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Graduation assignment: Novel Electrical and Fiber Vacuum feedthrough solutions

Posted 22 Sep 2022
Work experience
0 to 1 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)

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The assignment:


VDL co-develops charged particle systems together with multiple customers, like electron microscopes, chemical analysis equipment and particle accelerators.

In all these systems, a vacuum environment of a certain quality is critical for the function of the system. As a result there is a need for connecting signals through a vacuum boundary, like a vessel wall or a flange on the vessel. These signals can be electrical or (fiber)optical, where the electrical signal usually can be grouped into three categories: High-Voltage (with different classes e.g. < 5 kV, < 50 kV, < 100 kV etc.), High-Speed (requires e.g. impedance control) and general signals for sensors, heaters, actuators etc.

Problem statement

Currently, in high-tech manufacturing, there is a growing demand for these type of systems, especially e-beam based inspection, diagnostic and writing equipment. One strong market trend is that these systems are often designed with multiple active columns in one vacuum environment, which usually make the requirements on signal integrity, shielding, etc. more stringent.

As a result, the amount of signals that needs to be fed through the vacuum barrier increases dramatically, while vacuum requirements remain tight, or become even tighter. Since available space on a vacuum vessel for feedthroughs is usually limited, this leads to big design challenges.

The current state-of-the-art for feedthrough manufacturing is usually not suitable for a combination of:

⦁ very high signal counts (up to several 1000 connections)

⦁ maintaining (Ultra)-High-Vacuum boundary conditions (10-8 - 10-10 mbar)

⦁ low volume/space/surface area required

VDL is looking for novel solutions to overcome these technology barriers in three areas:

A. High voltage connections, up to 50 kV

B. High speed signals that require impedance controlled transmission line properties (

C. High density fiber optical connections

Assignment for option A, B or C

⦁ Perform an investigation of available theory, regulations/norms and existing manufacturing technologies

⦁ Make one (or several) design proposals that can be manufactured with technology that is available within VDL, or its strategic suppliers

⦁ Design a prototype or functional model for one of these solutions

⦁ Execute experiments to validate the design and to define the process parameters of the manufacturing

Who are we looking for?

⦁ You are an Master Mechanical Engineering student looking for a graduation assignment

⦁ You have a passion for technology and want to make a real impact

⦁ You are driven, ambitious, entrepreneurial and eager to learn

⦁ You are motivated and know how to work on your assignment both independently and in a team

What do we offer?

⦁ Lots of room for your own input

⦁ You are part of the international, industrial family business VDL Groep, where continuity is of paramount importance

⦁ Working together in a professional manner in an informal, no-nonsense environment where open communication prevails

⦁ Ample opportunity for personal development and entrepreneurship

⦁ A generous internship remuneration

⦁ An annual VDL party with all colleagues of the VDL Groep.

⦁ Staff offers


Are you interested and do you recognize yourself in above profile? Apply via the 'solliciteer” button. Please include a resume and motivation letter in which you describe why you are interested in this internship.

Company information

An internship or graduation project at VDL is an opportunity for you to develop into a professional. You will be supervised by experienced employees who are committed to teaching you the tricks of the trade. During your internship or graduation project, you will not only gain experience in your specific field, you will also experience what it is like to work at VDL: the atmosphere, the people, the work, the extensive opportunities you get at VDL after graduating.

VDL Groep is made up of many different operating companies, which are all flexible, independent companies that operate in different specialist fields. This means that we can offer a wide array of internship and graduation project opportunities in many different industries (such as semiconductor, automotive, energy, etc).

Every year, VDL offers roughly 550 internships at different educational levels, ranging from secondary vocational education (work-based learning programme) to higher professional and university education. If you are studying electrical engineering, mechatronics, machine construction, mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, motor vehicle engineering, industrial engineering and management/commercial management, or industrial automation, we look forward to hearing from you!

Kracht door samenwerking
Dat is de basis van VDL Groep, het internationale industriële familiebedrijf met 101 bedrijven, verspreid over 20 landen en met ruim 15.000 medewerkers. VDL is actief op het gebied van ontwikkeling, productie en verkoop van toeleveringen, bussen en eindproducten en de assemblage van personenauto's.

Active in 19 countries
15,000 employees
70% men - 30% women
Average age is 45 years