Postdoctoral researcher in numerical modelling (geotechnical)

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 interested in numerical simulations of off-shore problems? We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher in geotechnical engineering to take part in the Geomeasure project at Aalto University’s Department of Civil Engineering. In this position, you will have a chance to make a difference by developing the Material Point Method for offshore problems and working with industrial partners on the application of your results for offshore wind energy.

The position is funded by the Academy of Finland project Geomeasure, a joint research project of Aalto University and Geological Survey Finland. Geomeasure focuses on surveying the shore areas of Finland and finding solutions for foundations of offshore wind farms. To reach its goals, Geomeasure cooperates with Southampton University and Durham University in the UK, as well as several companies interested in offshore wind power.

In your research, you will further develop the Granular Material Point Method and use it to simulate offshore seabed testing with a free fall penetrometer.

Your role and goals

Your research will build on the expertise of Prof. Solowski group at Aalto University. In the group, the Material Point Method has been developed over years, mainly within the framework of Uintah software ( ). Recently, we created Granular Material Point Method ( ), currently implemented into Uintah software in a simplified manner. You will use and expand this method to model the impact of the free fall penetrometer into the seabed. The simulation should replicate the set of experiments conducted by Geological Survey Finland, and help in the creation of correlations between the soil properties and the penetrometer behaviour.

The teaching duties of the position are limited to about 10% of the working hours. You will be a teaching assistant in the MSc and doctoral level courses and you will advise doctoral and master students. In addition, modest activity in grant writing is also expected.

Your network and team

Your supervisor will be Associate Professor Wojciech Sołowski. You will co-operate with Professors Gourvenec (Southampton), Augarde and Coombs (both Durham) and with project industrial stakeholders.  

Your experience and ambitions

We expect that the candidates have a completed doctoral degree or have scheduled the doctoral defence. You also should have:

  • publication record in leading journals and conferences,
  • evidence of fluent English, both written and spoken,
  • ability to code in C++,
  • experience in simulations with advanced numerical methods
  • knowledge of continuum mechanics and elastoplasticity.

It is also advantageous to have:

  • prior knowledge of Material Point Method,
  • experience in the development of numerical methods,
  • experience in the development of constitutive models for material,
  • experience in interpreting data from off-shore penetrometer tests
  • experience in working together with other researchers in an experienced and recognized group,
  • experience in acquiring funding for research projects and/or co-operation with partners from the industry.

What we offer

We offer an interesting position in a well-recognized research group, with your research being meaningful and making a difference. 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. The position will give you skills and publications positioning you for an excellent academic career as well as a strong network for future cooperation with the offshore industry. You will be also well positioned to continue in the offshore wind power industry.

Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities. The initial salary is €3700 per month and the contract includes occupational health care and a holiday bonus. Finland also has a comprehensive social security system. The position has secured financing until the end of 2024, with a mid-term review and can start immediately. 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 14th 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 Wojciech Solowski,  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 (500 words)
  • CV including the list of publications and full contact information.
  • Contact information of at least two persons willing to give references. If the referees should not be contacted before the interview, please clearly indicate that.
  • One page summary of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral thesis itself and the PhD certificate (or estimated graduation date if not yet graduated).
  • Three best publications you author/co-author with a short description of your contribution to them, and a description of what key skills were needed for these contributions

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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