We are looking for a highly creative and motivated PhD candidate to join Mechanics of Materials section at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The position is in the group of prof. Marc G.D. Geers, and will be co-supervised by Ron H.J. Peerlings and Ondrej Rokos.Context.
Metamaterials owe their name to unprecedented effective behavior that typically cannot be found in natural materials, such as being ultra-stiff & ultra-light, having auxetic behavior, or negative compressibility. Such behavior typically emerges from metamaterials' micro-structural morphology rather than from the properties of individual material constituents. Recent trends in metamaterial design aim at their actuation, using, e.g., discrete mechanical, pneumatic, thermal, chemical, or electromagnetic actuation. Metamaterials thus offer a significant design space, which can be exploited in numerous engineering applications such as artificial muscles, medical robotics including minimum invasive surgery, bio-implants, soft robotics, or self-folding systems.Objective.
The objective of this project is theoretical and computational multiscale design of active mechanical metamaterials for engineering applications.Implementation.
To achieve this goal, the project will cover several aspects of the design, multi-scale modeling, and testing of active materials. (i) Development of finite element modeling tools to estimate resulting effective properties based on first-principle models. (ii) Optimized microstructures and devices will be further sought for, exploring available design space by inverting structure-property maps. Topology optimization as well as machine learning techniques will be considered. (iii) Applications including shape morphing and self-folding, or switchable stiffness will be targeted, making use of the tools and concepts developed in previous steps.Exposition.
During this project, the candidate will have opportunity to deepen knowledge and gain understanding in concepts such as nonlinear coupled multi-physics modeling (e.g., electro-magneto-mechanical), advanced numerical and optimization tools including topology and shape optimization, multiscale computational homogenization, finite element modelling, and machine learning. Collaboration with bachelor and master students is possible and welcome.Section Embedding.
The research will be embedded within the section Mechanics of Materials (www.tue.nl/mechmat
), whose activities concentrate on the fundamental understanding of various macroscopic problems in materials processing and forming, emerging from the physics and the mechanics of the underlying material microstructure. The main challenge is the accurate prediction of mechanical properties of materials with complex micro-structures, with a direct focus on industrial needs. The thorough understanding and modeling of 'unit' processes that can be identified in the complex evolving microstructure is thereby a key issue. The group has a unique research infrastructure, both from an experimental and computational perspective. The Multi-Scale Lab allows for quantitative in-situ microscopic measurements during deformation and mechanical characterization, and it constitutes the main source for all experimental research on various mechanical aspects of materials within the range of 10-9-10-2 m. In terms of computer facilities, several multi-processor-multi-core computer clusters are available, as well as a broad spectrum of in-house and commercial software.