Doctoral candidate in Finite Element Method Simulation of unsaturated soils under complex thermal, hydraulic, mechanical, and ch
Aalto University, Department of Civil Engineering

Open applications for doctoral candidate in Finite Element Method Simulation of unsaturated soils under complex thermal, hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) conditions.



Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and nearly 400 professors. Our campus is located in Espoo, Finland.


Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering invites


Open application for doctoral candidate in Finite Element Method Simulation of unsaturated soils under complex thermal, hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) conditions.


The Mineral Based Materials and Mechanics research group is seeking a highly motivated and creative doctoral student who would undertake the task of further development of the in-house build Finite Element Code Thebes. The code has been developed to simulate complex THMC processes in porous materials, especially related to expansive clay barriers saturation in high level nuclear waste repositories.


The task of the applicant will be to perform THMC coupled simulation as well as extend the code further. The work will be related to the modelling of clays under complex conditions. The student will also work in the EURAD EUROATOM European Union financed research project, where Aalto University will model processes (in particular related to the gas transport) in a generic repository for nuclear waste. The project can lead to a very high impact research, as the safe storage of nuclear waste is of paramount importance. For more information about research see:


The selected individual will work under supervision of Assistant Professor Wojciech Sołowski, with, at least initially, advisory from Dr Ayman Abed. The successful applicant will have possibility to cooperate with world-class researchers, as well as to attend scientific conferences and meetings.


The doctoral studies at Aalto take approximately 4 years. The doctoral degree is granted after writing a relatively short summary doctoral thesis (which is typically based on the student’s publications) and public defence.


Research Group


The above mentioned position is located in the Mineral Based Materials and Mechanics research group in the Department of Civil Engineering, see  The group conducts research related to Numerical Methods, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Rock Engineering and Engineering Geology, Applied Geophysics and Highway Engineering. The group currently have around 40 members. For a more general information of the research and teaching of the Department, go to 



-  High grade average / GPA, at least grade 4 from the MSc thesis

-  Timely completion of the Master degree

-  Knowledge of numerical methods used in engineering, in particular Finite Element Method and Finite Difference Method

-  Skills in applying the numerical methods to solve engineering problems

-  Understanding of physics of transport processes in porous materials

-  Ability to work in a team

-  Willingness to learn

-  Master degree  - preferably in Civil or Geotechnical Engineering, though candidates with different background are encouraged to apply

-  Excellent knowledge of English


The applicant for doctoral studies must satisfy the admission requirements of Aalto University:


. The position may not be opened if no sufficiently qualified candidate is found, and financing of the position is depending on Dean of School of Engineering decision related to granting the scholarship to the applicant. More information on the scholarship can be found here:


Financing, duration and salary

Aalto University applies the salary system of Finnish universities. Currently, the starting salary for the doctoral student is slightly below 2500€ per month and is increased in with the progress towards getting the doctoral degree to over 3300€ per month. The position is contract-based. The financing of the position is subject to the Dean of School of Engineering decision related to granting the PhD scholarships in the August-September 2019 call. The doctoral student will be granted a one year contract first, followed by an evaluation and extension after two years for another two-year period depending on the achievements during the two contractual period.


For more information

Additional information regarding the post may be obtained from Dr Wojciech Sołowski, e-mail: wojciech.solowski (in urgent matters please call or text at +358 50 5925 254). The interested applicants are also advised to visit Dr Wojciech Sołowski profile The detailed description of the research can be found at .


How to apply

The open applications for the doctoral student position are to be submitted through the eRecruitment system (link 'Apply for this job' below) no later than on Friday, the 16th of August, 2019. The evaluation of applications will begin immediately afterwards with the Skype interviews on the 27th and 28th of August. The successful candidate(s) will be invited to supply all the necessary documents and apply for the Dean of School of Engineering scholarship (September 2019).


The application for the position should contain:

-  Detailed resume

-  Names of two referees who will provide references

-  Grades transcription (in the original language and in English)

-  English language proficiency proof, as specified in the Admission Requirements

-  Certified copy of the master’s diploma (at the application stage certification is not required; note that the diploma in its original language must be accompanied by its English translation)


All material should be submitted in English. The application materials will not be returned.


Shortlisted candidates will be required to prepare a short presentation for the interview. The successful candidate(s) will be required to supply all the necessary documents for the application for the Dean of School of Engineering scholarship, see for details.


Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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