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Faculty of Natural Sciences
Department of Physics

PhD position in atomistic simulations of precipitate formation in aluminium

A PhD student position is available at the Department of Physics. The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of until 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department 


Information about the department 

The position is organized in the Department of Physics. Currently, there are 22 professors, 12 associate professors, 4 adjunct professors, 72 PhD research fellows and 15 postdoctoral positions appointed at the Department of Physics. Our research spans a broad spectrum of natural sciences and technology, which in turn allows us to offer an education providing a solid basis for future careers. Physics research is carried out in experimental as well as theoretical fields, often across conventional boundaries between disciplines. Research staff at the institute makes a special effort to increase the awareness and understanding of the importance and impact of physics in our society. Further information about the Department can be found at https://www.ntnu.edu/physics 


Job description 

The candidate's project will be devoted to atomistic modelling of aluminium alloys and the formation of hardening precipitates. The project aims to combine density functional theory (DFT) simulations, machine learning algorithms (e.g., genetic algorithm), and the cluster expansion (CE) method for fitted inter-atomic interactions. The CE methodology enables efficient atomistic Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of intermetallic alloy compositions as a function of temperature and will give valuable insight in the underlying processes of alloy mixing/segregation, as well as precipitate nucleation and formation at various conditions. The ambitious long-term objective is to create a framework (computational platform) for rational Al-based alloy design from first principles.


We are seeking a person with a good understanding of computational physics and algorithms, and the ability to connect simulations performed with different methods with the goal to create new understanding of the physical mechanisms of precipitate nucleation and formation. The work will be carried out in full co-operation with experimental colleagues at NTNU and SINTEF who will provide experimental expertise in characterization (electron microscopy) and detailed structural knowledge of the alloy systems. The theory collaboration will be carried out together with Aalto University in Finland and the company (SME) Nanolayers in the UK. In addition, extended research visits abroad will be desirable for the candidate to work with foreign collaborators. 


Detailed information on our PhD programs is found at: http://www.ntnu.edu/nv/phd


The applicant must have an MSc (or equivalent) in physics, applied mechanics, computational materials science or chemistry or a closely related field before entering the position,. He/she has to demonstrate good basic knowledge in solid state physics and quantum physics (chemistry). A documented background in computational physics/chemistry is required, either with a focus on atomistic modelling (density functional theory and/or molecular dynamics), dislocation dynamics or advanced finite element analysis. The applicant must have good programming skills in at least one of the following programming languages: C/C++, Java, and/or Python. Experience from modelling of metallic microstructures and/or machine learning algorithms will be considered as an advantage. 


The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams. Female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates with a PhD degree will not be considered for the position. 


The regulations for PhD programmes at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required and C or higher of the BSc. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:  




The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Such evidence might be represented by the results of standard tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). The candidate's language skills might also be assessed in a personal interview.


Terms of employment 

The appointment will be made according to the general regulations regarding university employees. PhD research positions are remunerated in salary code 1017, at start wage level 50 on the Norwegian Government pay scale, gross NOK 435 500 per year before tax. There is a 2% deduction for superannuation contribution. 


The appointment of the PhD fellows will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. Applicants must agree to participate in organized doctoral study programs within the period of the appointment and have to be qualified for the PhD-study. 


The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent. NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. The position as PhD research fellow is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. 


Further information can be obtained from Professor Jaakko Akola (jaakko.akola@ntnu.no), Department of Physics, NTNU


The application 

Applications with CV, certificates from both Bachelor and Master, possible publications and other scientific works, copies of transcripts, (copies of documentation on English language proficiency test) and reference letters should be submitted. 


Applications must be submitted electronically through www.jobbnorge.no.

Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.


The reference number of the position is: NT 16/17

Application deadline: 28.02.2017


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