Date Posted
16 May 2024

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PhD Program
Université Laval

Development of a LPDM tool for upscaling the mechanical properties of systems with alternative supplementary cementitious materials (ASCMs): from heterogeneous microstructure to cement paste

16 May 2024

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

Position Description

New techniques such as NI-QEDS (which couples nanoindentation and quantitative energy dispersion spectroscopy) allow today to disclose the phase property of microstructure of systems incorporating alternative supplementary cementitious materials (ASCMs), which are endowed with complex and heterogeneous microstructure. The upscaling of the strength and visco-elastic properties from the microstructure level to the level of the cement paste is far to be understood. The goal of this PhD will be to develop a numerical tool, which can upscale the new knowledge on the microstructure phases to the level of the cement paste. This tool will be key to develop a virtual laboratory for developing new ASCM composites.
The model will be developed within the framework of the Lattice Particle Discrete Method (LPDM), developed at Northwestern ( The challenge will be to develop a mesoscale model, which accounts for the complex features and microstructure heterogeneity the investigated systems. In a team project, another PhD student will characterize these innovative systems by coupling nanoindentation and quantitative energy dispersion spectroscopy (NI-QEDS), providing inputs for the LPDM modelling.
The PhD student will work at Université Laval under the direction of Prof. Sorelli and the co-directions of Prof. Tagnit-Hamou of Université of Sherbrooke (UdS) and Prof. Ouellet-Plamondon of ÉTS, Montreal. Furthermore, the PhD student will work in collaboration with a second PhD student whom mission will be to characterize the chemo-mechanical property of the microstructure of different ASCMs. Finally, external collaborators will favor the feasibility of the project: Prof. Gianluca Cusatis (Northwestern University) for the numerical part and Dr William Wilson for the microstructure characterization.

Duration : 3-4 years
Salary : About 18’500$/year (net of tax) plus 3‐5000$bonus/year
Possible starting date: September 2019

Profile of the candidate
Holds a master’s degree (or equivalent) in civil engineering, material engineering or other related fields.
Good knowledge of French and/or English, advanced knowledge of structural design, programming skills, optimization and life cycle analysis, knowledge of the finite element method.

How to Apply

If interested please send your CV, transcripts, and a letter of motivation to: Director : Prof. Luca Sorelli, P.Ing., PhD, Professor Université Laval, Département de Génie Civil Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot, 2928-A 1065 avenue de la Médecine Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6 Tél: 418-656-3060 Fax: 418-656-3355

Position Category: Engineering. Position Type: PhD Program. Salary: €20'000 - €30'000.