PhD Position in Constitutive Modeling of Dislocation–Solute Interactions
Catholic University of Leuven

At KU Leuven, the departments of Materials Engineering and Computer Science have established a new strategic research initiative on Computational Materials Science, led by Prof. Martin Diehl. The aim is to develop advanced computational tools and new materials, giving an extra dimension to the ongoing research in the two departments. The Department of Materials Engineering (MTM) performs research on material properties and behaviour, materials design and materials production and recycling. At the Department of Computer Science, the research unit NUMA performs research on numerical methods, algorithms and software for simulation and data analysis, with applications in many fields in science and engineering. The research in the unit NUMA on materials engineering focusses on multi-scale simulation, high performance computing and model order reduction. The departments have an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and industrial world. URLs: and


Dislocations and impurity atoms influence each other mutually: Impurity atoms usually pin dislocations and the distorted lattice around dislocations can lead to preferential diffusion of impurities to the vicinity of the line defect. During deformation, the unpinning of dislocations leads to serrated flow that can be also observed in macroscopic stress–strain curves. Materials which show this behavior are Tungsten–Rhenium (bcc crystal structure) and Nickel-based superalloys (fcc crystal structure).

The aim of this Ph.D. project is the development and implementation of a continuum-scale constitutive model for dislocation–solute interactions. To this end, the temperature-dependent interaction of impurity atoms and dislocations will be first studied by means of computer simulations at the scale of individual defects. Based on the insights from these investigations, a continuum-scale crystal plasticity model will be developed and implemented. Finally, the results are compared to experimental data from the literature or measurements of a collaboration partner.

We are looking for a Ph.D. candidate who is interested in metal physics, model development, and mathematical engineering. The proposed tasks include:

  • Simulation studies of dislocation–solute interactions at atomic scales
  • Formulation of a continuum crystal plasticity modell
  • Implementation of the novel model into a simulation framework


You must have an Master degree and a solid background in one of the following areas: computational materials science and engineering, computational mechanics, mathematical engineering, scientific computing, applied mathematics. You should be willing to acquire complementary knowledge from other research areas relevant to the project.
Excellent proficiency in English is required, both oral and written.


  • We offer a full time position as a PhD researcher. Funding is secured for four years. The initial offer will be a one-year appointment, of which the renewal will only depend on the progress in the PhD research.
  • You will receive a monthly tax-free grant. In addition, health insurance and social security will be covered.
  • You will work in a supportive multi-disciplinary research team of engineers and scientists with backgrounds in material science, mathematical engineering,mechanical engineering and computer science.
  • You will build up research and innovation skills that are essential for a future career in research and development, both in industry and academia.
  • You will benefit from outstanding training programmes that KU Leuven offers to its PhD students.


For more information please contact Prof. Martin Diehl, mail:, Prof. Martine Wevers, mail: or Prof. Dirk Roose, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than July 15, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
    • Employment percentage: Voltijds
    • Location: Leuven
    • Apply before: July 15, 2020
    • Tags: Computerwetenschappen

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Computeroxy


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