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PhD (f/m/d)
Characterisation and modelling of protective coatings for plasma-facing components in future fusion power plants

Organizational unit

Institute for Applied Materials - Materials and Biomechanics (IAM-WBM)

Job description

The Institute for Applied Materials - Materials and Biomechanics (IAM-WBM) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) strives for a fundamental understanding, prediction and optimisation
of mechanisms responsible for the degradation of advanced functional material systems. Our material portfolio comprises, among others, materials required for the energy transition. Within the division Mechanics of Materials 2 (WM2), we develop protective coatings for the first/inner wall of future fusion power plants. The wall needs to withstand thermal peak loads as well as erosion by high-energy particles from the fusion plasma. This can be achieved by a protective tungsten coating, linked to the steel wall by a functionally graded material: Several interlayers of mixed tungsten/steel composition and increasing tungsten content.

The IAM-WBM is offering a PhD position in materials science at WM2. The focus of this position is the characterisation and modelling of tungsten/steel functionally graded materials.

  • Thermo-mechanical experiments on single interlayers and mechanical characterisation of the in interface strenght between coating and substrate
  • Finite element modelling with newfound properties to predict the coating´s behaviour and to further improve its design
  • Formulation of a damage model in order to predict failure probabilities while taking into account variation of production quality
  • Model verification with new coatings, manufactured in cooperation with external partners
  • Presentation and publication of the results in scientific meetings and peer-reviewed journals

Starting date


Personal qualification

  • Candidates must hold a master degree with focus on materials science, physics, mechanical engineering or a similar subject
  • Basic understanding of mechanical testing is required
  • Prior experience in finite element simulation and damage modelling is beneficial

Contract duration

3 years

Application up to


Contact Person in line-management

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Thilo Grammes, phone. +49 721 608-22946, e-mail:

Prof. Dr. Ing. Jarir Aktaa, phone: +49 721 608-24946. e-mail:

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 37-2021.

Ausschreibungsnummer: 37-2021

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


Personnel Support is provided by:
Personalservice (PSE) - Human Resources
Mr Meschar
Phone: +49 721 608-25029,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany