PhD: Precipitates in nanosteels studied by transmission electron microscopy

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 21 Oct 2022


The University of Groningen employs about 7,500 staff members and gives education to 36,000 students. She is considered to be one of top 5 universities in Europe for research in Materials Science, Chemistry, Space Science, Microbiology, and Environment/Ecology.

The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM) is a world-leading institute in the field of materials science. The goal of the institute is to design, build, characterize and understand nanostructured and (bio)functional materials to achieve unprecedented functionality. The Zernike Institute includes 38 principal investigators, about 200 PhD students and postdocs and 30 support staff.

This research project will be performed within the Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces group of ZIAM consisting of two full professors, two research technicians, and typically about 10 PhD students and 2 postdocs. This PhD project is part of bigger NWO funded project with two accompanying positions at the TU Delft: one 3-year postdoc position on modelling and a PhD position where (in-situ) small angle neutron scattering will be employed as main tool for investigating the same materials as here with TEM based techniques.

Job description

Precipitation strengthening is a powerful metallurgical tool to gain strength in nanosteels for future automotive applications. This project aims to unravel the fundamentals of nanoscale precipitation strengthening to create precipitate structures with optimal properties. In this project transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based techniques will be employed. TEM is excellently suited to probe nanoscale and atomic structures of precipitates, also including their size and spatial distributions. The experiments will be performed using state-of-the art electron microscopy facilities of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials of the University of Groningen, e.g. also including a double aberration corrected and monochromated (scanning) TEM that can operate between 30 and 300 kV. The project will be conducted in close collaboration with research groups of TU Delft focussing on modelling (where a postdoc position is available) and small angle neutron scattering (where a PhD position is available) and with industry.


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with MSc degree and strong background in physics, physical chemistry or materials science or closely related discipline. Experience with TEM is not required, but can be an advantage. It is important that the candidate enjoys collaborations and has good written and spoken communication skills in English.

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The UG offers an appointment first for one year. The performance of the employee will be evaluated after 6 and 9 months. If the outcome of these evaluation is positive, the appointment will be prolonged after the first year for the remaining 3 years.


For information you can contact:

Prof. B.J. Kooi, group leader Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces,

(please do not use the email addresses above for applications)

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