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  3. PhD position: Active Mechanical Metamaterials

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PhD position: Active Mechanical Metamaterials

Are you interested in designer matter and non-equilibrium physics? The University of Amsterdam is seeking an excellent, highly motivated PhD candidate to …

2 maanden geleden


Science Park, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Vast contract
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


Are you interested in designer matter and non-equilibrium physics? The University of Amsterdam is seeking an excellent, highly motivated PhD candidate to carry out interdisciplinary research at the frontier of metamaterials and active matter.

Mechanical metamaterials have emerged as the most promising platform for the rational design of ‘extreme’ functionalities. Yet, this impressive progress is so far confined to the control of deformations that are passive and at thermodynamic equilibrium. This traditional focus severely limits our understanding of metamaterials and their potential for applications where dissipation is often a crucial aspect. In his project you will research how the extreme mechanics of metamaterials can be revolutionized by the use of active processes. You will explore the non-equilibrium (or so-called non-Hermitian) physics of active metamaterials. You will perform this research by developing a combination of theoretical, numerical and experimental tools.

Beyond advancing fundamental knowledge in physics of metamaterials and active matter, this project will open avenues for the damping of shock and vibration, relevant in a wide range of industries, from prosthetics to automotive and aerospace.

What are you going to do?

In this PhD project, you will push the limit of active metamaterials by:

  • engineering active processes at the scale of the metamaterials building blocks and exploring the active mechanics that emerges;
  • developing new methods for metamaterial research, by combining 3d printing, robotics, precision desktop experiments, numerical simulations and theory; collaborating with other members of the team, who work on dissipative metamaterials, machine learning for metamaterials and topological metamaterials - you will benefit from and contribute to a vibrant scientific environment;
  • your PhD project will build on recent developments in our lab - see the recent articles Non-reciprocal robotic metamaterials and Observation of non-Hermitian topology and its bulk-edge correspondence - and take them to the next level. You may also want to check One way vibrations in robotic metamaterials.


  • A creative, curious and driven nature;
  • a strong background in physics and a Master’s degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, computational science or a related field;
  • an eagerness to learn new techniques and to combine numerical simulations, theory and experiments;
  • excellent written and oral communication skills in English.


Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month based on 38 hours per week. This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

Additional information

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact: