PhD Scholarship in Development of Bio-Inspired 3D Printable Construction Materials

torsdag 11 feb 21

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Frist 1. april 2021
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The Section for Manufacturing Engineering at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, performs research based on a multi-disciplinary use of process technology, materials science, solid and fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics in the analysis, modelling and development of manufacturing processes. The research objective of the Section is to promote 'Precision Manufacturing' to meet the performance, durability, reliability, size, and cost requirements of modern products.

We invite applications for a 3-year PhD position to join an exciting research group in the field of "Development of Sustainable Materials for Construction 3D Printing" to work on a project where the goal is to develop a new eco-friendly and intelligent composite material system to overcome the limitations of existing 3D printable concrete materials. Additionally, to open the doors for better structure designs and performance, we will add bio-inspired approaches and adapt them with different configurations and structures to enhance the crack-resistance properties, energy absorption, toughness, or blast resistance. The position is funded by the VILLUM Foundation Young Investigator Programme.

Responsibilities and tasks
The merging of 3D printing in construction provides sophisticated tools to open up new technology avenues in the field of construction and interior design. However, as with any new technology, there are still significant challenges related to construction materials, cost, technology, and environmental impacts that need to be addressed to achieve desirable sustainable structural properties in the construction and building sectors. Therefore, this PhD project is dedicated to creating conceptually novel printable sustainable construction materials that can address some of the challenges mentioned above.

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings.
  • To ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times.
  • To write progress reports and prepare results for publication and dissemination via journals, presentations, and the web.
  • To take initiatives in the planning of research.
  • To collaborate closely with leading European research partners.
  • To work within and for a wider research project requiring deliveries of modular and tightly connected project tasks.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

The successful candidate holds an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical engineering or Materials Science and Engineering. The candidate is familiar with the state of the art materials characterization techniques and is expected to have experience with experimental lab work and construction materials as well as expertise in one or more of the following areas:    

  • 3D-printing technology.
  • Knowledge of inorganic chemistry.
  • Geopolymers or alkali-activated systems.

Only applicants who seek to be among the very brightest in their field and do science at the highest international level will be considered. Therefore, we ask you for a video (2-minute max) describing your scientific interests, previous research experience, and why you are interested in this position. Please, include a web link for direct video download in your CV document.

We also expect that:

  • You can work focused and to achieve ambitious goals.
  • You are willing to develop any required skills and knowledge.
  • You are a good team member ready to help acquire skills or achieve targets/goals.
  • You can work independently, plan and carry out complicated tasks, and be a part of a large, dynamic group.
  • You have good communication skills in English, both written and spoken, and provide evidence of your English language skills (for instance, TOEFL or IELTS).

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programs at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher Mehdi Mehrali and Professor Hans Nørgaard Hansen according to the qualification requirements stated above.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is three years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Mehdi Mehrali, E-mail:, tel. +45 4525 4795. Or Dr Navid Ranjbar, E-mail:, tel. +452554799

You can read more about Department of Mechanical Engineering at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Please submit your online application no later than 1 April 2021 (Danish time). 

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • A brief description of your own research activities and ideas for future research in this field (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (including a web link for direct video download in your CV document as described above and a list of publications and presentations, if any)
  • 2-3 recommendation letters or academic referees contact details
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Finally, we also expected all applicants to include a video (2-minute max) describing their scientific interests, previous research experience, and why you are interested in this position. Please, have a web link for direct video download in your CV document.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy Systems and Energy Conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development. The Department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.