The Chair of Building Physics of ETH Zurich is performing multiscale research on the interaction of moisture with porous materials. In collaboration with the Laboratory of Multiscale Studies in Building Physics of Empa and with international collaboration of the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté (ICB UMR CNRS 6303 and AgroSup UMR PAM Dijon), France and the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Physics in Grenoble, France, we are recruiting a
PhD student on "Molecular dynamics investigation of gas transport in cork using a multiscale approach"
We are looking for a highly skilled and motivated candidate that will investigate, by Molecular Dynamics (MD), the mass transport behavior of cork. Cork, one of the layers of the bark of oak, is a natural polymer with an alveolar cellular structure and presents a low permeability to gas and liquid and a remarkable elasticity with dimensional recovery. A major polymeric component is suberin which main function is to be a transport barrier for water and solutes. Understanding the transport of gas (vapor and oxygen) within this cellular material is achieved through atomistic simulations, analyzed and validated with experiments. In particular, transport, sorption, dimensional stability and mechanical properties are studied at the cell wall level. The problem has a multiscale nature, so an existent multiscale frame using MD, upscaling with poromechanics and continuum models is to be used.
The candidate should be a responsible and communicative scientist with a master degree in mechanical, civil or material engineering, physics, materials science, or similar field. Optimally, the candidate should have strong background in mechanics of materials and computer simulation. A good background in computer programming with good knowledge of BASH or Python is advantageous. The candidate should be proficient in English.