PhD candidate in Soft Condensed Matter Physics

The Machine Materials Laboratory at the Institute of Physics of the University of Amsterdam is looking for excellent, highly motivated PhD candidates who will unravel the physics of active structured materials.
Over the past few ...

25 dagen geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The Machine Materials Laboratory at the Institute of Physics of the University of Amsterdam is looking for excellent, highly motivated PhD candidates who will unravel the physics of active structured materials.

Over the past few years, exciting progress has been made in the field of mechanical metamaterials. Harnessing nonlinear degrees of freedom arising in suitably designed microstructures, metamaterials could be programmed with specific mechanical tasks, such as negative stiffness, elastic hysteresis or programmable mechanics. So far, most of these developments have been made with passive - at equilibrium - materials.

About the Laboratory

Our research lab focuses on the understanding of the physics of soft structured active materials. The goal is to develop the physics of Machine Materials, i.e. artificial materials which combine microstructure and out-of-equilibrium processes to interact with their environment in a programmable fashion. We benefit from an exceptional scientific environment of the Institute of Physics of the University of Amsterdam, with the very close proximity of the Soft Matter and Theoretical Condensed Matter groups.

The goal of this PhD project is to generalize these findings to create a new class of programmable, dynamical and active materials, called Machine Materials. To do this, the idea is to set the grounds of nonlinear osmomechanics, which combines swelling and nonlinear elasticity within metagels, i.e. architected hydrogels under osmotic shock.


You have or are close to completing a Master’s degree in physics, engineering, chemistry or a related field. You have outstanding experimental skills, a strong theoretical/numerical background and a marked taste for combining experiments, numerical simulations and theory. The following areas of expertise are particularly welcomed: rapid prototyping, micro-fabrication, polymer synthesis, mechanical testing, control/automation/robotics, image processing, data mining and computer programming (Python, Matlab, or equivalent) as well as theoretical background in (soft) condensed matter, nonlinear physics, statistical physics and mechanics. You have excellent written and oral communication skills in English.


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,222 in the first year to €2,840 in the last year. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Additional information

Please apply using this link. Applications must include:

  • a curriculum vitae including a list of university courses taken with grades;
  • title and summary of your Master thesis;
  • manuscript of your Master thesis (if completed) or relevant scientific publications (if any);
  • a single page maximum motivation letter that explains why you have chosen to apply for this specific position with a statement of your research experience and interests and how these relate to this project;
  • contact details of 2 referees. We will contact the referees directly with the request to upload their recommendation letters.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified. (Formal closing date: 31 October 2017).


With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the Faculty of Science has three divisions: the Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA), the Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEF), and the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute for experimental physics (WZI).


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