PhD position: modeling fracture of meta-materials in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


80%-100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Chair of Computational Mechanics of Building Materials in the Institute for Building Materials at ETH Zurich has an opening for a PhD student in modeling fracture of meta-materials. The position is available with starting date 1. April 2023 or soon thereafter.

Project background

The Chair of Computational Mechanics of Building Materials conducts research at the interface between mechanics, materials and scientific computing. Research activities are focused on modelling the link between micro- to mesoscale properties of engineering and biological materials and their macroscale mechanical performance. The centre of our interests is on dynamic fracture, earthquake source mechanics, topologically interlocked materials, early-age structural build-up of cement, corrosion-induced cracking in concrete, and granular material mechanics. The overall objective is a fundamental understanding of the multi-scale and multi-physical mechanics of materials and the development of predictive numerical tools for the mechanical failure of materials and structures.

Job description

This position is part of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, which will support a total of four researchers, and focuses on the development of interfaces with unconventional mechanical properties. This PhD position will focus on the fracture properties of meta-materials. The objective is to develop numerical models of architected materials with interfaces and to investigate their mechanical properties. Different approaches for generating interfaces will be explored and evaluated. The numerical results will then be compared to experimental data collected by other team members and used to study the fundamental mechanisms governing the failure of meta-materials.

Your profile
  • You hold an MSc degree in mechanics, material science, physics or a related discipline and have a background in solid mechanics, applied mathematics, computational science, material science or a related field.
  • Additionally, you have prior programming experience and are fluent in English (oral and written).
  • You show enthusiasm for conducting original research in an interdisciplinary and international team, and you strive for scientific excellence.
Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

We value diversity
In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.
Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a CV
  • an academic transcript/list of courses completed
  • copy of your master thesis
  • a brief statement describing your project idea relevant to the job description, making a connection to your experience in this area and the related work from the literature
  • the names and contact details of two references

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.
Further information about the chair can be found on our . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. David Kammer by email (no applications).

We explicitly encourage qualified female candidates to apply.


About ETH Zürich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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