PhD on “Modelling and multiscale design of active mechanical metamater

PhD on “Modelling and multiscale design of active mechanical metamater

Published Deadline Location
7 Jul 15 Nov Eindhoven

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Job description

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 (, 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.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


Highly talented and enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical skills and excellent grades are encouraged to apply. A MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, or a related discipline is preferred, as well as a strong background in computational methods. In particular, students with a specialization in numerical modeling and finite element techniques, micro-mechanics & multi-scale modelling and optimization techniques including topology optimization, are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate has excellent scientific skills with a research-oriented attitude, outstanding verbal and written communication skills, and is fluent in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V35.5773


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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