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Postdoc in network-inspired models of heterogeneous materials

Are you interested in becoming a pioneer of novel network-inspired models to predict the properties of heterogeneous materials? Then the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Aarhus University, invites you to apply for a 2.5-year postdoc position.

Expected start date and duration of employment
This is a 2.5-year position starting on 01.12.2022 or as soon possible.

Job description
Most solid materials are heterogeneous at the µm scale. The heterogeneity can stem from the subdivision into domains, e.g. crystals in polycrystalline metals, as well as from the presence of secondary phase particles and porosities. This second type of heterogeneity is critical, because it dramatically affects the material mechanical properties. The effect can be either beneficial and purposely pursued, like in particle-reinforced composites and porous orthopedic implants, or heavily detrimental and cause for unpredicted failures, like undesired porosity in 3D printed metal parts. Theoretical tools exist to predict these effects, but they are highly computationally demanding as they involve the numerical solution of nonlinear differential equations.

To overcome this limitation, you will explore the potential of a novel approach that merges micro-mechanics with network science. The approach involves a paradigm shift in the materials community, consisting in modelling a heterogeneous material as a network rather than as a continuum. By exploiting this, you will ultimately develop a new class of fast and efficient tools to understand and predict the mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials containing pores and particles. The project is intrinsically multidisciplinary and you will work in close collaboration with experts in mechanics of materials and in network science across three European Universities.

Your profile
You hold a PhD in network science, engineering, mathematical modelling or similar. Scientific challenges excite you and you feel comfortable talking to people with different backgrounds. You have strong expertise in one (or both) of the following two areas

  • mechanics of materials
  • network science

and are ready to deepen your knowledge in the area you are less familiar with. Preferably, you have also experience with at least two of the following:

  • Machine learning
  • Abaqus or similar simulation software
  • Python and/or Matlab
  • Image analysis

Publication experience and excellent English communication skills are required.

Who we are
Mechanics and production are disciplines that design, analyse, produce and maintain mechanical systems using technical science, physics, engineering mathematics and materials science. Classical natural sciences and technical disciplines are used for invention and solving problems, and the research and development activities in the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering include energy systems, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer, materials technology, robot technology and machine dynamics and construction, mechatronics and robot technology, as well as integrated product and production development.

What we offer
The Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Aarhus university, offers:

  • a well-developed research infrastructure, laboratories and access to shared equipment
  • an exciting interdisciplinary environment with many national, international and industrial collaborators
  • a research climate encouraging lively, open and critical discussion within and across different fields of research
  • a work environment with close working relationships, networking and social activities
  • a workplace characterised by professionalism, equality and a healthy work-life balance.

Place of work and area of employment
The place of work is Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus C, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. 

Contact information
For further information, please contact: Assistant Prof. Tito Andriollo,

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

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