PhD position in computational mechanics of building materials

Updated: 9 months ago
Deadline: 11 Dec 2019

The Chair of Computational Mechanics of Materials in the Institute for Building Materials has an opening for a PhD student in the field of Computational Mechanics of Materials.

Project background

Our research focuses on modeling micro- to meso-scale mechanical properties of engineering and biological materials. At small scales, these materials commonly present heterogeneities which directly affect macroscopic performance during deformation and failure mechanisms. Overall strength is influenced by random local defects that nucleate cracks when critically loaded and propagate until global catastrophic failure occurs. Improving our fundamental knowledge of the link between small-scale structures and large-scale properties is needed to improve risk analysis of existing materials and structures, and the design of new materials.

Job description

The objective of this project is to develop cutting-edge computational models of concrete materials with focus on random micro-scale properties, linking these small-scale properties with the structural scale, and simulating the nucleation and propagation of cracks. Simulation results will be compared to large-scale experimental results for validation. This approach will enable a better understanding of fundamental links across scales that govern the mechanics of concrete and the transmission of stresses across large cracks in structures.

Your profile

Prospective applicants should hold an MSc in an engineering or a related discipline. A strong background in material science, solid mechanics, applied mathematics, computational science, or a related field is desirable. The candidate is expected to be fluent in English, to show and maintain scientific integrity, and to have programming experience. The successful candidate shows enthusiasm for conducting original research and strives for scientific excellence. The position is available with starting dates as soon as possible.

ETH Zurich

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.


We look forward to receiving your online application including a CV with contact details of two referees, an academic transcript/list of courses completed and a brief statement of research interests. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For further information please visit our website or contact Prof. David S. Kammer by e-mail (no applications).

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