PhD position: Numerical and experimental studies of single- and multi-phase granular (particulate) systems

Updated: 8 months ago


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Academic: PhD Position 100%
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Entry date
January 1, 1
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PhD position: Numerical and experimental studies of single- and multi-phase granular (particulate) systems

The Laboratory of Energy Science and Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (D-MAVT) is working actively on developing numerical and experimental tools to probe single- and multiphase granular (particulate) systems.

Project background

Granular systems are ubiquitous in nature (e.g. rock avalanches or dunes) and of fundamental importance to industry. However, despite their widespread use and occurrence, many important phenomena, such as segregation, surface instabilities or formation and coalescence of bubbles, are poorly understood. This lack of understanding can largely be attributed to difficulties in (i) acquiring measurements of full 3D granular systems and (ii) formulating a set of governing equations for their continuum description. Recently, we have advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in collaboration with Prof. Prüssmann (D-ITET, ETHZ), to acquire rapid measurements of particle position and velocity. In addition, we have developed numerical models to describe the heat transfer in gas-solid systems and to model non-spherical particle systems.

Job description

The objective of the current research program is to develop numerical models to describe multi-phase granular systems, in particular liquid-solid systems. These models shall be validated by benchmark experimental data (to be acquired by the candidate). Subsequently, the models shall be used to explain a number of intriguing phenomena such as the rise of granular “bubbles” or the movement of an intruder in a suspension.  

This PhD program offers (and ultimately requires) fundamental understanding and proficiency in the numerical modelling of multi-phase granular systems and experimental techniques (e.g. high speed camera based techniques).

Your profile

Applicants for this position are expected to have a very good MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Physics or related disciplines. Previous experience in numerical modelling is desirable. We are looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a team and with excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written. Working in a top-level research environment, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities. The position is available from February 2020 onwards.

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:

  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of motivation
  • Two recommendation letters (if available)

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

Questions regardingthe position and recommendation letters should be directed to Prof. Christoph Müller by email

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