Open positions

Doctoral candidate position in multiscale modeling of sea ice

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 20 000 students and more than 400 professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland

Doctoral candidate position in multiscale modeling of sea ice

Novel numerical models for sea ice behavior and failure form a central part of the research by the Ice Mechanics Group at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Aalto University. We are looking for a motivated doctoral student to work on multiscale numerical modeling of sea ice. Ice motion and deformation will increase on future ice-covered seas due to climate change-induced weather patterns. The processes related to mechanical sea ice deformation, such as ice break-ups and ridge building, will become more frequent and stronger.

Research topics

Simulations are often used to predict the future of the ice-covered seas, but simulating sea ice is challenging. Large-scale continuum models are typically used to study ice behavior with a resolution of some tens of kilometers. These models do not accurately describe small-scale processes related to deformation and failure of ice. In such models, the ice properties, such as compressive strength are tuned so that the models to present observed ice behavior. Predictive power of the models suffers from this. Engineering-scale ice mechanics, on the other hand, is performed on scales ranging from one meter to one kilometer, where continuum approach does not suffice, but ice failure processes must be modelled in detail. The aim of this research is to create links between large-scale and engineering-scale sea ice modeling: What can we learn from engineering-scale simulations that can be used to improve the accuracy of large-scale simulations? In your work, you will first further develop Aalto University 3D finite-discrete element (FEM-DEM) code and use it in your research on engineering-scale simulations. Then you will use the results within large-scale sea ice simulation tools. Your research will yield new insight on the behavior of sea ice, a major indicator for the effects of climate change. 


The research performed is mostly computational. The applicant should, thus, have good understanding of solid and computational mechanics and fairly strong programming skills. Suitable background may come from applied and computational mechanics, mechanical engineering, engineering physics, or geophysics. Experience on discrete element method, , differential methods, and parallel computing are considered beneficial. By the time of starting, the applicant must fulfill the requirements for entitlement to do postgraduate studies at Aalto University (


The position is at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and may include some work as a teaching assistant. Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities. The starting salary of a doctoral student is about 2500 €/month (gross), and it increases as you progress in your research and studies. Following the standard practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the contract will be made initially for two years, then extended to another two years after a successful mid-term progress review. The total duration of doctoral studies is four years. The annual workload of research and teaching staff at Aalto University is currently 1612 hours. The contract includes Aalto University occupational healthcare.

How to apply

The application material includes

All material should be submitted in English. You may apply even if you are still in the process of writing your MSc thesis. In this case, indicate it clearly in your application.

Applications with attachments (in pdf-format) are to be submitted through the link "Apply now!" no later than September 9, 2022.

Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position via the internal HR system Workday (keyword Find Jobs) by using their existing Workday user account (not via the external webpage for open positions).

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: [email protected]).

More about Aalto University:

  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!