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.
In this project, you will investigate the multiscale structure-property relationships of the musk ox skull that yield extraordinary shock absorption performance under repeated high energy impacts. Based on the lessons learned, you will design, synthesize, and characterize artificial metamaterials with outstanding energy absorption capabilities. Throughout the project, you will utilize different state of the art experimental and modelling approaches such as high resolution CT imaging, mechanical simulations of impacts at several length scales, analytical and numerical modeling of artificial lattice structures, 3D printing of novel microscale metamaterials using two photon lithography, as well as dynamic micromechanical testing. You will be enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering doctoral program at ETH Zurich under the co-supervision of Prof. Dennis Kochmann. Your research will contribute to the understanding of wave propagation in and dynamic failure of bone structures and opens up possibilities for designing resilient metamaterials for applications such as protective components in, e.g., sports, space and aviation, or MEMS sectors.
You must hold a Master’s or an equivalent Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field. A high motivation to work at the leading edge of mechanical sciences in an international, multidisciplinary research teams is essential. Very good knowledge of English (oral and written) is essential. Knowledge of German or French would be an advantage. A solid background in continuum mechanics is important. Experience in image analysis, numerical simulation (e.g. Abaqus), mechanical testing, and/or programming (e.g. Python, Matlab) is desirable.
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 ETH Zurich. The starting date is as soon as possible or upon mutual agreement and the PhD project is planned for 4 years.
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Bereichspersonalleiterin / HR Partner