Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)

Postdoc position on “Self-centering and confining memory steel reinforcements in concrete bridge columns"

Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)

Dübendorf, Switzerland

Empa – the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.
The primary mission at our Structural Engineering Laboratory is the development and investigation of advanced structural materials for use in civil infrastructure. Within our research area, new materials and systems are developed and studied in small and large-scale size to show their application feasibility for civil infrastructure. The introduction and implementation of the new solutions in practice is promoted by collaboration with industry partners, teaching at universities and knowledge transfer in symposia. One of the example is the development and application of iron-based shape memory alloys in close collaboration with re-fer AG, an Empa Spin-off company ( Empa is a pioneer and worldwide recognized institute for researching Fe-SMA reinforcement. For further development and application of a new system work with iron-based shape memory alloys and in close collaboration with re-fer AG, we are offering a 30 months

Postdoc position on “Self-centering and confining memory steel reinforcements in concrete bridge columns"

Project description and your tasks:
Strengthening of existing RC bridges becomes more and more important due to the large number of existing bridges, which are aging or were designed according to old standards. Considering seismic loading, strengthening is critical as most of the bridge columns do not satisfy the new regulations for seismic performance. Prestressing is known to provide recentering capabilities. However, the available techniques are either vulnerable to corrosion or are prohibitively expensive. In this project, an innovative application methodology for selfcentering and active confinement of concrete columns in bridges by using memory steel reinforcement will be developed.

The proposed technology could have tremendous societal impact with respect to saving lives during and after extreme events and economic well-being of the affected area. By keeping bridges and the highway network open to traffic, ambulances, fire trucks, first responders, and damage assessors will continue to have the mobility that existed prior to the disaster. The main goals of the projects are to study and develop the details of such a system. Effectiveness and practicality of the methodology will be studied both by finite element modeling and large-scale experiments. A design method for civil engineers will be proposed and will be used by re-fer AG. Lastly, a pilot project will demonstrate and prove the feasibility of the proposed method on site. The project includes both experimental and modeling (analytical and finite element) tasks.

Your profile and selection criteria:

  • A PhD from structural engineering or closely related fields.
  • A good background and knowledge on reinforced concrete, seismic analysis and design, strengthening techniques, and shape memory alloys (SMAs).
  • A good publication record in high-quality journals.
  • Demonstrate ability to supervise bachelor, master and PhD student.
  • Record of any secured research fundings.
  • Excellent written and verbal language skills in English. Furthermore, German language skills are beneficial.
  • A demonstrated capacity to work in a collegiate/friendly manner with other staff in the workplace.

We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position for 30 months, in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. The position is available upon agreement but should be filled by no later than June 1, 2020.

For further information about the position please contact Dr Moslem Shahverdi, and visit our websites and Empa-Video

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please address each of the above selection criteria in a cover letter. The length of the cover letter should not exceed 2 pages. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, Patricia Nitzsche, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.