PhD Student

Brittle fracture toughness behavior of an unirradiated and irradiated inhomogeneous RPV steel using small specimen test techniques

Your tasks

  • PhD thesis on the fracture behavior in the ductile to brittle transition region of irradiated and inhomogeneous ferritic steels
  • Development of non-standard miniaturized fracture specimens to measure toughness
  • Creation of a large experimental toughness database to assess the conjugate effects of irradiation, specimen size, and material inhomogeneity
  • Development of statistical models to describe the database and to account for all the critical parameters
  • Modeling of specimen size effect on measured toughness with finite element simulations
  • Fractographic observations
  • Supervision of master and semester students and internships
  • Publication of results in scientific journals and at international conferences

Your profile

You hold a Master degree in Materials Science or in Physics and have a solid background in metallurgy. Practical experience in material testing and metallographic characterization and very good communication skills in English are also required. A German working knowledge would be an asset.

We offer

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

The work will be carried out in the Laboratory for Nuclear Materials at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen and the PhD degree will be awarded by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne with Prof. Dr. Philippe Spätig as thesis director.

For further information, please contact Philippe Spätig, phone +41 56 310 29 34, e-mail:

Please submit your application online by 29 March 2020 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 4603-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Nicole Schubert, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland