Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

For the University of Edinburgh, we are looking for a 


PhD candidate in fire behaviour of self-prestressed concrete slabs reinforced with carbon fibre rein-forced polymer tendons

Novel precast concrete elements were developed by Empa in 2013-2016, utilizing high-strength, self-consolidating concrete (SCC) in which prestress is introduced by high-strength and modulus, lightweight, and non-corroding carbon fiber reinforced polymer tendons (UHM CFRP tendons). These precast FRP pretensioned SCC panels are intended as e.g. load-bearing panels for concrete building facades. It is known that the bond strength between both steel and FRP reinforcing tendons and concrete deteriorates at elevated temperature and that high strength concrete tends to an explosive spalling failure mode when subjected to a fire. The bond strength reductions in fire, their impacts on the load-bearing capacity of prestressed concrete structures, and the spalling behaviour of high-strength concrete remain poorly understood and are the researched topics in this project. Here the expertize of the University of Edinburgh BRE center for fire safety engineering comes into play and will allow to study the fire behavior of the novel prestressed concrete. CFRP prestressing and mechanical characterization of the specimens will be done at Empa while fire experiments and numerical modelling are planned at the University of Edinburgh.

The PhD candidate will be employed at the University of Edinburgh, experimental stays are planned at Empa Dübendorf (for 1-2 months per year)

For further information about the position please contact Prof Dr Giovanni Terrasi, giovanni.terrasi@empa.ch and visit the website of The University of Edinburgh and the following link:


Please upload your application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees only through above mentioned link.