PhD position in the field of small-scale deformation mechanism in hcp alloys
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.
Our Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures in Thun is offering a PhD position founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) in the field deformation mechanism of hexagonal closed packed (hcp) alloys.
The Project
The development of light, strong, ductile and therefore easily formable hexagonal closed pack (hcp) alloys is one of the keys to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission in aeronautic and transportation industries. Currently, their use as structural material is limited because of their lack of easy slip systems and a plasticity largely adapted by deformation twinning, associated with high residual stresses. The research project aim at investigating the nucleation and propagation mechanisms of deformation twinning in hcp alloys and the role of solute atoms in these processes. This will be done through the development of novel in situ testing experiments (high strain rate, cryo- to high temperatures) combined with advanced characterization techniques for strains, stresses and dislocation analyses at the nanoscale. This includes the development of in situ high-resolution transmission kikuchi diffraction technique (HR-TKD) in SEM, as well as the precession electron diffraction (PED) techniques in TEM.
Your profile
You must hold a Master’s or an equivalent degree in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering or similar. A high motivation to work at the leading edge of characterization science and to work in an international, multidisciplinary research team is essential. Knowledge of English (oral and written) is required and knowledge of German or French would be an advantage. Experience in small scale mechanical testing techniques (nanoindentation, micropillar compression), electron microscopy based techniques (SEM, FIB and TEM) and programming (e.g. Matlab, Python or C++) is desirable.
Our offer
Empa in Thun, near Bern, offers an ideal working environment with excellent infrastructure for personaland professional development and is situated in a beautiful area in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. You will be enrolled in the "Materials Science" doctoral program at EPFL in Lausanne. The starting date is as soon as possible or upon mutual agreement and the PhD project is planned for a duration of 4 years.
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.
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. Xavier Maeder
Group Leader Microstructural analyses
Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials & Nanostructures
Your future place of work
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
3602 Thun
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