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Ph.D position at EPFL-LSMS, Switzerland

Graduate assistantship positions are available in the Computational olid Mechanics Laboratory ( at the Ecole olytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (
We are interested in highly motivated Ph.D. candidates with an academic background (B.S. and M.S.) in either Mechanical Engineering, Civil ngineering or Computational Materials Science.

Mechanics-based nanotribology

Nanotechnology is a new frontier in research, and as any new domain, new tools must be developed. Clearly, as surface/volume ratios become larger, engineering at the nanoscale will be dominated by surface science and thus Contact Mechanics is prone to an exciting revival. Contact occurs indeed in all structures and machines, from computer chips to automobile tires. The study of Contact Mechanics at nanoscales, i.e. nanotribology, needs to fully account for adhesive forces. Understanding the development of these forces as well as the morphology of contact areas has the potential of shedding light on the build up of frictional forces and wear. It will guide us to design better lubricants and surfaces.

At LSMS, we develop fundamental tools to study large-scale simulations of frictional contact wear in which the three-dimensional topology of the contacting objects is explicitly represented. We develop hybrid algorithms that efficiently describe a wide range of length scales. Our objective is to use these algorithms to address fundamental issues in adhesion, tribology, and fluid flow in geometries where some relevant features are of nanometer scale. The selected Ph.D. candidate will conduct multiscale simulations of contact between rough surfaces using coupled atomistic/Finite-Element methods. The framework LibMultiScale ( will be used to perform such multiscale simulations. This framework can handle up to 3D geometries through the use of various continuum mechanics and molecular dynamics codes. The source code of this framework is written in C++. A good programming experience would be a valuable skill, but not mandatory.

A good level in English is required to follow the EPFL doctoral school program.

Competitive stipend and benefits are offered.


If interested, please send applications (single PDF/MSOFFICE/OPENOFFICE file containing CV, cover letter and two references) to:

Prof. J.F. Molinari (jean-francois.molinari at
Dr. G. Anciaux (guillaume.anciaux at

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