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  PhD Candidate: Designing Vitrimes Via Advanced Modeling And Characterization

   Materials Research and Technology (MRT) Department

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  Dr Stephan Westermann  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


Are you passionate about research? So are we! Come and join us

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT. By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies. 

You’d like to contribute as a researcher? Join our Materials Research and Technology department

Through its research into advanced materials and processes, the “Materials Research and Technology” (MRT) department, with its 200 researchers and engineers, contributes to the emergence of enabling technologies that underpin the innovation processes of local and international industry. MRT’s activities hinge on four thematic pillars: nanomaterials and nanotechnology, scientific instrumentation and process technology, structural composites, and functional polymers.

The department also includes four high-tech platforms, focusing on composites, prototyping, characterization and testing. These platforms serve both LIST research staff, and other stakeholders in Luxembourg.


How will you contribute?

Many novel vitrimers have been reported of late, with the impressive range of properties thus realized providing ample evidence of the pathway to sustainability promised by these materials. Vitrimer behavior is neither simple nor easily predictable, however, and the fundamental understanding needed for their design is lacking. To address this, atomistic & coarse-grained simulations of bond-exchange processes and the elastic response in vitrimers will be carried out as a function of the catalytic centers present. Temperature-dependent activation energies and bond exchange kinetics (Arrhenius relations) will be explored. Moreover, the segmental mobility and elastic moduli of vitrimers will be computed and compared with experimental data. In generating this understanding, the successful candidate will make a strong and impactful contribution through the microscale modeling of such materials.

The candidate will apply computer simulation techniques (molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo, etc), polymer physics principles and statistical methods to model the behavior of such materials. Furthermore, the candidate will have access to HPC clusters in LIST and University of Luxembourg and will be involved in the generation and interpretation of complementary experimental data

Must-have requirements

Is your profile described below? Are you our future colleague? Apply now!

You hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in Physics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or Materials Science, have a very good knowledge in at least one programming language (e.g. python, Matlab, C++) and wish to carry out impactful, high quality computational research in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues. Experience in molecular dynamics (or Monte Carlo) / the LAMMPS (or GROMACS) software package is considered a plus. You enjoy learning new things, using your creativity to solve problems, and taking advantage of opportunities to build and develop further your computational and theoretical skills. You’re used to communicating effectively in English, both in writing and orally, and documenting your work (minimum certified B2 level). You are careful, conscientious and well organized, happy to work with others and motivated to make a difference in what you do.

We offer

Your LIST benefits

An organization with a passion for impact and strong RDI partnerships in Luxembourg and Europe that works on responsible and independent research projects;

Sustainable by design, empowering our belief that we play an essential role in paving the way to a green society;

Innovative infrastructures and exceptional labs occupying more than 5,000 square meters, including innovations such as our Viswall, high-scale incubators and top of the range 3D/4D printings that are part of our toolkit for excelling in all we do;

Multicultural and international work environment with more than 45 nationalities represented in our workforce; 

Diverse and inclusive work environment empowering our people to fulfil their personal and professional ambitions;

Gender-friendly environment with multiple actions to attract, develop and retain women in science;

32 days paid annual leave, 11 public holidays, flexible working hours, 13-month salary, statutory health insurance and access to lunch vouchers;

Personalized learning program to foster our staff’s soft and technical skills;

An environment encouraging curiosity, innovation and entrepreneurship in all areas.

Apply online

Your application must include:

  • A motivation letter oriented towards the position and detailing your experience;
  • A scientific CV with contact details;
  • List of publications and / or patents (if applicable);
  • Contact details of 2 references.


Application procedure and conditions:

  • LIST is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring and retaining diverse personnel. We value all applicants and will consider all competent candidates for employment without regard to national origin, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, age or disability;
  • Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled;
  • An assessment committee will review the applications and select candidates based on guidelines that aim to ensure equal opportunities;
  • The main criteria for selection will be the correspondence of the existing skills and expertise of the applicant with the requirements mentioned above;
  • Please note that by applying you consent to share your application with selection committee members of the ”SusPoCo” project


PhD additional conditions:

  • Supervisor: Dr. Stephan Westermann ([Email Address Removed]), Functional Polymers Unit
  • Co-supervision: Dr. Argyrios Karatrantos and Dr. Mariapaola Staropoli, Responsive Polymeric Materials Group
  • Work location: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Hautcharage, Luxembourg
  • PhD enrollment: University of Luxembourg, Belval, Luxembourg
  • Please note that University fees are the responsibility of the student.
Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)
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 About the Project