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PhD Position – Meshless Simulation of Manufacturing Processes

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Institute of Machine Tools and Manufacturing (IWF) under the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (D-MAVT) is an international leading research group on machine tools and in the field of production engineering. Recent topics of research focus on novel technologies such as additive manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data analysis and Industry 4.0.

Project background

Metal cutting remains one of the most, if not “the” most, important manufacturing processes in any developed nation. Thus, it is of utmost importance to be able to predict the outcome of such processes and to gain insight into the underlying physics. Computer simulation is a valuable tool for both mentioned purposes. Current simulation models are hampered in their efficiency because they rely on classical FEM paradigms, which require constant remeshing in the face of the extremely large deformations encountered during cutting operations. Therefore, a novel simulation tool using meshfree methods was developed at IWF. This PhD position is concerned with extending this tool with novel features, ranging from advanced material models to extended applications and state-of-the-art numerical algorithms.

For further information:

  1. Watch for an overview of the features currently supported by our solver
  2. Visit to check out our open-source codes

Job description

You will be working on an open-source, cutting edge meshless solver used to produce the most high-resolution meshless metal cutting simulations to date. Your main responsibility will be to improve the numerics and algorithms in the current code and further drive the parallelization efforts on graphics processors. Work is done in a modern working environment within a small but highly motivated team.

The position is full time with 100% employment. Besides programming duties, the position also includes preparing publications for high-quality international journals, outreach at conferences, as well as teaching contributions.

Your profile

You have a Master's degree in Computer/Computational Science, Physics, Engineering, or a comparable field, and is a proficient programmer with a record of a long time relevant programming experience, especially in C++. Furthermore, you are fluent in English (both written & spoken) and have a solid mathematical foundation. It would be beneficial if you could also demonstrate knowledge in GPGPU programming (especially CUDA), or alternatively other parallel programming platforms. Knowledge in meshless particle methods, especially Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) or in other numerical methods to solve Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) would be highly appreciated. Finally, it would also be advantageous if you could show a background in (nonlinear) Continuum Mechanics.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application including:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivational Letter
  • Trascript of records
  • Ev. reference letters or contact details of referees

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about D-MAVT and IWF can be found on the following websites:

For any further questions regarding this position please refer to Dr. Michal Kuffa: (no applications).

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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