Postdoctoral researcher in geotechnical engineering

Updated: 3 months ago

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 12 000 students, 400 professors and close to 4 000 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland.

We believe that people from diverse backgrounds can together reach the best results. Diversity is part of who we are. Over 40% of our academic faculty come from outside Finland. We warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply, as we want to ensure the continued diversity and inclusiveness of our community. Aalto is committed to equal and transparent recruitment procedures. 

At Aalto, high-quality research, art, education and entrepreneurship are promoted hand in hand. Disciplinary excellence is combined with multidisciplinary activities, engaging both students and the local innovation ecosystem. Our main campus is quickly transforming into an open collaboration hub that encourages encounters between students, researchers, industry, startups and other partners. Aalto University was founded in 2010 as three leading Finnish universities, Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Art and Design Helsinki, were merged to strengthen Finland’s innovative capability.

We are now looking for a


Are you a passionate experimental researcher in experimental geotechnical engineering especially interested in soft clays? We are now looking for a qualified and motivated Postdoctoral researcher in geotechnical engineering to take part in our research on soft clays at Aalto University’s Department of Civil Engineering. In this position, you will have a chance to make an impact by enhancing the sustainability of materials used in geotechnical engineering and contributing to the circular economy paradigm.

The main research area is the laboratory testing of geotechnical engineering materials. Our speciality is the testing of soft, anisotropic clays as well as the testing of stabilized soils. We want to strengthen our research group, where you would be one of the key members. Besides laboratory testing, our group consists of specialists in numerical modelling and constitutive modelling of soils, which opens you the possibility to take part in the development of constitutive models based on the experimental data.

Your role and goals

Your principal task is to conduct high-quality research in geotechnical engineering concentrating on laboratory testing of natural and stabilized soils together with the research group and on publishing the results. The soil stabilization research focuses on the long-term behaviour, microscale and macroscale testing of sustainable stabilized materials. The tested binders include, for example, bio-based, recycled materials and industrial by-products.

Your research, conducted jointly with others, will lead to the publication of high-quality scientific articles. Our connections to the industry are strong, so your research work is quickly adopted in practice and most of your research is related to the problems presented by our industrial partners. Teaching duties of the position are limited to about 10% of working hours. In addition, modest activity in fundraising is also expected.

Your network and team

The research is mainly done together with our doctoral students and other postdoctoral researchers. Your supervisor will be either Associate professor Leena Korkiala-Tanttu or Wojciech Solowski. You will co-operate also with our industrial stakeholders, like Ramboll Finland and cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa.

Your experience and ambitions

We expect that the candidates have a completed doctoral degree. You should have:

  • profound knowledge in laboratory testing of soils, like sample preparation,  characterization tests, uniaxial compression tests and especially on soft soils including triaxial and oedometer tests as well as possibly microscopy,
  • good social skills,
  • publication record in top/leading journals, conferences, exhibitions and other merits,
  • fluent English, both written and spoken.

It is also advantageous if you have:

  • some pedagogic experience
  • experience in working together with other researchers, ideally in an experienced and recognized group,
  • experience in working on circular economy topics,
  • experience in acquiring funding for research projects and/or co-operation with partners from the industry,
  • monitoring/ field test experience would be a benefit,
  • chemical knowledge.

What we offer

We offer an interesting position in a well-recognized research group of Mineral-based Materials and Mechanics, where you can develop sustainable solutions, which also enhance the circular economy. We aim to find even carbon negative methods to stabilize soft clays. Your research will also contribute to other projects in the group, such as Geomeasure that investigates off-shore soil properties and their suitability for wind turbines foundations.

 The department has good laboratory facilities including laboratories of structures, concrete, structural physics, fire safety, soil mechanics and asphalt technics. Aalto offers a multidisciplinary and multicultural working environment where you have good possibilities to develop your professional skills, publish high-quality articles, and promote your career.

Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities. Applicants may also provide a salary request. In addition to the salary, the contract includes occupational health care benefits. Finland also has a comprehensive social security system. The position is for at least two years, with a mid-term review, and it should start in March -April 2022. The position is full-time.

Ready to apply?

If you want to join our community, please submit your application through our eRecruitment system Workday via the link “Apply” no later than February 21st 2022.

Please note: Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position via our internal system Workday -> find jobs (not external webpage on open positions) by using their existing Workday user account.

If you wish to hear more about the position, you can reach out to Associate professor Leena Korkiala-Tanttu , +358 50 734 8391.  Email applications will not be taken into account.

For submission related queries, contact

To apply, please share the following application materials with us:

  • Motivation letter, including full contact information (one A4)
  • Research plan (max. three A4 pages) including a description of your experimental experience
  • CV including publications and contact information for two reference persons
  • summary of the doctoral thesis (max. two A4 pages)
  • a certified copy of the doctoral degree certificate and its translation, if originals are not in English. (or estimated graduation date if not yet finished).

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the positions open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

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