Inducing molecular alignment in thermoelectric polymers for improved performance

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Aug 2021

The project is funded by a European Union H2020 ERC grant. It includes funding to cover competitive salary, lab and conference expenses for a 4-year program towards the completion of a PhD degree at the Department of Materials Engineering of KU Leuven.

KU Leuven is one of the top 50 universities in the world (top 10 in Europe) according to the Times Higher Education ranking and ranks #7 (top in Europe) in the World’s Most Innovative Universities ranking elaborated by Reuters. It offers an exciting multi-disciplinary research environment, a broad range of training courses for PhD students, and full social and medical insurance.

Located in Belgium, at the heart of Europe, and less than 3 hours by train from cities like Paris, London or Amsterdam, Leuven is a cultural and historical city with a vibrant international student lifestyle.


- Degree: Master degree in one of the following fields (or similar): Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Nanoscience and Nanoengineering or Applied Physics.

- Research experience: Master thesis work and/or experience in materials production techniques, material characterization, electrical instrumentation, microfabrication, or FEM modeling.

- Interests and research profile: The research topic is 80% experimental and 20% theoretical, and it bridges the fields of physics, materials sciences, electrical engineering and chemical engineering. Hence, the applicants are required to have an excellent proven background in engineering sciences, with good knowledge of fundamental concepts, and a strong hands-on attitude toward interdisciplinary research with emphasis on electronic polymers processing and characterization. In particular, the candidates must:

  • Enjoy lab work and be keen on material characterization of polymeric materials, with emphasis on electronic polymers. Experience in synchrotron X-ray diffraction is a plus.
  • Show strong interest for the link between experiments and fundamental concepts such as dielectrophoresis. Be willing to develop theoretical models describing the interaction between AC electric fields and matter. Knowledge of FEM or programming in MATLAB is an asset.
  • Be willing to work in close collaboration with the rest of the ERC team in the group and with other departments at KU Leuven (Chemical Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering).

- Communication skills: Ability to work both independently and in a team, direct communication style. Fluency in spoken and written English is mandatory! Minimum required: IELTS of 7 (no sub score below 6.5) or TOEFL of 94 (no sub score below 22).

- Attitude: Only highly motivated and hard-working candidates willing to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment will be considered.


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