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Ph.D. Candidate Position on “Characterization of the local mechanical behavior of elastomer materials by instrumented nanoindentation”

Guenhael's picture

One Ph.D. candidate position is available in the Fall 2017 in the Elastomer Research Center (Cermel) at the Laboratory of Mechanics and Rheology (LMR) in the Polytechnic School of the University of Tours in France.

Job description

The aim of this Ph.D. is to extend the comprehension of the local mechanisms involved in elastomer materials, in order to faithfully reproduce their behavior in finite element models. The Ph.D. applicant is expected to carry out both theoretical and experimental work.

The global mechanical behavior of an elastomer is quite complex. It has a non linear response in large strains while dissipating energy with a strong dependency to strain rate and environment. This makes it difficult to model due to a large number of involved parameters. The proposed subject will aim to study the local behavior of one or more elastomers, assessing the impact of specimen elaboration (formulation, vulcanization rate…) and the nanoindentation parameters (type of indents, velocity…). The main characteristics of the materials will first be identified considering general models dedicated to polymers and taken from the literature. A new model dedicated to elastomers of their local behavior will then be established. One of the final objectives is to obtain a multi-scale modeling of this type of materials. The interest is to be able to numerically predict the response (both static and fatigue) of real parts (e.g. human artificial organs) based on experimental local measurements.


The candidate will join a dynamic research team with a research focus on elastomers. Good teamwork and communication skills are essential. S/he will have to continue the current research efforts on the characterization of elastomers, following another thesis in progress “NanoRubb” which is held by Elastopole (French Competitiveness Cluster in Rubbers and Polymers).

The position is for 3 years. The applicant should be fluent in English (spoken and written), familiar with giving presentations and lectures in English and also interested in learning French. The expected start date is 1st October 2017.

Motivated and ambitious students with excellent grades and the following backgrounds or experiences are encouraged to apply:
    •    Bachelor of Science in engineering, math or physics;
    •    Model reduction, optimization, inverse methods;
    •    Computer programming, finite elements, applied mechanics;
    •    Instrumented indentation, AFM, SEM, EBSD.


For further details or application, please contact Guenhael Le Quilliec and Florian Lacroix, e-mail:

Applications with a cover letter, CV, any publications and other scientific works, certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be submitted electronically by 30 April 2017. Preselected candidates will then pass an interview organized by the doctoral school the 18 or 19 May 2017.

Additionally, a list of reference persons would be appreciated. This could be a previous project leader, university professor or any other supervisor you have worked with. Be aware that a reference check will be conducted. Any other document you consider relevant may also be submitted.

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