PhD Position on Micro-mechanism based hygro-thermo mechanical damage simulation for porous media

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: PartTime
Deadline: 17 Oct 2022

PhD Position on Micro-mechanism based hygro-thermo mechanical damage simulation for porous media

The Institute for Building Materials (IfB) focuses on fundamental and applied research in novel and established building materials. The lfB consists of 5 research groups with a wide spectrum of experimental and computational competencies. To strengthen our efforts, we are offering the following position for young scientists.


Project background

In a multi-disciplinary research effort from 3 groups, we aim at describing in-situ material ageing of clay-bearing sandstones, a stone with central importance in Switzerland, suffering from degradation. By modelling the coupled effect of temperature, moisture, and mechanical (HTM) loading on damage and failure, we want to obtain tools that provide a rational basis for accelerated lab testing procedures and preventive measures.


Job description

Your work will be devoted to sandstone-water interactions from different perspectives with continuum models, discrete element models and experimentally using cutting-edge technology. You will start with established HTM models, adapt them to the material specifics that you experimentally obtain, and apply them in combination with FEM simulations. To assess the damage and its evolution, you will develop a Discrete Element approach with bonded particles and fluid and will determine damage evolutions under various climatic scenarios, that can be embedded in the FEM simulations to trigger fracture. Within the framework, you will simulate degradation and fracture formation under cyclic climatic loading which can be employed to address several open questions.


We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.


Your profile
  • You meet the requirements for a doctoral program at ETH Zürich and hold an MSc in physics or computer science, civil, mechanical, or materials engineering, or similar disciplines.
  • You are highly motivated and eager to learn and you like to combine theoretical considerations and models with experimental challenges.
  • A strong background in computer modelling, building physics, and interdisciplinary scientific work and interest in both theoretical and practical work is a premise.
  • Accurate work and very good communication skills in German and English round off your profile.

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:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivational Letter
  • Transcript of records
  • If possible reference letters

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 D-BAUG and relevant groups at IfB can be found on the following websites:

For further information (no applications), please contact Dr.-Ing. Falk Wittel, Institute for Building Materials (fwittel@ethz.ch ).


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