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MSc or PhD position in Mechanical Engineering at UBC, Vancouver (Canada): Discrete Contact Mechanics - from atomistic simulation to macro scale evaluation of the adhesive performance of bio-inspired dry adhesive materials

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Project Details: This project aims at providing new insight on the design of bio-inspired dry adhesive materials from the molecular scale to the whole device with a bottom-up approach. At the eve of the development of functional materials capable of mimicking the reversible adhesive properties of geckos, spiders and other insects, robust design principles are crucial for bringing this emerging technology from the laboratory to the real world. Investigations on the optimal contact shape and interfacial microstructure design will be done with the use of modern computational technologies, such as molecular dynamics and peridynamics, in combination with more conventional finite element methods and structural optimization techniques.

 

The primary goal of this project is to develop a numerical code that investigates the detachment mechanism of two layers of material with defined stiffness and contact shape. The evolution of the contact zone, as well as the maximum adhesive strength, should be predicted with this methodology for a wide range of physical and geometrical input parameters. Some parametrical investigation will be done to extrapolate robust design principles. The project is a collaboration between Prof. Mattia Bacca (Solid Mechanics) and Prof. Mauricio Ponga (Mechanics of Materials with MD-methods), both in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 

How to apply: Interested applicants should directly contact by email Prof. Mattia Bacca (mbacca@mech.ubc.ca) or Prof. Mauricio Ponga (mponga@mech.ubc.ca). Please attach, in a single pdf document named with your first and last name, your CV, your transcripts with a clearly visible record and international evaluation (GPA scores), a brief letter of interest (optional) and one contact reference. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The position is open until filled.

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