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PhD position in Simulations of Dark field X-Ray Microscopy



In our center we have built a dark field x-ray microscope, installed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF.  Similar to transmission electron microscopy, this allows visualization of the microstructure (grains, domains, dislocations), but now in 3D and nondestructively. At the same time, we can map the local stress. With this microscope we can for the first time directly see how the microstructure evolves inside real life samples. We are looking for an outstanding and motivated candidate to push the boundaries of the new technique by simulations and experiments.

In the center: “The Physics of Metal Plasticity” we combine X-ray simulations and experiments with  dislocation dynamics simulations to see how dislocations (defects) self-organize during deformation of metals. The aim is to provide a first principles description of mechanical properties such as strength.

This work is also part of a new Danish Center-of-Excellence on hard materials in 3D, SOLID.  Here you will be interacting with 15 other PhDs, all exploiting the latest 3D methods based on large scale x-ray and neutron facilities, within in a broad range of fields spanning ferroelectrics, martensitic transformation, biomineralization and archeology.

Responsibilities and qualifications 

Your research will be key for advancing the instrument at ESRF into a real microscope, with modalities similar to a TEM.

Your responsibility will be full scale optical simulation of the microscope coupled with interfacing to dislocation dynamics simulations, design and optimisation of modalities for visualization of the dislocations, and demonstration experiments and associated data analysis.

You are excited about fundamental science, and we expect that you enjoy being part of a team, that you have sense of humour, is a good problem solver and that you can work efficiently and independently.

For this position we favour candidates with a degree in physics or materials science. You should

  • Have a solid grasp of diffraction, solid state physics and linear algebra
  • Understand Fourier optics
  • Have hands on experience with simulations with proven experience with programming, e.g. Python


You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applications will be made by Professor Henning Friis Poulsen, DTU Physics and Profesor Grethe Winther, DTU Mechanical Engineering.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Should you have any queries regarding the positions, please contact Henning Friis Poulsen ( or Grethe Winther (

You can read more about the SOLID center on

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 August 2021 (Danish time).

Apply online at

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.




Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.



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