Corrosion is the unwanted degradation of a material under influence of its environment and is a problem facing us every day and in almost every activity. Corrosion wastes material and energy, and could prevent objects from doing the job they were made to do, possibly with dangerous consequences. Material degradation, and material behaviour in general, is an interplay of mechanical, physical and chemical material properties. Improving the performance of a material in a specific environment therefore requires a fundamental research approach.
Experimental work is extremely challenging and it is difficult to investigate all influencing parameters, making it less straightforward to determine the underlying mechanisms. Modelling can give a more systematic insight in the role of some features and thus can increase the understanding on what the underlying mechanisms are. Phase field modelling has a large potential in modelling microstructural evolution and has been successfully applied to various materials processes such as solidification, solid-state phase transformations and grain coarsening. In phase field models, the evolution of arbitrary geometries and complex microstructures can be taken care of without the mathematically complex task of tracking the positions of interfaces due to its diffuse interface approach.
The goal of this project is the description of a realistic phase field model which incorporates reaction kinetics to describe the initiation of metal corrosion. For this, a fulltime 4-year PhD position is opened at the Department of Materials, textiles and chemical engineering under the supervision of prof. Kim Verbeken.
Profile of the candidate
- Applicants should hold an academic university degree (Master or equivalent) in Engineering (Materials, Electrical/Computer, Chemical), Engineering Physics, Physics or obtain such a degree shortly.
- Knowledge of thermodynamics and kinetics are essential, experience with coding is a big plus.
- Excellent written and oral English skills are required and knowledge of the Dutch language is an asset.
- Applicants should be able to work in team as well as independently and have a critical and creative mindset.
How to apply
More information on the research group can be found at https://www.ugent.be/ea/match/sms/en
Applications including a CV, motivation letter, copies of higher-education degrees, grade transcripts and the name and contact details (e-mail) of three people willing to give a reference should be sent electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org (please mention “PhD vacancy corrosion” in the subject line).
Evaluation of the applications starts in February and continues until the position is filled (starting date Spring/Summer 2019).