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PhD Position in Computational Mechanics of Glasses, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

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Friction and wear are important processes that determine the function of many mechanical devices, but their underlying microscopic physical principles are complex and often not well understood. Amorphous – or glassy – materials often form on surfaces that have experienced frictional loading. The research will involve large-scale molecular dynamics simulation of the near-surface deformation upon indentation and scratching of network and bulk metallic glasses. The goal is to build a fundamental understanding of energy dissipation channels and plastic deformation processes in these materials, and to identify potential differences in the behavior of ceramic and metallic glass formers. The project will also make connection with higher level meso- and macroscale theories for the description of the plasticity of glasses.

The research will be carried out in the group of Dr. Lars Pastewka in a project funded by the Emmy-Noether program of the German Research Foundation. The group is embedded in the MicroTribology Center (μTC) which bundles tribology-related research activities at KIT-IAM and Fraunhofer IWM. KIT provides excellent infrastructure for computational research, including multiple high-performance computing platforms and large-data storage facilities.

The candidate has an MSc (or equivalent) with a strong focus on Material Science, Mechanics, Physics or Chemistry. Additional knowledge of glasses, numerical methods, atomic-scale simulation, and experience with Python and C/C++ is an asset.

Remuneration occurs on the basis of the wage agreement of the civil service in TV-L. The application deadline is May 31, 2015.

For more information please contact Dr. Lars Pastewka, Email: Interested candidates are asked to send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts and contact information for at least one academic reference to the IAM-CMS front office reachable at

KIT is an equal opportunity employer. Women are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered if equally qualified.

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