PhD Dissertation Position in Nanomechanics

We have PhD dissertation openings in areas related to nanoscale science and engineering: Nanomechanics, Nanomanufacturing, and Nanocomposites.


Nanomechanics: Emphasis is on electromechanical characterization of one-dimensional nanostructures, which have applications in sensors, NEMS and biodevices. Experiments and atomistic modeling are done in parallel to bridge the gap between applications and theory. The types of activities in this project include: nanomanipulation, nanoscale characterization with real-time electron microscopy imaging of specimens, and multiscale modeling using Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Dynamics.

Nanomanufacturing: Emphasis is on the development of nanomanufacturing tools and their applications. Applications include large-scale arrays of nanodevices and biological substrates (e.g., protein arrays and surfaces for cell adhesion studies). The types of activities in this project include: Atomic Force Microscopy-based patterning, electron microscopy, and other nanofabrication techniques for development of nanodevices.

Biologically-Inspired Materials: Emphasis is on the characterization of the deformation mechanisms of nacre, the iridescent inner layer of seashells, in order to design bioinspired synthetic nanocomposites. The type of activities in this project include: in-situ atomic force microscope experiments, heterogeneous strain measurements using digital image correlation, scanning electron microscopy, numerical simulations of nacre at various scales, and designing and testing bioinspired nanocomposites prototypes.

Dynamic Behavior of Composite Panels: Emphasis is on conducting experiments/simulations of Fluid Structure Interaction arising in underwater impulsive loads. The project also involves the design of novel composite sandwich panels. The type of activities in this project include: high strain rate experiments, high speed photography and Moiré techniques for kinematic full field measurement and failure identification, multiscale modeling of damage.


The successful candidate will join a vibrant group of graduate students and post-docs working in a variety of projects in Mechanics of Materials and Nanotechnology. A Bachelor's or equivalent degree in engineering or science in a related discipline is required. MSc and publications in international journals is highly desirable. Other requirements are TOEFL and GRE.

The duration of the assistantship will be for up to 5 years. Benefits include: a monthly salary, tuition, and health insurance.


Why this is a great opportunity:

  • Great experience in a top US university and world renowned mechanics group
  • Interaction with leading MEMS/Nanotechnology researchers at Northwestern, Argonne National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory
  • Challenging applications with an opportunity to make a big impact
  • First class working environment and supporting facilities
  • Many cultural and recreational activities in the university and Chicago area
  • Comprehensive benefits and participation in patents


Send a complete application package to Northwestern University.


Send a copy to:

Professor Horacio D. Espinosa
Northwestern University
Mechanical Engineering
2145 Sheridan Rd.
Evanston, IL 60208-3111
Phone: (847) 467-5989
Fax: (847) 491-3540



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