PhD project position on the “characterization and quantification of chemo-mechanical damage in con-crete by the Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR)”.

Inserat Nr.

Dienstag, 10. Januar 2017



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Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

The Laboratory for Concrete and Construction Chemistry, in collaboration with the Center for X-ray Analytics, Empa, and the Institute for Building Materials, ETHZ, are jointly seeking a candidate for a

PhD project position on the “characterization and quantification of chemo-mechanical damage in con-crete by the Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR)”.
Patricia Nitzsche
Human Resources
Ueberlandstrasse 129
8600 Dübendorf

Concrete is the most used building material. The Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) causes cracking and with it substantial damage to concrete structures worldwide. Although ASR is one of the major focal points of concrete research since the first cases were reported in the 1940's, the current knowledge is still not sufficient to understand various aspects of the reaction and the respective chemo-mechanics leading to the cracking. Due to this lack of in-depth knowledge about the reaction mechanisms and about how the damage develops and evolves, ASR mitigation and management of affected structures is still mainly empirical.

Within the framework of a multi-disciplinary research program with several PhD students and Post-doctoral researchers aiming at shedding light on the chemo-mechanics of ASR, Empa and ETHZ are jointly looking for a PhD student to study the chemo-mechanics of ASR at the scale of single aggregates and concrete regions containing a few aggregates. One of the main goals of the project is to indirectly measure and spatially map the chemo-mechanical deformations due to ASR by use of X-ray micro-tomography and respective novel 3D image analysis approaches and algorithms, from the length scales of a few?m up to a few cm. This will allow characterizing the ASR cracking patterns and fracture mechanisms. The experimental and computational imaging work will be performed within the highly inter-disciplinary context of six projects investigating different chemical, mechanical and (coupled) chemo-mechanical features of ASR at multiple length scales and run by the collaboration of several institutions (Empa, PSI, EPFL and ETHZ).

The project aims at starting in Spring 2017. We are looking for students with a Master in Physics, Engineering Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science/Engineering, Civil Engineering, Earth Sciences, Computational Sciences or Engineering Mathematics, who have a very good verbal and written knowledge of English. A strong background in mechanics of materials and good computer programming skills are considered a necessity. If you are motivated to perform scientific studies in a very interdisciplinary group, including chemists, geologists, civil engineers, materials scientists and engineers, physicists and computational scientists, then you are the person we are looking for.

For further information please contact Dr. Michele Griffa or Prof. Dr. Pietro Lura

We are looking forward to receiving your online application including a motivation letter, CV, University certificates (Bachelor and Master) and detailed grades obtained during the Master.

Please submit your application online and upload all documents ("pdf"-file is recommended) through this webpage. Any other way of applying will not be considered. Please do not send your application in copy per e-mail!