PhD Position - Numerical Modeling of the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) of Multi-Material 3D Structures

WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland


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PhD Position - Numerical Modeling of the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) of Multi-Material 3D Structures

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) at the Department of Mechanical & Process Engineering (D-MAVT) at ETH Zurich develops advanced computational models alongside new manufacturing systems to overcome the limitations of today’s materials processing technologies. Part of our group is devoted to the development of novel numerical frameworks for the solution of complex problems in processing metallic materials, with a particular focus on powder-based manufacturing processes.

Project background

Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS), also referred to as Field Assisted Sintering Technique (FAST), is sintering process that uses Joule heating and pressure. In our lab, we focus on sintering of multi-material parts. Modeling and simulation of this process is a complex task for which a coupled electric-thermal-mechanical field problem needs to be solved. Within the numerical simulation framework of SPS, one of the main complexities stems from the electrical, thermal, and mechanical behavior of the materials and interfaces at different time-length scales that significantly influences the choice of constitutive modeling approaches. The ultimate goal of this project is to address these issues and provide a new mechanism for the design and optimization of SPS/FAST processes. To accomplish this challenging task, we seek a highly motivated PhD candidate who will support us in developing new and extending available models to simulate the multi-material SPS process.

This position will be available as soon as possible or upon agreement; the planned project duration is 3 years.

Job description

Your main contribution to this research project will be to:

  1. implement the electrical field and current flow modules into our existing C++ particle-based code for SPS simulation;
  2. build an electrical-thermal-mechanical multi-physics Finite Element (FE) model of SPS/FAST in a commercial software like COMSOL or ABAQUS;
  3. validate the numerical models against experimental measurements.

Furthermore, you will perform Representative Volume Elements (RVE) simulations for deriving more sophisticated constitutive models of materials and interfaces at complex stress states. You are additionally expected to develop approaches for solving the optimal control problem and inverse problems to achieve the desired SPS-ed shape. Besides benchmarking and programming duties, this PhD position entails publishing high-quality journal papers, presenting at international conferences, and teaching contributions. This interdisciplinary research is conducted in a modern working environment within a young and highly motivated team.

For more information:

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Your profile

You hold a Master's degree in Computational Science, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science or another relevant subject, with an analytical mindset and strong computer skills. You should be a proficient computational scientist who has worked on multiphysics modeling of engineering systems, preferably using FE-commercial software like COMSOL or ABAQUS in the manufacturing domain. You are expected to have a proven track record of conducting research on numerical simulations of continuum mechanics systems with mesh-based and/or particle-based methods. Ideally, you are also familiar with RVE homogenization and computational moving interfaces using level set methods. Any relevant scientific programming experience, especially in C/C++ , is considered a big plus. Knowledge and experience in CPU/GPU parallel computing , especially with CUDA, are highly appreciated. Knowledge of other HPC algorithms such as MPI will be an advantage. You have the ability to work independently and in small cross-functional teams. Familiarity with collaborative coding and version control systems (e.g., git ) is beneficial. Professional command of English (both written and spoken) is mandatory.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 52678.

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