PhD Position: Computational Mechanics for Living Materials (ALIVE)

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 19 May 2022

PhD Position: Computational Mechanics for Living Materials (ALIVE)

We welcome applications for a doctoral position within the Advanced Engineering with Living Materials (ALIVE) initiative and as part of the Materials and Processes (MaP) Doctoral School .


Project background

The ALIVE Initiative of ETH Zurich aims at elucidating and applying the design principles of living systems as a basis for sustainable, intelligent and resilient materials and technologies of the future. Our approach encompasses the study of natural systems and the development of biohybrid or biomimetic synthetic systems bridging across scales, from the nano- to the macroscale. This doctoral position will be part of the project stream ZurichJoint: Actuated human joint organoid on-chip for personalised health and hosted by the Mechanics & Materials Lab (mm.ethz.ch ) in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering of ETH Zurich.

The doctoral project uses state-of-the-art computational techniques (involving finite elements and meshless methods) to simulate the mechanics and physics of tissue in response to external stimuli. The ultimate goal is a human knee joint on a chip, i.e., the stimuli-driven growth of artificial joints in vitro. To this end, the doctoral candidate will be trained in applied and computational mechanics in close interaction with collaborating experimental labs to enable closed feedback loops between simulations and experiments.

Doctoral training will be completed within the MaP Doctoral School, which offers a wide range of activities such as symposia, workshops, and lecture series, as well as the possibility for the doctoral student to engage in organising such formats. Doctoral students will be employed full-time, according to the regulations of ETH Zurich (the corresponding guidelines for doctoral education apply). Upon completing the doctorate, the student will be awarded the title "Doctor of Sciences (Dr. sc. ETH Zurich)" (more information about ETH Zurich's doctorate ).


Job description

This doctoral student project in the Mechanics & Materials Lab will contribute to the ZurichJoint project, developing the computational methods required to simulate the growth and use of a human joint on a chip. This includes the development of numerical methods and code in C++, the application of meshless modeling techniques, and the collaboration with other participating labs at the interface between simulations and experiments.

Participating ETH Zurich professors may act as co-advisors. Accordingly, doctoral students are expected to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the research groups and to actively seek cross-group collaborations.


We offer

We offer a cutting-edge research project within an interdisciplinary and international team, a full-time doctoral position, and opportunities for personal and professional growth within the MaP Doctoral School.


Your profile

You should have a strong background in continuum and/or computational mechanics as well as an interest in the development and application of numerical modelling techniques (ideal experience with C++). Expertise in biomechanics or biological systems is of advantage but not necessarily required.


About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in
science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education,
cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge
into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our
university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an
environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe,
yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to
develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • CV
  • full transcripts of record from prior studies (Bachelor and Master)
  • a brief (1-page) motivation letter
  • at least 2 names of referees (with email addresses)

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Mechanics & Materials Lab can be found on our website . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dennis Kochmann at dmk@ethz.ch (no applications).


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