Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, invites applications for a postdoctoral position in modeling 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 developing novel theoretical and computational models for non-periodic metamaterials exhibiting patterning fluctuation fields. Two approaches are to be examined, depending on your previous experience and research interests:

  • A two-scale computational homogenization approach, in which the macro-scale response is described with a generalized continuum model whose parameters are extracted from auxiliary module-scale problems,
  • Concurrent full-field simulations employing ideas from domain decomposition or multi-grid methods.

The primary challenge for both approaches lies in the efficient exploitation of repeating — yet non-periodic — patterns in metamaterial microstructure resulting from the modular design. Complementary to these activities, you will also collaborate on utilizing your results for acceleration of optimization algorithms developed in another part of the project.

Your contributions to this project will involve:

  • Carrying out research with the project team and in cooperation with the other parties involved,
  • Close collaboration with Prof. Milan Jirásek, coordinator of the modeling part of the project, and a Ph.D. student working on a related topic,
  • Supervision of Bachelor- and Master-level students working on the project,
  • Presenting project results at international conferences and in journal papers.

General requirements

We are looking for candidates who:

  • Hold a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) in the research area related to the opening, awarded after 1st January 2011,
  • Have the ability to perform independent research, with a strong emphasis on prior English-language 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:

  • Non-linear continuum mechanics of generalized continua,
  • Development of novel scale-bridging methods and algorithms,
  • Computational mechanics of materials and metamaterials,
  • Domain decomposition, multi-grid, or generalized finite element methods for problems with microstructure,
  • Scientific computing for materials design

is desirable.

We offer

  • The possibility of joining 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 extended upon mutual agreement by an additional year.
  • Gross salary of 56,000 CZK per month (approximately 2,200 Euro or 2,500 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.1
  • 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:

  • Academic curriculum vitae including a detailed list of publications,
  • Motivation letter (up to two pages), stating personal goals and research interests,
  • At least two letters of recommendation from academic colleagues,
  • Copy of the Ph.D. diploma or the expected date of Ph.D. completion.

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 Q2/2019. 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

1According to Czech law, the employee must also contribute to pension and health insurance and pay income tax. After these deductions, the resulting net monthly salary will be about 40,000 CZK.