Uppsala University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD student in Computational Mechanics: fracture modelling of batteries over length and time scales

at the Department of Applied Mechanics, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ångström Laboratory.

Admission to PhD education in the subject Engineering Sciences with specialisation in Applied Mechanics

The position is based at the Division of Applied Mechanics (TIM), Department of Material Science and Engineering, and is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry. We work with research in material mechanics with applications primarily in the life sciences, materials and structure development and energy-related areas. The research conducted is often multidisciplinary and ranges from applied projects in collaboration with industry to fundamental academic research. A doctorate in the subject guarantees many exciting future opportunities both in academia and industry, nationally and internationally.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

Project description

In service, significant deformations develop in lithium-ion battery electrodes during cycling, resulting in microscopic cracks leading to decreased capacity and battery lifespan. The understanding of why, where and how these cracks develop and grow is limited. In this joint research project, conducted at the interface between mechanics and chemistry, we use multiphysics computer models to study deformation mechanisms in battery electrodes, supported by highly resolved synchrotron X-ray CT crack experiments. The project is expected to increase the understanding of battery cracking and its dependency on electrode morphology, particle positions and electrochemical cycling, and open for a design change of the electrode microstructure to increase batteries capacity and lifespan. The project is thus a vital contribution to the development of tomorrow’s batteries. 

The main duties for a doctoral student are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Your duties include studying cracking phenomena in lithium batteries in multiscale multiphysics numerical fracture models, performing X-ray CT crack experiments in synchrotrons and in-house experiments at the Ångström Laboratory. The work takes place in an international environment and you are expected to publish the result of your studies in scientific journals and present them at international conferences. You are supervised by researchers in both mechanics and chemistry, but also collaborate with junior researchers in related projects.


Master’s degree with studies in physics, mechanics, high-precision computing, or related fields. We require good knowledge of English, both oral and in writing.

Additional qualifications

Documented experience in one or more of the following will be considered a merit:

  • programming experience (e.g. fortran, python)
  • continuum mechanics
  • thermodynamics
  • finite element theories
  • mechanical experiments
  • Strong interest in numerical simulations

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree or
  • have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date xx or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

Your application must include:

  1. A short letter describing yourself, how your background matches the position and why you want to do a doctorate.
  2. CV (max. 2 pages)
  3. A copy of your master's degree and your course transcript (list and grades)
  4. A copy of your bachelor’s degree and your course transcript (list and grades)
  5. Names and contact details (address, e-mail address and telephone number) of at least two reference persons

For further information about the position, please contact: Frofessor Per Isaksson (per.isaksson@angstrom.uu.se) or Associate senior lecturer/Assistant Professor Guiomar Hernández (guiomar.hernandez@kemi.uu.se).

Please submit your application by 31 of October 2023, UFV-PA 2023/3113

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.  


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Snarast eller enl. överenskommelse
Salary According to local collective agreement
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/3113
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 28.Aug.2023
Last application date 31.Oct.2023 11:59 PM CET

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