Two Doctoral Students and One Postdoctoral Researcher for Low-energy high-performance sensing materials for environment digitalization

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 31 Oct 2021

The North changes the world – we at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

Infotech Oulu Institute is one of the four strategic focus institutes at the University of Oulu supporting high-quality research, coordinating multidisciplinary research activities and doctoral training. Infotech’s science-based expertise meets global challenges determined in the strategy of the University of Oulu (UO) in the focus area” Digitalization and smart society” exploring how digitalization can work for everyone. The research topics include sensing and ubiquitous wireless sensor systems, wireless communication, and other novel services and systems. The research targets future information infrastructures and integrates aspects of technology adoption by complex human groups, communities, and societies.

We are now hiring

Two Doctoral Students and One Postdoctoral Researcher to work for the project ‘‘Low-energy high-performance sensing materials for environment digitalization’’.

The faculty and the research group

The project focuses on research of piezoceramics with ultralow fabrication temperatures, paving a way towards energy saving in materials fabrication, enhancement for integration capability and sustainable development. Piezoceramics are widely used in sensors, which constitute vital components in modern technologies requiring conversion between mechanical and electrical energies. Piezoceramics need to be manufactured at over 1000 degrees Celsius, consuming a considerable amount of energy and leading to increased emission. This project aims to overturn 100 years’ history by making piezoceramics at temperatures lower than 350 degrees Celsius, via methodologies of surface chemistry and ceramic-ceramic composite. Success of this project will not only help to save over 90 % of energy used by high temperature sintering in piezoceramics industry, but also stimulate the advancement of novel multi‑functional components and electronic integration in smart devices and systems.

The positions are placed at the Microelectronics Research Unit (MIC,, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE, Microelectronics Research Unit is an internationally recognized, high excellence and quality unit with significant scientific impact in the fields of micro and nanosystem technologies. The education and research fields are materials, devices and their implementation technologies with special emphasis on electronics, photonics and telecommunication applications. The research is carried out in several multidisciplinary research groups in close co-operation with top research groups in Europe, Asia and USA and global and domestic industrial partners. Research projects are funded by the Academy of Finland, EU, and Business Finland among others. Scientific research of the Microelectronics Research Unit was evaluated in 2013 in the international research assessment of the University of Oulu to the level 6 (max. 6). The research unit is a dynamic and inspiring high-level research environment with up-to-date facilities and equipment.

Open positions for two doctoral students

  • The doctoral students will work to fabricate chemically surface activated piezoelectric particles and ceramics.
  • The doctoral students will also work to fabricate and test piezoelectric actuators, sensors and/or energy harvesters made by the developed ceramics.
  • The doctoral students will be supervised to work on the experiments and research results dissemination (e.g., publications, conference presentations), as well as writing and defending the D.Sc. thesis.

Qualification requirements for a doctoral student

  • We expect a master´s degree in chemistry, materials science or a related subject.
  • You have relevant research/work experience in surface chemistry, piezoelectric materials, or perovskite-structured compounds.
  • You are fluent at writing and speaking academically in English.
  • You are able to work with chemicals (under sufficient and proper protection according to work safety regulations).
  • The successful candidate must have a positive mindset and capability to interact and cooperate with people from various backgrounds.

Please also see the requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School

Open position for a postdoctoral researcher

  • The main duty is carrying out the research of the project, i.e. fabrication of piezoelectric ceramic composites at ultralow temperatures and their characterizations.
  • You will have operational freedom in e.g. designing and implementing the experiments within the framework of the project plan and upon discussion with the PI.
  • There will also be assigned duties of supervision and teaching, accounting for maximum 15 % of the total working time.

Qualification requirements for a postdoctoral researcher

  • We expect a doctoral degree in chemistry, materials science, engineering or a field relevant to the research. The PhD degree must have been received no more than 10 years ago.
  • The successful candidate must have at least 2 years research/work experience (during or after the doctoral study) in surface chemistry, piezoelectric materials or perovskite-structured compounds.
  • You have a competent background in developing ultralow temperature fabrication methods for electroceramics.
  • You are experienced in utilizing compositional, structural and electrical characterization methods and in related data analyses.
  • You are proficient at writing and speaking academically in English.
  • You are capable of independent thinking and skilled in producing scientific publications, research plans and/or invention disclosures/patents.
  • We expect you to be able to work with raw materials and chemicals (under sufficient and proper protection according to work safety regulations).
  • You have a positive mindset and capability to interact and cooperate with people from various backgrounds.

What we offer

  • We offer you a world-class research environment in a multinational, globally reputed and highly talented research group working to solve globally significant scientific challenges.
  • We provide you opportunities to advance your career via different routes, see for details.
  • The university’s wide variety of support services (including facilities) are at your disposal, allowing you to focus on your studies and research.
  • You will also enjoy personnel benefits such as support for sport services and endless opportunities to develop your skills and competences.
  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • The employed person will be insured by the university and provided occupational healthcare. The Finnish government provides benefits to residents and their families, for example possibility to the national healthcare system and high-quality affordable childcare and school services.


The salary of the selected doctoral students will be in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system for teaching and research personnel: level 2-4. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 2400-2500€ per month (before taxes).

The salary of the selected postdoctoral researcher will be in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system for teaching and research personnel: level 5-6. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 3500-4000€ per month (before taxes).

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by October 31st , 2021 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

1)     A motivation letter (max. 1 page) summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why the applicant is interested in this position. Information on personal research interests, experience and career plans can also be provided here.

2)     Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity .

3)     List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland: .

4)     For the postdoctoral position only, a research plan (max. 3 pages) explaining how you would develop a high-performance piezoelectric material fabricated at low temperatures.

5)     Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original master degree (for doctoral student positions) or doctoral degree (for postdoctoral position) certificate and transcript of records, if necessary, officially translated to Finnish or English.

6)     Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers (references) who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate.

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

Further information

The positions are fixed-term for maximum 4 years from 01.01.2022 or as soon as possible thereafter and ending 31.12.2025. A trial period of 6 months is applied to the positions.

For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Yang Bai, Microelectronics Research Unit,

About Oulu, Finland

Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in the Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Living in Oulu is easy – everything is only max. 20 minutes away! Find out more about Oulu:

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