Post-Doctoral Position in Atomistic Simulations of Aluminum Alloys

Trondheim, Norway
19 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

A post-doctoral researcher position is available at the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology. The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of until 1year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. The position is financed by the NTNU digitalization program and has a special responsibility of carrying out atomistic DFT and Monte Carlo simulations for the project ALLDESIGN as well as developing the associated computational platform.

Information of the ALLDESIGN project

The primary objective is to create a digital materials design platform for intermetallic alloy design. The project focuses on aluminium-based alloys, which are of great importance for the Norwegian industry. ALLDESIGN will investigate the physical processes behind slow-diffusion precipitation phenomena starting from atomistic scale and in silico. Our goal is to develop efficient theoretical methods to understand materials properties at different length and time scales and to limit costly trial-and-error measurements in the laboratory. Such output can considerably help in materials screening and finding optimal thermochemical treatment conditions. Complementary to the theoretical work will be experimental high-resolution characterization (including development of data processing algorithms) and validation of the theoretical results. Finally, the data from the multiscale modelling approach will be used for digitalization of the alloy manufacturing process in the newly invested 3D stretch-bending machine. The project involves a simultaneous recruitment of 1 post-doctoral fellow and 4 PhD students in complementary research areas within the same NTNU digital transformation call.

Job description

We seek applicants with the expertise and motivation to develop computational modeling of intermetallic alloys based on the cluster expansion (CE) formalism for atomistic simulations. To optimize the synergetic efforts in ALLDESIGN, we are seeking a candidate (PD1) with the primary competence within atomistic modelling of materials (DFT, Monte Carlo) and good programming skills. The candidate should contribute actively to the ALLDESIGN project by taking care of the simulation activities and software development at the atomistic level and linking these methods with multiscale models.

PD1 will perform DFT simulations of Al alloys and subsequent method development of the CE formalism. Benchmark configurations of Al-Mg-Si and Al-Mg-Zn alloys (6xxx and 7xxx series) will be simulated with DFT for producing a total energy database, which will be used for training the CE model and related algorithms. The existing CE software for fixed crystal lattices will be extended to include coordination-dependence (interstitial sites, grain boundaries), strain effects, and magnetism. Different machine learning approaches will be investigated for training the CE model most efficiently. The CE model will be used, e.g., for studying crystal structures, formation enthalpies / free energies, phase diagrams by Monte Carlo methods. The CE energies and DFT migration barriers will be fed into kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations, which will be used for studying in silicon diffusion, clustering and precipitate formation in the 6xxx-series alloys. At later stages, the same CE methodology will be extended to the 7xxx series. The atomistic CE and MC simulations machinery will be combined seamlessly with multiscale models.


The applicant must have a PhD (or equivalent) in physics, computational materials science or chemistry. He/she has to demonstrate good basic knowledge in solid state physics and quantum physics (chemistry).  A documented background in computational physics/chemistry is required, either with a focus on atomistic modelling (density functional theory and/or molecular dynamics) or dislocation dynamics. The applicant must have good programming skills in at least one of the following programming languages: C/C++, Java, and/or Python. Experience from modelling of metallic microstructures and/or machine learning algorithms will be considered as an advantage.

The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test.

Terms of employment

The appointment of the Postdoc will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. NTNU’s personnel policy objective is that the staff must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent. Female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

The position of a post-doctoral researcher is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. There is a 2% deduction for superannuation contribution.

Further information can be obtained from Professor Jaakko Akola, Department of Physics, NTNU, E-mail:

Information about the department

The department is currently in an expansion phase and incorporates a broad activity within physics with activities in solid state physic/material physics, soft/complex and biopolymer physics, medical physics, statistical physics, optics, atmospheric physics, university didactics and astroparticle physics. The department is also since 2017 the hosting institution of two national centres of excellence. Porelab and QuSpin. The department is responsible for the best recruiting physics study programmes in Norway both within applied and fundamental physics. It also provides a large set of courses within physics for other study programmes at NTNU.

For more information about the department and its activities, see the web

The application

Applications with CV, publication list and other scientific works, and list of references should be submitted.

Applications must be submitted electronically through

Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.

The reference number of the position is: NV-59/18

Application deadline:  27.5.2018

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 151353
  • Internal ID 2018/11556
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!

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