PhD Position in Mechanical Engineering

Research Center Julich

PhD Position in Mechanical Engineering

You would like to use your engineering skills to make an effective contribution to solving the major challenges facing society, e.g. to measure gravitational waves postulated by Albert Einstein 100 years ago? You would like to use your engineering skills to design, develop and manufacture scientific and technical devices, systems and processes for which no technical or commercial solution yet exist? Then join us at the Central Institute for Engineering, Electronics and Analytics - Engineering and Technology (ZEA-1).

Institute issuing the offer: ZEA-1

Your Job:

Gravitational waves from colliding black holes, exploding stars or maybe from dark ages of the universe tell us about the evolution of our cosmos. Following the Nobel Prize in physics of 2017, we are now planning the next generation of even more sensitive observations. The so-called "Einstein-Telescope" (ET) is European`s future in gravitational wave detection. It might be built in the Euregio. For more information, see or . Gravitational waves are detected by laser interferometers based on the concept of the Michelson Interferometer. The ET will include six of those interferometers with arm lengths of 10 km each in an underground, triangular configuration. To avoid interaction of the laser beams with air or any residual gas the laser beams will travel in ultrahigh vacuum tubes (UHV) with a diameter of approximately 1 m. In total, there will be 120 km of those tubes. It will be by far the largest UHV system ever built.
Support us in working on the design of the vacuum system as well as investigation in material development for vacuum applications. Main topics of the PhD will be:

  • Development of general layout of vacuum system, simulation of the vacuum conditions and heat management during operation, estimation of the pumping capacities including engineering of the pumping stations, gauges and valves, define the operating and system conditions
  • Development of an emergency fast closing system, e.g. a very compact fast closing valve, for the vacuum system, including design and testing of prototypes of these valves
  • Development of strategies for leakage detection,maintenance, repair and corrosion protection
  • Scientific research and investigation of new materials compositions (steel or other metals) or coatings (e.g. NEGs) as well as new material groups (various polymers, ceramics, etc.) for use in UHV as an alternative to expensive stainless-steel alloys
  • Fundamental and theoretical considerations on the various gas release mechanisms for these composites and material groups. This is followed by the evaluation of different analysis methods, their selection and optimization as well as appropriate measurements and the evaluation and assessment results
  • Work out of project plan for the installation of the vacuum system for ET including time and cost estimation
  • Cooperation with national and international science groups and companies working on the production and installation process of vacuum pipes and their frames

Most of your work will be at ZEA-1 in close collaboration with the groups involved in the development of the ET at RWTH Aachen University as well as several partner universities in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Your Profile:

  • Successfully completed Masters degree in the field of general mechanical engineering, process engineering or experimental physics as well as material science
  • Very good knowledge of vacuum technology, especially in materials science for UHV suitable materials
  • Very good knowledge in the field of design engineering
  • Experience in the use of software for engineering design of systems such as CAD and FEM
  • Interest in experimental work, the design and construction of test systems and the supervision of test runs
  • High degree of initiative and ability to work in an international team
  • Ability for collaborative work, interdisciplinary and cross-topical thinking
  • Very good communication skills in spoken and written English are essential; knowledge of German is an advantage

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • A highly motivated working group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment in one of the largest research institutions in Europe
  • Excellent scientific and technical infrastructure
  • The opportunity to participate on conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous professional supervision by your scientific supervisor
  • Extensive company health management
  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors:
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
  • Flexible work (location) arrangements, e.g. remote work
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere in Jülich, we have a lot more to offer:

The position is for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at:

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

We look forward to receiving your application until 21.07.2024 via our

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