Doctoral Candidate in Computational Mechanics

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Aalto University School of Engineering invites applications for DOCTORAL CANDIDATE IN COMPUTATIONAL MECHANICS 

We are looking for a doctoral student to work on numerical modelling of fragmentation of quasi-brittle materials. In more detail, you will study breakage and fragmentation of ice blocks. These phenomena occur under compressive loads in ice block to ice block contacts. The fragmentation process is complicated, and requires novel numerical modelling techniques. Modelling may need to be done on different scales, which may have to reach from very high resolution modeling to simplified contact models on larger scale. Even if the first application of the research is in sea ice, the research relates to other fields that include material fragmentation and fracture, and/or quasi-brittle materials. 

As part of your research, you will participate in development of an in-house code for modelling the fragmentation problem. Our current code is an explicit particle-based simulation code (discrete element method). we are open and flexible with the changes on modelling approaches if needed: the focus of this fragmentation study is in complex problem including a multi-fracturing, but initially solid material, and we look for the best solution. 

You will be working as part of the Arctic Marine and Ice Technology group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. A central part of our research is numerical modelling accompanied by novel experiments, which are both conducted to study the sea ice failure processes, and ice fracture and fragmentation. As part of the research, you will also attend in performing unique experiments to validate the results of the numerical modelling. For the experimental work, you will get support from our group and other researchers with experience on experimentation on ice. 


The call is open for candidates with a wide range of backgrounds. Most importantly, high level of interest and motivation towards, and deep understanding on, solid and computational mechanics is required. The background may come from applied or computational mechanics, material modelling, mechanical, marine or civil engineering, engineering physics, computer sciences, or other disciplines related to computational mechanics. Prior experience on working with Matlab, C, C++, Python or Fortran on mechanics is considered a plus. Experience on sea ice is not required. The applicant for the position must have a Master’s degree when starting the work (if you are soon finishing you Master’s and want to apply, send us an email), and must fulfill the requirements for doctoral students at the Aalto University School of Engineering (see


The position is at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and may include some work as a teaching assistant in our courses. The expected duration of doctoral studies is four years, but a contract is first made for one year, and the extension is subject to advance of studies and research. The salary is according to the salary system of Aalto University. 

How to apply for a doctoral candidate position 

The application material includes
1. Motivation letter (maximum one A4 page, important: provide clear, but honest, evidence of your skills related to the job description and requirements above) 2. CV and other proof of scientific activity (publications, conference papers etc.)
3. A certified copy of master´s degree certificate and official transcript of records, and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English 4. An English abstract or summary the MSc thesis
5. Any other supporting documents, like recommendation letters
6. Proof of proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English if the applicant is not a native speaker of them (see

 All material should be submitted in English. 

Applications with attachments (in pdf-format) are to be submitted no later than 1 June 2018 through the link “Apply for this job” below. The position will be fulfilled as soon as a suitable candidate is found. 

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period. 

Further information 

For additional information, please contact Assistant Professor Arttu Polojärvi (email:

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