Supervisors: Prof. Paul Steinmann and Dr. Peter Grassl
Functional ceramics are widely used as actuators, sensors and transducers. In particular, lead-free functional ceramics have the potential to be used for environmentally friendly electromechanical energy harvesting systems. The main limitation of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics is their poor reliability due to micro-cracking induced by the electro-mechanical processes.
The aim of the project is to answer the technologically pressing question how we enhance micro-structural understanding of micro-cracking processes occurring in functional ceramics to improve reliability of devices. We will develop novel modelling approaches based on discrete electro-mechanical networks, which will be computationally more efficient than molecular models and more suited to describe cracking than standard continuum discretisation approaches.
The successful candidate will have a good MSc or undergraduate degree in Engineering or other relevant subject. The ability to learn software programming is essential and prior experience an advantage. The ideal candidate should be enthusiastic and self-motivated with good organisational and interpersonal skills. This project will provide the opportunity to work on cutting edge research in a dynamic research environment. The successful candidate will receive expert training and gain in-depth knowledge in the area of computational fracture mechanics.
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