The project is in collaboration with EPFL, Böhler Edelstahl, and re-fer. In our Structural Engineering Research Laboratory and the Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing, new materials and systems for civil infrastructure use are developed (e.g. iron-based shape memory alloys (Fe-SMAs)). Empa is a pioneer and a worldwide-recognized institute for research on Fe-SMA reinforcement. More than 40 scientists have worked at Empa in this field over the last 20 years. As a result, more than 100 papers have been published and highly cited by society. So far, 60 real applications have been realized by the start-up company re-fer AG. Project description and tasks In this Ph.D. project, basic studies will be performed to understand the fundamental mechanisms of low-temperature creep (i.e., the time-dependent plastic elongation) and stress relaxation of Fe-SMA products. Afterward, the relaxation of SMA reinforcements with high recovery stress (Ultra-high SMAs) will be investigated. The mechanical behavior will be correlated with the materials' microstructures. Based on a deep understanding of SMA reinforcements' creep and relaxation behavior and material modeling and simulation, the development of optimal heat treatments and/or alloy composition will be the final goal of this Ph.D. project.The prospective student will be enrolled at the doctoral school of EPF Lausanne. EPFL is one of the world’s most dynamic and reputed institutes of science and technology. It offers a combination of excellence, inspiring education, and outstanding facilities for research.
Your profile and selection criteriaThe candidate should have a Master degree in Materials Science or Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Materials Technology. A strong background in the science and technology of metals and alloys as well as an interest in shape memory alloy technology are important. Additional skills in materials characterization (e.g. OM, SEM, XRD, thermo-mechanical testing) and/or materials modeling and simulation techniques (finite elements, computational thermodynamics) would be a benefit. A strong desire to work at the leading edge of materials technology and a high level of motivation to work in an international, multidisciplinary research team in the field of materials science are essential.The candidate should have a clear interest to work in an application-oriented research environment in close-collaboration with our industrial and academic partners. Good knowledge of English (oral and written) is mandatory. Knowledge of German would be an advantage. We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position for 48 months, in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. The position is available as soon as possible but should be filled by no later than March 1, 2021.