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  Responsive biomaterials based on biogenic resources

   Department of Material Science and Technology

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

About the stegbauerlab:

The mission of the stegbauerlab at the Biogenic Engieering Materials group at TU Bergakademie Freiberg is to transform

materials and the environment by emulating the way nature builds. A major focus of stegbauerlab is to establish the

fundamental science and translate resulting technologies developed by members into commercial application through

collaborations with interdisciplinary and international partners from other disciplines (chemistry, engineering, biotechnologies), companies and research institutions (Fraunhofer, Max-Planck-Institutes). Please see

for further information on the lab and here ( for a video of a UV-light driven actuation of an exemplary biomaterial (published

in )


Job description:

Stegbauerlab invites applications for a doctoral student position on responsive biomaterials based on biogenic resources. The position will focus on the discovery of new molecular photoswitches to functionalize biopolymers and fungi

mycelium with responsive properties. With two females and one male, we are an interdisciplinary, diverse and international team at stegbauerlab, and would be happy to have you as a new member. Additionally to your scientific work, you

will have many opportunities to take part in retreats, soft skill education and teaching.

The stegbauerlab, led by Jun.-Prof. Dr. Linus Stegbauer, is pursuing multiple projects directed to improved manufacturing of biocomposite materials, living materials and photoresponsive materials all based on biogenic resources to replace

fossil-based polymers. Responsive biomaterials change their properties such as the stiffness through an external stimulation such as light or pH change.

Applicants should have knowledge and proven skills in organic synthesis (up to 4 steps), understand basic material

science, and be able to perform molecular characterization. The candidate will have one primary mentor and will receive

rigorous training, exposure to multiple disciplines, and in-depth learning about responsive biomaterials and biogenic

resources, preparing them to pursue academic or industrial careers.

Key Responsibilities:

− Investigate and interpret scientific literature to identify synthetic routes of target molecules.

− Synthesize molecular photo- and other switches

− Manufacture and process responsive materials based on biogenic resources

− Analyze spectroscopic and mechanic datasets to evaluate trends and correlations based on various metrics

(e.g., biopolymer properties, photoswitch) e.g. with Python.

− Participate in mechanical characterization, to determine stiffness and hardness by indentation with and without

external stimulation.

− Design and execute experiments to show the functionality and mechanisms of the manufactured responsive

materials using state-of-the-art spectroscopic and mechanical techniques

− Summarize, present, and share key findings with an interdisciplinary, scientific team in a consistent and organized manner.

− Collaborate with other researchers to address and solve new challenges and unanticipated problems as they


Work as independently as possible, in a detail-oriented, self-driven manner.

What you can expect from us:

− Working at a family-friendly university with flexible working hours

− Remuneration according to the provisions of the collective agreement for the public service of the German federal

states in accordance with the personal requirements

− A wide range of networking, mentoring and development opportunities

− Attractive fringe benefits, e.g., asset-based benefits (VL), company pension schemes (VBL), health management; Job Ticket for public transportation

What we expect from you:

− Applicants must hold a doctorate qualifying BSc and/or MSc degree in the field of Chemistry or a closely related


− readiness and ability to complete a PhD thesis

− Soft Skills: communication, adaptability, independent thinking, efficiency, self-drive

− Computer Skills: Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel),

− Scientific Skills: synthesis of molecules, design and implementation of scientific protocols, analysis of scientific

literature and datasets

Preferred (not required):

− Experience with Python

− Experience with mechanical characterization

For further information please contact Juniorprof. Dr. Linus Stegbauer (phone: +49-3731 39-3161, e-mail:


The applicant (m/f/d) must meet the hiring requirements for a fixed-term contract according to the

WissZeitVG. Applicants with disabilities will receive preferential consideration, providing they possess equal qualification. For consideration, we ask you to submit proof of your disabled status together with your application documents.

TU Bergakademie Freiberg is committed to increase the number of women in teaching and research positions, hence

qualified female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

Written applications including CV, list of publications, motivation letter and copies of all relevant qualification documents

(certificates, diplomas) should be submitted stating the reference number (25-E/2024) to the following address:

Your application documents will not be returned, please only submit copies. TU Bergakademie Freiberg is always looking

for scientific personnel from various disciplines. Further information can be found at

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24)

Register your interest for this project