BCAM - Basque Center for Applied Mathematics

BCAM-Tekniker Joint PhD Student Position: Modelling and Simulation Hydrogen Embrittlement in Steels

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We are looking for a PhD student to work on the multiscale simulation of hydrogen-induced embrittlement (HE) of steels. This research will be jointly supervised by Dr. Mauricio Rincon Bonilla from the Basque Center for Applied mathematics (BCAM) and Dr. Iban Quintana from Tekniker.

HE is connected to the fast diffusion of hydrogen atoms through the solid material lattice, often by quantum mechanical tunnelling (even at room temperature) followed by interaction with crystal defects, such as vacancies, dislocations, and grain boundaries. Despite great efforts, this process is still poorly understood. Moreover, the in-silico analysis of realistic, multicomponent steel specimens remains a great computational challenge.

The student will combine micromechanical and structural characterization techniques to study the behaviour of hydrogen-charged steels prepared at Tekniker. He/she will combine these analyses with hydrogen diffusion simulations developed and performed at BCAM. With this information, we aim to propose strategies for the development of new steels, heat treatments or coatings against HE.

Modelling activities will initially focus on the atomistic scale, combining quantum mechanical methods, molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo schemes. The insights obtained from these studies will be incorporated into a multiscale framework to allow direct comparison with macroscopic experiments, as well as the parameterization of continuous phase field or finite elements models

PI in charge: Dr. Mauricio Rincón Bonilla (BCAM) Dr. Iban Quintana (Tekniker)

Salary and conditions: The gross annual salary of the Studentship will be of €18,450 gross annual for the first 3 years and of €22,730 on the fourth year, subject to review. It will then be on his/her responsibility to make a yearly income declaration at the Treasury Agency. Free access to the Public Health System in Spain is provided to all employees

Contract and offer: 4 years

Deadline: 31st August 2022 at 14:00h CET

How to apply: Applications must be submitted on-line at: http://www.bcamath.org/en/research/job

The candidates that do not fulfil the mandatory requirements will not be evaluated with respect to their scientific profile. Additional documents could be requested during the evaluation process to check this fulfilment.

Scientific Profile Requested


  • Promising and outstanding young researchers in engineering, mathematics, physics, or chemistry.
  • Experience: At the call deadline, applicants must be in the first year of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Studies pursued: At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options: 
    - To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level. 
    - To have completed a degree in a university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent educational level to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.

Skills and track-record:    

  • Good interpersonal skills. 
  • Excellent University grades. 
  • Previous research experience, as evidenced by research publications, reports and/or conference presentations. 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative research team. 
  • Ability to present and publish research outcomes in spoken (talks) and written (papers) form. 
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.

Scientific Profile:

The preferred candidate will have:

  • Background knowledge or interest in atomistic and multiscale simulation methods. 
  • Sound background in materials, science, metallurgy and/or solid mechanics. 
  • Basic programming skills in either Python, MATLAB, C++ or Fortran. 
  • Interest in performing experimental measurements (structural characterization, mechanical testing, diffusion measurements).

Application and Selection Process


Required documents:     

  • CV (max 3 pages)
  • Letter of interest, succinctly describing past research experience
  • 2 Letter of reference

Evaluation: Based on the provided application documents of each candidate, the evaluation committee will evaluate qualitatively: (i) the fit of the previous training and career to the offered profile, (ii) the recommendation letters, the main results achieved (papers, proceedings, etc.), (iii) the statement of past and proposed future research and other merits; taking in account the alignment of these items to the topic offered. 

Incorporation September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter

Job details

BCAM-Tekniker Joint PhD Student Position: Modelling and Simulation Hydrogen Embrittlement in Steels
Alameda de Mazarredo 14 Bilbao, Spain
Application deadline
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About the employer

BCAM is the research center on applied mathematics created with the support of the Basque Government and the University of the Basque Country.

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