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PhD position in MSCA-ITN project FibreaNet in the field of microrobotic test and simulation of the fibre-droplet behavior

FibreNet is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN) within Horizon 2020 EU programme. It forms an umbrella-project that combines the individual research projects of the 15 hired PhD candidates and offers common fibre-related training.

FibreNet consortium consists of seven European universities and eight European companies who will each hire 1-3 PhD students or host 1-3 months long internships (called secondments) as part of the training program. You will be recruited by one organization for the whole period of three years, i.e., also during the secondments. The host organization is determined by the research project for which you have applied.

Fibres have a central role in determining the key characteristics of many everyday products. A good example is the role of cellulose fibres in determining the strength of cardboard. The main objective of FibreNet is to develop a set of new tools and methods to control the properties of different products that contain bio-fibres as their functional parts (bio-fibres as opposed to man-made fibres, such as carbon fibre). The developed methods will apply over a range of different fibre-related applications.

We will focus on growing sectors of bio-based fibre products including packaging, bio-composites, specialty textiles, and medical products.

Thus, the higher-level objectives of FibreNet can be summarized as:

• to boost the competitiveness of biocomposites in the composites sector and to improve the strength and durability properties of composites by enhancing the fibre-matrix interface properties,

• to improve the price-competitiveness and functionality of paper and fibre-based packages by developing new modification, characterization and modelling methods and tools,

• to improve biocompatibility, to extend the linear drug release period and increase pilot production capabilities in fibre-based wound healing and tissue engineering applications.

In order to achieve the objectives, each individual research project will tackle different bio-fibre related problems related to functionalization, characterization, modelling and/or to production. The scale of operation will span from nanoscale via microscale to product scale.

Job description:

The research work for this PhD project tackles the challenges of micro-scale material properties of interfaces. In the future, small-scale testing of fibers and fiber-matrix samples must be robotized and the data output converted into as efficient as possible material data. However, the test systems have various sources of errors and inaccuracy. To overcome these challenges along with fundamental limitations, a real test system as well as typical samples must be modelled and tests simulated.

The aim of this project is to launch a PhD candidate into the world of continuum modelling of a micro-robotic testing system and typical material samples used in it. The ultimate outcomes are the methods producing valid material properties for selected material samples, and also the general understanding and suggestions to improve the testing system in terms of efficient material data extraction and accuracy.

The modelling work focuses on interface modelling, damage modelling in polymers and interfaces, and on the statistical data implementation for finite element methods. As a starting point, the modelling code is ABAQUS standard/explicit and the implemented (interface) modelling methods, such as cohesive element modelling. For later work stages, user-defined material models are needed. The work is conducted in close collaboration with the other projects of the ITN in order to form a solid experimental reference and validation background.

The research in this project makes an impact to the scientific fields of fibers and micro-composites. The research area of micro-scale testing and micro-scale material properties is a field where new findings are actively sought for. The modern multi-scale simulation methods require fundamental and valid micro-scale material models. These modelling needs have been realized especially in the fields of papermaking, aerospace and medical technology.


The general requirements for all FibreNet positions apply here, i.e.:

• you may already be in a PhD program but you cannot be a PhD holder,

• you must have less than 4 years of research experience, i.e., you should be an early-stage researcher,

• you must not have resided or carried out your main activity in the country of the hiring organization for more than 12 months during the last 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment (short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account), and

• you should have a high-level knowledge of the English language.

Furthermore, the position-related requirements are:

• Master’s degree (completed at latest in July 2018) in mechanics of materials, mechanical engineering, or computer sciences,

• Experience or knowledge of applications of finite element methods is necessary. Experience in materials testing, programming, or advanced probabilistic methods is an advantage,

• Enrollment as a doctoral student at TUT within four months, and

• ability to work independently as a member of TUT research team and of the FibreNet community


Gross salary, before mandatory employer deductions (22%) AND income tax:

€4226.26 (for those without family)

€4726.26 (for those with family or children at the time of the recruitment)

The family status will be determined at the date of the (first) recruitment. For more details, see Section 5 of the MSCA-ITN guide. TUT offers a range of staff benefits e.g., occupational health care, flexible working hours, excellent campus sport facilities, and restaurants and cafés on campus with staff discounts.

Finland has one of the most advanced and comprehensive welfare systems in the world. It includes sickness, maternity, paternity and various family benefits, such as child-care services, and a comprehensive healthcare system. For more details, check the EU Comission’s document on social security rights in Finland

Trial period:

The appointment is subject to the satisfactory completion of a trial period of four (4) months.


The position will be filled now for a fixed-term period of 36 months. Appointment is expected to commence on June 2018 or as mutually agreed (1-2 months changes to the intended starting time are possible).

For more information, please contact:

• Supervisor Professor Pasi Kallio, pasi.kallio@tut.fi, or Assistant Professor Mikko Kanerva, mikko.kanerva@tut.fi (on scientific content)

• HR Specialist Päivi Peltonen, paivi.peltonen@tut.fi (on application procedure)

Fibrenet web pages (consortium's job posting, our vacancy number is IRP3)

TUT Foundation – Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Tampere, Finland

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted in English by TUT online application form. The closing date for applications is March 11th 2018 (24.00 EET / 22.00 UTC).

Mandatory appendices:

• a Curriculum Vitae,

• a letter of motivation (maximum of one page),

• the contact details of two referees,

• a copy of B.Sc. and M.Sc. certificates with annexes, and

• a language certificate (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Cambridge Language Certificate (Proficiency CPE or Advanced CAE) if available.

In case no suitable candidates are found, Tampere University of Technology reserves the right to re-open the call.

Additional information on attachments to applications.