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PhD position in computational mechanics

Arttu Polojärvi's picture

We are looking for a doctoral student to work on numerical modelling of fragmentation of quasi-brittle materials. In more detail, you will study breakage and fragmentation of ice blocks. These phenomena occur under compressive loads in ice block to ice block contacts. The fragmentation process is complicated, and requires novel numerical modelling techniques. Modelling may need to be done on different scales, which may have to reach from very high resolution modeling to simplified contact models on larger scale. Even if the first application of the research is in sea ice, the research relates to other fields that include material fragmentation and fracture, and/or quasi-brittle materials.

As part of your research, you will participate in development of an in-house code for modelling the fragmentation problem. Our current code is an explicit particle-based simulation code (discrete element method). we are open and flexible with the changes on modelling approaches if needed: the focus of this fragmentation study is in complex problem including a multi-fracturing, but initially solid material, and we look for the best solution.

You will be working as part of the Arctic Marine and Ice Technology group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. A central part of our research is numerical modelling accompanied by novel experiments, which are both conducted to study the sea ice failure processes, and ice fracture and fragmentation. As part of the research, you will also attend in performing unique experiments to validate the results of the numerical modelling. For the experimental work, you will get support from our group and other researchers with experience on experimentation on ice.


The call is open for candidates with a wide range of backgrounds. Most importantly, high level of interest and motivation towards, and deep understanding on, solid and computational mechanics is required. The background may come from applied or computational mechanics, material modelling, mechanical, marine or civil engineering, engineering physics, computer sciences, or other disciplines related to computational mechanics. Prior experience on working with Matlab, C, C++, Python or Fortran on mechanics is considered a plus. Experience on sea ice is not required. The applicant for the position must have a Master’s degree when starting the work (if you are soon finishing you Master’s and want to apply, send us an email), and must fulfill the requirements for doctoral students at the Aalto University School of Engineering (see

To apply

Apply by 31.12.2017. Follow the instructions on the following web-page:

For additional information, please contact Assistant Professor Arttu Polojärvi (email:

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