PhD Student in the field of Biomechanics (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.
The Architectured Materials Group aims at developing novel materials with unprecedented combinations of properties. We investigate multiscale structure-property relationships and toughening mechanisms in biological tissues such as bone. We translate this knowledge into the design of novel metamaterials with hierarchical architecture and tailored microstructure that allow us to combine usually mutually exclusive properties, e.g. high strength and toughness with a low density. To achieve this, we actively develop nanomechanical instruments and methods and closely integrate experimental and modeling approaches.
Your tasks
You will investigate the effects of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) on bone quality by assessing composition, structure, and properties of bone tissue at the microscale. This interdisciplinary project at the interface of biomedical engineering, materials science, and bioinformatics is funded by the Special Focus Area Personalized Health and Related Technologies of the ETH Domain. You will be enrolled in the doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Bern and investigate properties of patient biopsies in close collaboration with multiple clinical partners. During the course of the project, you will work in a multidisciplinary team and use state of the art methods such as nanoindentation, Raman spectroscopy, proteomics, and multimodal data analysis. Your research will contribute to understanding the effect of OI on the composition and multiscale mechanical properties and their impact on whole bone strength. 

The project is initiated in cooperation with Prof. Philippe Zysset of the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering of the University of Bern and Prof. Marianne Rohrbach of the University Children's Hospital Zürich, as well as further clinical partners from leading hospitals in Switzerland.
Your profile
You must hold a Master’s or an equivalent Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Biomaterials or closely related fields. A high motivation to work at the leading edge of biomedical research in an international, multidisciplinary team is essential. Good knowledge of English (oral and written) is essential. Knowledge of German or French would be an advantage. Experience in biomedical research and programming (e.g. Python) is important, experience in bioinformatics and/or proteomics is desirable.
Our offer
We offer an international, highly stimulating research environment with excellent infrastructure for personal and professional development. You will be working at Empa Thun, near Bern, and enrolled at the University of Bern. The starting date is as soon as possible or upon mutual agreement and the PhD project is planned for 4 years.
«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. Johann Jakob Schwiedrzik
Group Leader Architectured Materials
Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures
Your future place of work
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
3602 Thun
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.