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Location
Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Date Posted
3 Dec 2017

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Type
PhD Project
Microsystems for Space Technology Lab, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Intelligent soft actuators with printed flexible transistors for active responsive multifunctional transducers to enable smart soft machines

epfl.png
Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
3 Dec 2017

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description


Objectives: ESR will develop compliant electrodes for dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) that combines high conductivity, reduced stiffening impact, long lifetime (i.e. little to no degradation when repetitively stretched equi- biaxially), good adhesion to the membrane, and resistance to wear and abrasion. In addition, ESR will develop a method to pattern these electrodes on a sub- mm scale on the actuator’s thin elastomeric membranes. The selected patterning method must be fast, reproducible and must not damage the fragile membranes. ESR will thus develop one of the key building blocks of DEAs, as compliant electrodes play a determinant role in the performance of the actuators. Electrodes used currently (mainly loose carbon powder or carbon grease) do not provide satisfying results, mainly because of the poor lifetime caused by the electrodes being rubbed off from the membrane, or diffusing inside the dielectric, not to mention the difficulty of precise patterning.

Applications are invited for PhD positions (“Early Stage Researchers” ESR) to be funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “MICACT – Microactuators” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. The ESR will obtain PhD with a wide experience in materials engineering and/or mechatronics engineering.
The successful candidate should have following profile:
● M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Material Science/Engineering,, or related field
● Strong experimental skills in electrical and mechanical engineering, materials science, basic polymer science, functional biology or related field
● Have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and enjoy teamwork with colleagues in a multicultural setting.
● Adept at thinking at a system level, interested in applications and enjoy building and testing working devices
● Highly motivated, taking initiative, communicative, quality minded, flexible, and eager to learn
● Eager to frequent travel to secondment hosts and workshops
● Experience in the fields of soft actuators or testing will be an asset.
● Basic knowledge in clean room processes will be appreciated
● Fluent in English. Knowledge of local language is a plus.

Application procedure:

Interested candidates should send their CV and Letter of Motivations to HOST CONTACT (indicate the selected ESR and host!). Deadline for applications is January 28th. Earlier application gives an advantage.
The host contact person will give additional information about formal requirements to apply for PhD student position at specific university.

Positions will be filled starting from March 1st.

Benefits and salary
The MSCA programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment [Living Allowance = 37.320 euro/year (correction factor to be applied per country) + Monthly mobility allowance = 600 to 1100 euro depending on the family situation]. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Eligibility criteria
● Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. ESR should qualify as PhD student for PhD programme in the university in which the research training is provided.
● Researchers can be of any nationality. At the time of recruitment by the host, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.


How to Apply

Contact: Herbert Shea, herbert.shea@epfl.ch http://people.epfl.ch/herbert.shea Application procedure: Interested candidates should send their CV and Letter of Motivations to HOST CONTACT (indicate the selected ESR and host!). Deadline for applications is January 28th. Earlier application gives an advantage. The host contact person will give additional information about formal requirements to apply for PhD student position at specific university.

Position Category: Technology. Position Type: PhD Project.

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