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PhD Position – Additive Manufacturing and Simulation 100 %

Become part of our team and explore with us innovative methods to solve mechanical problems in additive manufacturing of functional metallic components.

School: School of Engineering
Starting date: To be discussed

Your role

Additive manufacturing of metals is advancing rapidly as a technology and offers great potential for the production of complexly shaped and highly individualized structures. The focused energy input in the PBF-LB/M process leads to extreme temperature gradients and consequently to high residual stresses. These can manifest themselves as distortions of the component and variations in mechanical properties or even lead to cracking, which makes their application as functional, dimensionally accurate and/or mechanically robust structures difficult.

The aim of the PhD is to investigate methods for the modification of residual stresses in the PBF-LB/M process. The focus is on the one hand on the further development and calibration of FEM based process simulation models and on the other hand on the development and realization of in-situ experiments in our PBF-LB/M facility (Aconity3D MIDI). In addition, it is planned to perform a targeted mechanical and material characterization to investigate the process-structure-property relationship. The use of modern simulation techniques in combination with careful exper-imentation should provide a better understanding of the generation and avoidance of residual stresses in metallic structures fabricated using PBF-LB/M.

The PhD position for young scientists is funded by ZHAW for 4 years and formally supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mat-thias Oechsner at TU Darmstadt. The main working location is Winterthur, Switzerland. A willingness for regular travel to Darmstadt is required.
Your tasks include:

  • Research and development activities in the field of thermo-mechanical process simulation for the PBF-LB/M process
  • Development of novel in-situ experiments for the PBF-LB/M process to characterize the process as well as to calibrate process simulation models
  • Planning and execution of experiments as well as fabrication of samples in our PBF-LB/M facility
  • Initiation and organization of, participation in and evaluation of mechanical and material science studies
  • Co-supervision of our PBF-LB/M plant in the context of applied research and development projects
  • Communication of research results with publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at professional conferences
  • Willingness to work in an interdisciplinary team, supporting staff and students

Your profile

  • You have a university degree (FH or ETH/TU) on master level in mechanical engineering or materials science with a strong background in mechanics, materials science and manufacturing technology
  • You already have first experiences with FE simulation (Abaqus) and scientific programming (Python, Matlab)
  • You have initial experience with additive manufacturing (ideally PBF-LB/M) and experimental work (ideally with mechanical and/or material science characterization)
  • You are fascinated by scientific work in an interdisciplinary environment and creatively solving challenging problems
  • You are highly motivated, independent and committed
  • You are a reflective, critical, communicative and team-oriented personality
  • German is your working language and you can express yourself confidently in written and oral English

This is what we stand for

Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of Switzerland's largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences, with over 14'000 students and 3'400 faculty and staff.

As one of the leading technical education and research institutions in Switzerland, the ZHAW School of Engineering (SoE)focuses on topics relevant to the future. 14 institutes and centres guarantee high-quality education and research & development with a focus on energy, mobility, information and health.

Mechanically highly stressed structures are the focus of research and development activities at the Institute for Mechanical Systems (IMES). Be it as lightweight and optimized assemblies in vehicle construction or the general machine industry, as muscles, tendons and bones of the human body, or in the form of additively manufactured ma-chine parts. Our experience and expertise are divided into three main research areas: Biomechanical Engineering, Light Weight Design and Mechanics for Modelling.

Mechanics for Modelling focuses on analytical, numerical and experimental methods for mechanical modelling of materials, systems and processes. We use detailed simulations, realistic experiments, and data-based methods to answer mechanical questions in the context of industrial digitalization. Our core competence lies in material modelling, non-linear FEM simulation and experimental mechanics. Thermo-mechanical process simulation and the development of experimental methods in the field of additive manufacturing of metals represent an important research focus.

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Das dürfen Sie erwarten

Wir bieten hochschulgerechte Arbeits- und Anstellungsbedingungen und fördern aktiv die Personalentwicklung unserer Mitarbeitenden und Führungspersonen. Eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Vorteile finden Sie auf der Seite «Arbeiten an der ZHAW». Hier die wichtigsten Eckpunkte:


Prof. Dr. Thomas Mayer
Dozent mit Teamführung


Alice Joos
Recruiting Manager


ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Winterthur Region of Winterthur/Schaffhausen 8400