Open position: post-doctoral computational engineer (SNSF Project)

The Block Research Group is hiring! Open position for a post-doctoral computational engineer/researcher in Unreinforced Masonry Structures (SNSF-funded project)

The Block Research Group (BRG) in the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, led by Prof. Dr. Philippe Block and Dr. Tom Van Mele, is hiring a post-doctoral researcher to start as soon as possible.

Post-doctoral position as computational engineer for the project “Practical Stability Assessment Strategies for Vaulted Unreinforced Masonry Structures" (SNSF-funded)

Funded by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation for a project titled “Practical Stability Assessment Strategies for Vaulted Unreinforced Masonry Structures (URM)”, this position aims to create better computational methods for the analysis of vaulted URM structures that can be used in engineering practice. The research will involve parametric studies with calibrated Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) to determine the fundamental collapse mechanism modes of common vault typologies and develop strategies and practical recommendations for dealing with material and geometry imperfections; the analysis of the deformation sequence of vaults subjected to differential support settlements using the Rigid Block Equilibrium (RBE) method to obtain insight in the formation of hinges and to provide an approach for the assessment of the “level of stability” and “closeness to collapse” of deformed URM; the further development of intuitive assessment methods such as Thrust Network Analysis (TNA) to provide better support for dealing with cracks and other observed pathologies; and the establishment of a wide range of macro-elements for use in Structural Element Modelling (SEM).

The post-doctoral researcher will provide technical guidance and supervision to two PhD researchers as part of the project. Located in the state-of-the-art Arch_Tec_Lab (HIB) building on ETH Zürich’s Hönggerberg campus, the successful candidates will make use of an experimental lab for robot-controlled scale-model testing and simulation of collapse of unreinforced masonry structures, as well as 3D-printing facilities.

We are looking for highly motivated, research oriented applicants holding a PhD in structural engineering or a comparable field of research. A knowledge/understanding of the behaviour and analysis of unreinforced masonry structures is a bonus. Very good written and spoken English is essential. Furthermore, applicants should demonstrate excellent programming skills and a strong background in computational modelling, numerical methods and optimisation.

We look forward to receiving your application including a 1-page letter of motivation, CV, writing sample (first-author journal paper or thesis chapter) and contact details of 2 referees. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Noelle Paulson at .



ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, HIB E 45
8093 Zurich, Switzerland

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