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Postdoc in fluid-induced instabilities of multistable structures

Are you interested in elastic instabilities, slender structures, and fluid-structure interactions at low Reynolds numbers?

Do you want to develop the next generation of passive control valves in smart fluidic channels?

Then the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering invites you to apply for a 2-year postdoc position.

Expected start date and duration of employment

This is a 2–year position from 01.01.2023 or as soon as possible.

Job description

Fluidic channels can be found in a variety of fields, from microfluidics to soft robotics, where they have the task to provide the robot with actuation and sensing capabilities. However, soft fluidic channels in robots are still in their infancy, relying on old technologies and simple geometries, with a strong limitation in terms of actuation, motion, function, and energy. In particular, the valves within the channels require external inputs to be controlled, thereby relying only on active control strategies, and their interaction with the fluid flow is not well understood, especially for large deformations.

To overcome this limitation, you will investigate a new class of fluidic channels, termed smart fluidic channels, equipped with multi-stable flexible structures, such as shells, which can become unstable and therefore passively modify pressure-flow relationships. Indeed, recent advances in rapid prototyping of elastomers allow for the relatively easy fabrication of complex flexible structures, where channels can be equipped with internal flexible monostable or bistable components such as arches or shells. Your research approach will be based on a combination of desktop-scale experiments, simulations, and theoretical modeling on fluid-induced instabilities of multi-stable structures at low Reynolds numbers. You will work closely with the PI and attend international conferences.
 Your profileYou hold a PhD in engineering, mathematical modelling or similar. You like both experimental and theoretical/numerical modeling and scientific challenges excite you. You a have strong theoretical and/or experimental expertise in one (or both) of the following two areas

  • Elastic instabilities;
  • Fluid-structure interactions at low Reynolds numbers;

and are ready to deepen your knowledge in the areas you are less familiar with. Preferably, you have also experience with at least two of the following:

  • COMSOL Multiphysics, FEniCS or similar;
  • Python and/or Matlab;
  • Image processing;
  • Desktop-scale experiments.

Publication experience and excellent English communication skills are required. Who we areMechanics and production are disciplines that design, analyse, produce and maintain mechanical systems using technical science, physics, engineering mathematics and materials science. Classical natural sciences and technical disciplines are used for invention and solving problems, and the research and development activities in the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering include energy systems, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer, materials technology, solid mechanics, robot technology and machine dynamics, mechatronics and robot technology, as well as integrated product and production development.
 What we offerThe Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Aarhus university, offers:

  • a research infrastructure, laboratories and access to shared equipment;
  • an exciting interdisciplinary environment with many national, international and industrial collaborators;
  • a research climate encouraging lively, open and critical discussion within and across different fields of research;
  • a work environment with close working relationships, networking and social activities;
  • a workplace characterised by professionalism, equality and a healthy work-life balance.

Place of work and area of employmentThe place of work is Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus C, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. 
Contact information

For further information, please contact: Tenure-track assistant Prof. Matteo Pezzulla,


Applications must be received no later than 31.10.2023. 


Application procedure

Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.


Aarhus University

Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

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