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Postdoc (m/f/d) Modelling of the Degradation of Magnesium Under Load – 2020/WB 3

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthach (HZG) has a Postdoc vacancy for the modelling of the degradation of magnesium under load

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 06 Oct 2020
  • Germany | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • Date posted: 09 Sep 2020
  • Job type: Academic: postdoc
  • Disciplines: Computational science & software engineering  | Mathematics & statistics 

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), in Geesthacht, near Hamburg, and in Teltow, near Berlin, conducts materials and coastal research. For further information please refer to

HZG is one of the 19 national institutions of the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres e.V. (HGF). Around 1000 employees carry out basic research and development work in close cooperation with national and international research institutions, research-oriented clinics and economic and public institutions.

At the Institute of Materials Research some 200 scientists conduct research in the five sub-institutes “Materials Mechanics”, “Materials Physics”, “Materials Technology”, “Magnesium Innovation Centre MagIC” and “Metallic Biomaterials”.

The Institute of Materials Research, Division Metallic Biomaterials at HZG focusses on the development of Magnesium (Mg)-based alloys for specific applications such as biodegradable implants. For biomedical Mg-based devices in particular, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms governing the interactions between alloy composition and microstructure on one side and mechanical as well as corrosive properties on the other side. To further this understanding, we are working on the establishment of a computational model of the degradation of Mg alloys in vivo. One of the major challenges in this case is the complex biological environment under which the implant has to operate.

In order to fully capture the in vivo behaviour, it is of particular importance to take into account the influence of loading (e.g. due to physical exercise). This will influence the microstructure and therefore degradation properties of the implant, which will be the focus of this project. In the long run, such a model will enable the manufacturing of implants tailored to the specific needs of individual patients and advance the development of new implants.

Within this framework, we are looking for a Postdoc (m/f/d) for the modelling of the degradation of magnesium under load. The position is initially limited for three years.

Your tasks

Our responsibility within the frame of this project will be the development of a sophisticated multi-physics model that describes the influence of different loading types on the implant microstructure and the resulting changes in degradation behaviour. This model is an integral part within a modelling framework currently being established at HZG that covers the entire lifespan of the implant, from materials development to body response.

You will be responsible for the identification of the causalities between different material parameters, such as applied load, and resulting changes in grain size and degradation rate, and their representation within the computational model. The model should take into account the respective mechanical and electrochemical processes involved. By making use of experimental data obtained by other team members, you will further enable the quantification of the model uncertainty through propagation methods to ensure that the experimental variability is represented. In order to gain an understanding of these uncertainties, you will have the possibility to occasionally participate in experiments at the German Electron Synchrotron in Hamburg that will be performed within the frame of the project.

You will be responsible for

  • Utilizing e.g. Bayesian networks to determine dependencies between material properties and experimental parameters and the resulting implant degradation with given likelihood.
  • Thereupon, development of a multi-physics model of magnesium degradation under load.
  • Employing methods of uncertainty propagation to determine the variability of the model prediction.
  • Guiding a PhD student who will utilize machine-learning methods to identify the most important material and experimental parameters determining implant degradation.
  • Managing this project in the frame of HZG as well as in cooperation with Helmholtz activities.

Your profile

  • PhD in physics, mathematics, computational material science, data science or comparable.
  • Theoretical knowledge and experience in model development for multi-physics applications.
  • Experience in programming (C++ strongly desired, experience in Python, Matlab beneficial).
  • Experience in methods of uncertainty quantification.
  • Knowledge in the areas of artificial intelligence, deep/machine learning is desired (e.g. Keras, TensorFlow).
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Background knowledge in the field of materials research is appreciated.
  • Team spirit, pro-active attitude, good communication skills and the ability to work efficiently in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Proof of good written and spoken command of English is required (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS).

We offer you

  • Multinational work environment with more than 1000 colleagues from more than 50 nations.
  • Extensive options of vocational training (i.e. expert seminars, language courses or leadership seminars).
  • Flexible working hours and various models to ensure the compatibility of family and career.
  • Excellent infrastructure, including a scientific in-house library as well as modern workspaces.
  • An appropriate salary related to the German public tariff (TV-AVH) plus the usual social benefits for the public employment sector.


Then we are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive application documents (cover letter, CV, transcripts, certificates etc.) indicating the reference number2020/WB 3.

Please start the online application process for this offered position via categoryCareer & Campus.

Closing date: 6 October 2020
Contact: Mr Tristan Tietz


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Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research

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