Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, invites applications for a fully funded Ph.D. student position in manufacturing and experimental testing of non-periodic mechanical metamaterials.

Project in brief

Mechanical metamaterials currently represent the most convincing example of a bottom-up paradigm for the design of engineering materials, in which unusual overall behavior emerges from the collective response of carefully architectured microstructures rather than from the properties of individual constituents alone. The major bottleneck for further development of metamaterials featuring reversible pattern formation, which we target in this project, is seen in the microstructure periodicity intrinsic to most current designs. While instrumental in triggering instability-driven patterns, uniform microstructures preclude further performance gains under non-uniform excitations.

The PERFORM project aims to overcome the limitations of uniform microstructures by exploring the concept of non-periodic tilings, in which material microstructures arise from compatible assemblies of a handful of jigsaw puzzle-like material modules. Successful application of this paradigm to materials design requires:

  • New generalized continuum theories for understanding the emergent behavior of metamaterials with non-uniform microstructures,
  • Novel algorithms for the simultaneous optimum design of modules and their assemblies,
  • Validation studies performed on optimized assemblies,
  • Investigation of mechanisms for targeted self-assembly based on passive interface interactions.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Mechanics of Materials group at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands (led by Professor Marc Geers), and the Legato group at the University of Luxembourg (led by Professor Stéphane Bordas).


For this project, you will mainly be involved in planning and conducting validation studies on in-silico designed modular metamaterials and interpreting their results. The production pipeline is envisioned as a fully-automated one, from the production of individual modules using additive manufacturing technologies up to their automated assembly using industrial robots. The mechanical performance of the assemblies will additionally be validated with full-field measurements based on digital image correlation.

Your contributions to this project will primarily involve:

  • Carrying out research with the project team and in cooperation with the other parties involved,
  • Fulfillment of requirements for Ph.D. students of Physical and Materials Engineering study programme,
  • Close collaboration with Dr. Jan Novák, coordinator of the experimental part of the project, and with a postdoctoral researcher working on a related topic,
  • Co-supervision of Bachelor- and Master-level students working on the project,
  • Presenting project results at international conferences,
  • Co-authoring journal papers.

General requirements

We are looking for candidates who:

  • Hold an MSc. degree (or equivalent) in a research area related to the opening,
  • Have the potential to perform independent research leading to publications in high-quality refereed journals.
  • Possess excellent communication skills and written/verbal knowledge of English.

Specific requirements

Previous experience in at least one of the following fields:

  • Manufacturing of mechanical metamaterials,
  • Additive manufacturing technologies,
  • Non-destructive testing, particularly digital image correlation,
  • Robot-assisted manufacturing procedures,
  • Soft robotics,
  • Software development.

is welcome, but not required.

We offer

  • Integration into a newly-formed interdisciplinary group of researchers with expertise in computational mechanics, composite materials, optimization, and mobile and modular robotics.
  • A 12-month contract which can be prolonged upon mutual agreement to four years of Ph.D. study.
  • Full coverage of tuition fees,
  • Gross salary of 26,000 CZK per month corresponding to 75% FTE (approximately 1,000 Euro or 1,200 USD monthly; for comparison, the median gross salary in the Czech Republic is 27,000 CZK per month) and partial coverage of social and medical insurance by the employer.
  • Possibility to apply for personal projects funded by the Student Grant Competition at CTU (equivalent to approximately 25% FTE).
  • Performance-based bonuses according to annual evaluations of Ph.D. students.
  • 30 days of paid annual leave.


Interested candidates are invited to send their applications directly to perform-expro@fsv.cvut.cz. The application should contain:

  • Motivation letter (up to two pages), stating personal goals and research interests,
  • Academic curriculum vitae including a detailed list of publications, when applicable.
  • At least two letters of recommendation from academic colleagues,
  • A transcript of your grades for Master (required) and Bachelor (recommended) level courses.
  • A copy or a link to your MSc. thesis or the expected date of MSc. thesis defense.

Czech, as well as international researchers, are encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; the starting date is expected to be no later than 1 October 2019. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview (in-person, for applicants living in the Czech Republic; remote, for all other candidates).

For more information