plates by lighter fibre-reinforced polymers or ceramic matrix composites sets the path towards lighter armour systems. Are you interested in helping with designing and evaluating the performance of armour systems for a safer future? Then this thesis assignment is for you!
What will be your role?
To the aim of designing non-metallic protection systems and evaluating their vulnerability, predicting the penetration and understanding the interaction of high-speed projectiles with such armours is essential. Although Finite Element (FE) calculations can be used to simulate the penetration process, they usually require an extensive list of material properties and significant computation time. Therefore, fast terminal ballistics models are preferred to support the design and evaluation phase of an armour system. Such terminal ballistics models are often based on conservation of energy and provide good insight on important design parameters.
The objective of this MSc thesis/internship is to develop and implement computationally a terminal ballistics model which can estimate the performance of certain non-metallic armours against specific projectiles. TNO is looking for two master students who are willing to dive into the topic of terminal ballistics, one to work with polymer composites and the other with ceramic armours. The assignment is to be performed in 2023 and, due to the nature of the work, the students will have to undergo a security screening (VGB-C) which takes a minimum of 8 weeks.
What we expect from you
You are looking for a master thesis assignment to be performed in 2023. Your activities will be:
- Review of terminal ballistic models for non-metallic armours available in literature.
- Create a database with experimental terminal ballistics data for non-metallic targets from open literature and TNO’s Library.
- Develop a terminal ballistics model which describes the damage mechanisms of high-velocity projectiles interacting with non-metallic targets.
- Program the terminal ballistics model in MATLAB or Python.
- Model the penetration of non-metallic armour systems in FE simulations to compare the performance of the terminal ballistics model.
- Perform ballistics experiments of high-velocity projectiles against non-metallic armours in order to understand the damage mechanisms involved and validate the models.
What you'll get in return
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.
TNO as an employer
At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.
At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.
The selection process
After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.
For this internship vacancy it is required that the AIVD issues a security clearance (VGB) after conducting a security screening. Take into account that this process may take about 8 weeks. If you have been abroad for more than 6 consecutive months, or if you do not have the Dutch nationality, it may take longer. Please visit for more information the AIVD website.
Has this job opening sparked your interest?
Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.