Postdoctoral Research Associate in Soft Matter Theory

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 06 Feb 2023

The Role

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in theoretical and computational soft condensed matter and biological physics, to work with Prof. Suzanne Fielding in the Department of Physics at Durham University on a project funded by the ERC Advanced Grant ‘RheoYield’.

The position is to commence in April 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. It is funded for 2 years in the first instance with the possibility of extending to 3 years in total.

Its overall aims will be to understand the deformation and flow behaviour of so-called yield stress materials, which keep their shape like solids at low loads, yet flow like a liquid at larger loads. One possible focus could be on the dynamical process whereby a material in an initially solid-like state firsts yields and starts to flow, and in particular on the statistical physics of how initially sparse plastic events in an otherwise elastic background then spatio-temporally cooperate to result in an emergent macroscopic flow.

Besides the immediate applications of the work to soft matter physics, and potentially also to the fracture mechanics of hard materials, yielding also governs geological processes such as landslides, avalanches and lava flows. It also determines the reshaping of active biological tissue under the internal stresses caused by cell division, including during embryo development or tumour growth. Depending on the interests of the candidate, the project could develop a more specific focus on any of these particular areas of research.

The work will draw on concepts of statistical physics, rheology, fluid dynamics, and related fields. Depending on the interests of the applicant, the project could be mainly computational or could combine numerics with analytical work. An interest in collaborating with our experimental soft matter programme would also be welcomed.

Further details about Prof. Fielding's research group can be found at , about the department at , and about the Durham Centre for Soft Matter at .

Informal enquiries are welcome and should please be directed to

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