PhD student position on advanced microstructural engineering of ceramics (a)
Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.

Empa's Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics is involved in the scientific research, development and characterization of advanced ceramics and composites for structural and, increasingly, functional applications.

You will study and characterize the particle, chemistry and sintering dependent development of the grain boundary character development, to contribute to the development of advanced grain boundary engineering strategies. The goal of the PhD project is to investigate, at a fundamental level, how particle morphology, selective doping and advanced sintering profiles can be combined to control the types and distribution of predominant grain boundaries, beyond the 2-parameter grain size-density space. Grain boundaries playing a significant role in the material properties, we envision that the generated knowledge will advance the field of functional ceramics and contribute to the development of new generation functional ceramics needed in many technological fields such as energy harvesting/conversion/storage.
Your responsibilities
  • Study the particle morphology and selective dopant dependent seeding of grain boundary character distributions
  • Study the sintering technology and strategy dependent grain boundary character distribution evolution using advanced analytical and data analysis techniques
  • Use and develop new strategies in identifying complexion transitions involved in grain boundary character distribution changes
  • Publish in peer-reviewed high-impact factor journals and present at international conferences
Your profile
  • MSc in Materials science, Chemical engineering or related disciplines
  • Demonstrated aptitude for scientific creativity and non-conventional thinking
  • Full proficiency in written and oral English 
  • Self-motivated, critical-thinking, open-minded and communicative, with a strong interest to work in an international and interdisciplinary research environment
  • Fulfilling all eligibility requirements to be admitted at the EDMX doctoral school at EPFL
The position
We offer a fully SNF funded PhD position at Empa to conduct cutting-edge research for the benefits of industry and the wellbeing of society. Applications are open immediately and the starting date is September 2023 or upon mutual agreement. The PhD candidate will be co-supervised by Dr. Andrea Testino from PSI.
«a» stands for «all» in our job advertisements. We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities. That's what counts - not age, gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc....
We look forward to receiving your complete online application including a letter of motivation, CV, certificates, diplomas and contact details of two reference persons. Please submit these exclusively via our job portal. Applications by e-mail and by post will not be considered.
Cristina Marinoni, Bereichspersonalleiterin / HR Partner
  Dr. Michael Stuer
Group Leader Nanopowders and Ceramics
High Performance Ceramics
Your future place of work
Ueberlandstrasse 129
8600 Dübendorf
Empa as an employer
Innovative, sustainable, meaningful activities
Creating added value for society
International, multicultural working environment
Freedom to create and develop
Culture of inclusion and respect
Excellent balance between different areas of life
Multiple award-winning and certified employer
Benefits for rail, mobile, childcare, catering, etc.