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PhD scholarship in Phase-field Modelling of Piezoelectric Materials, Physics – DTU, Denmark

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)


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Nov 1, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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DTU Energy recruits PhD scholarship in Phase-field Modelling of Piezoelectric Materials at Technical University of Denmark, Denmark – Nov 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , , , ,
Deadline to Apply: November 1, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: -
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

DTU Energy
Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

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Qualification Details

Qualified applicants must have:

  • two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) in physics, astronomy, mathematics, computer science, engineering, chemistry or similar.
  • Interest in modelling techniques and programming/scientific computing, preferably some experience with Matlab and/or Fortran.
  • Interest in the theories of electrostatics and elasticity of continuum media.
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to be a part of a large, dynamic group.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

Responsibilities/Job Description

According to the lab interest

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

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.

About the Department

At DTU Energy we are starting a research project where we will use computer simulations to investigate the behavior of piezoelectric materials with the goal of improving their performance. Piezoelectric materials exhibit a coupling between electric and elastic phenomena. This means that applying an electric potential causes the material to deform, or vice versa: applying a mechanical force causes the material to generate an electric field and hence a current. As such, they are already used in a number of applications either as actuators or as power generators, especially for miniaturized devices, e.g Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

It is known that the performance of piezoelectric materials is determined by several features of their microstructure, e.g. size and shape of their crystal grains or presence of inclusions. However, in this project we investigate a yet unresolved question: how can we optimize the microstructure such that the best performance is achieved? To answer this question we will use phase-field modelling: an elegant mathematical formalism that can predict the behavior of the material at the micro- and nano-scale.

At DTU we developed a state-of-the-art phase-field simulation framework MagTense which can be used to model magnetic or electric effects at the micro-scale, as these are substantially analogous from a mathematical point of view. However, the framework is currently not able to handle the coupling with mechanical effects, which is required to describe piezoelectric phenomena. As part of your project, you will therefore develop the mathematical model to include this class of interesting physical effects in the existing modeling framework. Subsequently, you will use it to explore the relation between microstructure and performance of piezoelectric materials and devise ways to micro-engineer the microstructure to enhance the performance.

In the course of this project, you will become expert in different exciting physical phenomena that are relevant to green-energy technologies. Moreover, you will master a mathematical modelling technique, i.e. phase-field models, that has numerous applications in various scientific and technological areas. The project also involves a collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Milan, which you will visit for a few months as part of your PhD. There, you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge by collaborating with world-leading experts in nano-scale modelling.

About the Employer: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Note or Other details

You can read more about DTU Energy at

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

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Contact details

Please contact Assistant Professor Andrea Roberto Insinga, +45 21 18 03 16, or Professor Rasmus Bjørk, +45 46 77 58 95,

Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

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