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flow and failure of soft materials

John M. Kolinski's picture

PhD positions in mechanics EMSI @ EPFL

Fully-funded PhD position in EMSI lab at EFPL - flow and failure of soft materials

The focus of the thesis project is on the flow and failure mechanisms in soft materials. Whereas a comprehensive framework for understanding yield in crystalline materials has helped us to understand plastic deformation of metals for nearly a century, no comprehensive framework has been developed for soft materials. Indeed, yielding and failure mechanisms in soft materials are strongly tied to the failure of everyday materials, from soil and rocks to cosmetics and food, and are thus ubiquitous in our daily experience. A variety of experimental approaches will be used to study flow and failure in soft materials using elastomers and hydrogels as material models, including optical microscopy and x-ray tomography. Prior experience in these methods is not required. Some laboratory experience is preferred, as students will be in charge of the experiments from design of the apparatus to data processing and interpretation. Strong communication ability is necessary, as numerical modelling will be carried out in collaboration.

Interested candidates holding an MS degree in Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering or Physics are encouraged to apply to the EDME doctoral school in Lausanne. The application should indicate interest in joining the EMSI lab (, and candidates should submit a CV directly to Prof. John Kolinski (john.kolinski [at]

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