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OPEN POSITIONS Postdoctor in multiscale modelling and testing of biocomposites for equestrian sports

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this project, the post doc will be employed at the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg and the placement will be at the Division of Material and Computational Mechanics within the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers. A description of both environments follows.

The Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg focuses its research within the fields of Atom- and Molecular Physics, Condensed Matter Physics and Spintronics, and Complex Systems and Biophysics. Several other research activities are present, one such being equestrian sports and technology. The education programs include Bachelor- and Master programs in Physics, teacher-training programs, as well as outreach courses in Physics aimed for the general public. A close collaboration with the other departments within the Faculty of Science and within Gothenburg Physics Centre creates an innovative environment for our researchers and students. For further information about the activities at the Department of Physics, please visit our website at www.physics.gu.se.

To facilitate the increase of lightweight design in industry and society, theDivision of Material and Computational Mechanics at Chalmers perform research in the area of material- and computational mechanics, addressing especially challenges related to the prediction of material failure under deformation. A current focus is on structural polymer composites, for which both accurate and computationally efficient material models and numerical methods needs to be developed. One focus area is Sports and Technology, an area in which the importance of finding environmentally sustainable lightweight solutions is increasing significantly. Hence, within this sports initiative we are now expanding into research on modelling the mechanical response of biocomposites. 

This division at Chalmers combines excellence in material and structural modelling with deep understanding of the material behaviour under loading. More precisely, we are working on prediction of failure initiation and progression in metals and composites, multiscale modelling with computational homogenization and efficient structural analysis methods including model order reduction.

Job assignments 

With this post-doc project, we aim to advance both the understanding and modelling of the mechanical response of biocomposites. In particular, we target biopolymers reinforced with cellulose fibres, the latter which is an important resource from the Swedish forest industry. The idea is to link advanced in-situ experimental testing (microscopy under mechanical loading) and numerical techniques for the mechanical modelling of the composite behaviour under deformation.

One part of the work will involve the characterisation of important properties of the constituent materials (the biopolymer and the cellulose fibres) as well as the interface in-between the two. In this work, we will also collaborate with researchers at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering who in their work develop procedures for improved interface properties such as hydrophobisation and engineering the structure of the cellulose surface.

The goal of the second part of the project is to develop a numerical microscale model of the short fibre composite, which can be used to determine its homogenised properties by computational homogenisation – both in terms of stiffness and strength (including environmental effects such as moisture and temperature).

The end application of the research is sustainable weight reduction in equestrian sports, where we see biocomposites as a very interesting ingredient. Possible uses in equestrian sports of materials based on the research of this project are e.g. fences in show jumping and eventing. Therefore, besides performing basic research on the aforementioned topics, which is the core focus of the position, the post-doc is also expected to participate in equestrian sports related applied projects, i.e. by supervising Master thesis projects and other student projects in collaboration with companies from the sports sector.


To be eligible for employment as a postdoctoral research fellow a person must have a doctorate, a doctorate in the arts or have attained equivalent scholarly/artistic competence. First of all, that person should be taken into consideration that has obtained a doctorate or has acquired equivalent scholarly/artistic competence at the very latest three years before the conclusion of the application period. The person who has acquired a doctorate earlier may also be given primary consideration if there are special reasons. Special reasons are considered to be a leave of absence due to illness, service in the total defence, commissions of trust within professional and student organisations or parental leave or other similar circumstances.

For this position a PhD in solid mechanics (or simliar) with application to computational modelling and simulation of mechanical properties of fibre reinforced polymer composites is required. Courses in Mechanics of Composites and Finite Element Modelling (or similar) is also a requirement.

Further on it is required to have programming skills in C++, Fortran or similar languages. You also need to be fluent in English, both orally as well as in writing.


Experience in multiscale modelling and computational homogenisation, mechanical testing, microscopy. Courses in Continuum Mechanics and Advanced Finite Element Modelling (or similar).

You need to be motivated, creative, self-propelled, cooperative and independent. Therefore, personal characters will be carefully evaluated and of importance for the final decision.


Type of employment: Time-limited position for 2 years
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Physics, Gothenburg
Starting date: 2018-02-01 or upon agreement

Contact information

For further information regarding the job assignements you are welcome to contact
Maria Sundin, Senior Lecturer in physics at University of Gothenburg
+4631 786 9172


Martin Fagerström, Docent at Chalmers University of Technology
+46702 248 731

For further information regarding the employment you are welcome to contact
Clara Wilow Sundh, personnel administrator
+4631 786 9134


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/job-opportunities/union-representatives

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salary is determined on an individual basis.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 37 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Page Manager: rekrytering@gu.se|Last update: 2/23/2017

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