Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, invites applications for a fully funded Ph.D. student position in modeling of non-periodic mechanical metamaterials. Project in brief
Mechanical metamaterials currently represent the most convincing example of a bottom-up paradigm for the design of engineering materials, in which unusual overall behavior emerges from the collective response of carefully architectured microstructures rather than from the properties of individual constituents alone. The major bottleneck for further development of metamaterials featuring reversible pattern formation, which we target in this project, is seen in the microstructure periodicity intrinsic to most current designs. While instrumental in triggering instability-driven patterns, uniform microstructures preclude further performance gains under non-uniform excitations. The PERFORM project aims to overcome the limitations of uniform microstructures by exploring the concept of non-periodic tilings, in which material microstructures arise from compatible assemblies of a handful of jigsaw puzzle-like material modules. Successful application of this paradigm to materials design requires:
- New generalized continuum theories for understanding the emergent behavior of metamaterials with non-uniform microstructures,
- Novel algorithms for the simultaneous optimum design of modules and their assemblies,
- Validation studies performed on optimized assemblies,
- Investigation of mechanisms for targeted self-assembly based on passive interface interactions.
The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Mechanics of Materials
group at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands (led by Professor Marc Geers
), and the Legato group
at the University of Luxembourg (led by Professor Stéphane Bordas
For this project, you will mainly be involved in developing novel theoretical and computational models for non-periodic metamaterials exhibiting patterning fluctuation fields. Two approaches are to be examined, depending on your previous experience and research interests:
- A two-scale computational homogenization approach, in which the macro-scale response is described with a generalized continuum model whose parameters are extracted from auxiliary module-scale problems,
- Concurrent full-field simulations employing ideas from domain decomposition or multi-grid methods.
The primary challenge for both approaches lies in the efficient exploitation of repeating -- yet non-periodic -- patterns in metamaterial microstructure resulting from the modular design. Complementary to these activities, you will also collaborate on utilizing your results for acceleration of optimization algorithms developed in another part of the project. Your contributions to this project will primarily involve:
- Carrying out research with the project team and in cooperation with the other parties involved,
- Fulfillment of requirements for Ph.D. students of Physical and Materials Engineering or Mathematics in Civil Engineering study programmes,
- Close collaboration with Professor Milan Jirásek, coordinator of the modeling part of the project, and with a postdoctoral researcher working on a related topic,
- Co-supervision of Bachelor- and Master-level students working on the project,
- Presenting project results at international conferences,
- Co-authoring journal papers.
We are looking for candidates who:
- Hold an MSc. degree (or equivalent) in a research area related to the opening,
- Have the potential to perform independent research leading to publications in high-quality refereed journals.
- Possess excellent communication skills and written/verbal knowledge of English.
Previous experience in at least one of the following fields:
- Non-linear continuum mechanics of generalized continua,
- Development of novel scale-bridging methods and algorithms,
- Computational mechanics of materials and metamaterials,
- Domain decomposition, multi-grid, or generalized finite element methods for problems with microstructure,
- Scientific computing for materials design
is welcome, but not required. We offer
- Integration into a newly-formed interdisciplinary group of researchers with expertise in computational mechanics, composite materials, optimization, and mobile and modular robotics.
- A 12-month contract which can be prolonged upon mutual agreement to four years of Ph.D. study.
- Full coverage of tuition fees,
- Gross salary of 26,000 CZK per month corresponding to 75% FTE (approximately 1,000 Euro or 1,200 USD monthly; for comparison, the median gross salary in the Czech Republic is 27,000 CZK per month) and partial coverage of social and medical insurance by the employer.
- Possibility to apply for personal projects funded by the Student Grant Competition at CTU (equivalent to approximately 25% FTE).
- Performance-based bonuses according to annual evaluations of Ph.D. students.
- 30 days of paid annual leave.
. The application should contain:
- Motivation letter (up to two pages), stating personal goals and research interests,
- Academic curriculum vitae including a detailed list of publications, when applicable,
- At least two letters of recommendation from academic staff,
- A transcript of your grades for Master (required) and Bachelor (recommended) level courses.
- A copy of or a link to your MSc. thesis or its topic and the expected date of MSc. thesis defense.
Czech as well as international researchers are encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; the starting date is expected to be no later than 1 October 2019. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview (in-person, for applicants living in the Czech Republic; remote, for all other candidates). For more information