Home Scholarships European Union PhD Position: Microstructural Modelling of Concrete Boeretang, Belgium

PhD position: Microstructural modelling of concrete to relate transport properties to chemically and mechanically induced changes in microstructure

Job Description: Microstructural models are used for investigating the evolution of the microstructure of concrete and for predicting its transport and mechanical properties. These models are applied to simulate interactions between particles at the microscale and make it possible to predict the hydration of cement-based materials, structural formation and the development of strength. Microstructural models allow for assessing factors that affect hydration, the probability of cracking and the effect of alkalis, gypsum and additives on the rate of hydration. Cement hydration, structural formation and the chemical evolution of cement-based materials in contact with porewater are mutually dependent phenomena. Existing microstructural models have paid relatively little attention to the modelling of the chemical evolution of cement-based materials in contact with porewater. The present research proposal intends to integrate chemical interactions between a cementitious solid phase and an aqueous phase, in microstructural models. Such reactions are potentially harmful to concrete durability.

The team: Belgian nuclear research centre SCK•CEN is one of the largest research centres in Belgium. The environment is broadly international and the work will be carried out in the multidisciplinary expert group. We have international cooperation with several universities and research institutes.

What do we offer: The proposed PhD at our institute is an excellent career start (springboard to many applications in nuclear/non-nuclear sector). We support and help with publishing in international journals, e.g. course of scientific writing and give possibilities for attendance of “top” conferences. Special budget is foreseen for additional education e.g. summer schools. We have possibilities for accommodation in research campus, and finally we offer motivating environment.

Profile: High motivation, creativity, background in any of the following topics: applied physics, chemistry, geophysics, material physics. Programming skills (C++, matlab or similar) are strongly recommended. Research will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Ghent and TU Delft.

Deadline: June 11th, 2010
Contact address:
Belgian nuclear research centre SCK.CEN
Boeretang 200,
B-2400 Mol

Website: http://www.sckcen.be/
Email: jperko@sckcen.be