Research Associate in architected materials containing hierarchical crystals across multiple length

£37,486 – £46,499
May 04, 2019
May 18, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Job description Job summary
We recently presented a groundbreaking research that uses 3d printing to realise the mimicry of the microstructure observed in crystalline metals to employ crystals' hardening mechanisms to develop robust and damage-tolerant architected materials (Damage-tolerant architected materials inspired by crystal microstructure, Nature 2019; 565:305). The use of crystalline alloys as the base materials to fabricate crystal-like architected materials opens a new frontier of research as it leads to the generation of an excitingly new family of materials (termed meta-crystals) comprising highly scalable hierarchical crystal structure: intrinsic micro-crystals within architected macro-crystals. You will explore many more exciting opportunities offered by this approach.

The qualified candidate will use advanced design and simulation software to mimic microstructure found in nature, and in combination with functional materials, to develop new meta-materials that are not only mechanical robust, but also smart. 3D printing and material characterisation techniques will be used to fabricate and study the behaviour of designed materials. You need to team up with other students and effectively collaborate with our key academic and industrial partners in UK and USA.

A focus of the role is to enhance the academic impact of the project in terms of publications and collaborations with experimental and modelling groups across additive manufacturing, metallurgy, microstructure and modelling spectrum.
Duties and responsibilities
Key Responsibilities

  • To conduct excellent research involving the development and application of a simulation framework for design and fabrication of architected materials.
  • To integrate the design and modelling work as fully as possible with fabrication via 3D printing.
  • To carry out material characterisation including microstructure and mechanical behaviour.
  • To work openly, collegiately, keenly and positively with close colleagues.
  • To achieve the milestone and deliverables set out in the consortium project plan.
  • To direct and support the work of small research teams including undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • To draft publications and prepare them for submission to refereed journals.
  • To prepare material for presentation in oral and poster formats and to deliver presentations at seminars, conferences and workshops.
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings and to ensure that research data is managed appropriately.
  • To write reports for use internally and by research sponsors as required.
  • To contribute to writing bids for research grants.
  • To take responsibility for organising resources and effective decision making in support of research.
  • To ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times.
  • To prepare material for presentation in oral and poster formats.
  • To present findings to colleagues and at conferences.
Essential requirements
We wish to appoint an individual with a strong track record in additive manufacturing, microstructure, crystal plasticity and functional materials.  You will also be a conscientious, innovative scientist who has successfully completed or is Hold, or be about to obtain, a PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant physical science or engineering discipline (e.g. materials, mechanical engineering and physics).

Candidates/post holders will be expected to demonstrate the following
  • Hold, or be about to obtain, a PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant physical science or engineering discipline (e.g. materials, physics, mechanical engineering).
  • Outstanding track record of research, as evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at workshops and conferences.
  • Expertise in using CAD and simulation software for structure design
  • Expertise in operating 3D printing for polymers and metals.
  • Expertise in electron microscopy.
  • Experience in continuum mechanics and crystal plasticity.
  • Knowledge of physical metallurgy.
  • Knowledge of functional materials.
  • Experience in mechanical testing.
  • Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature.
  • Ability to formulate key research questions and to devise a strategy to employ a range of analytical/computational techniques to address them.
  • Ability to apply new concepts and a creative approach to problem-solving.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people.
  • Excellent written communication skills including the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication.

Further information
Imperial College London is a science-based institution with the greatest concentration of high-impact research of any UK university. The Faculty of Engineering, consistently rated among the best in the world, is made up of ten academic departments and is committed to increasing its research activity by focusing on engineering-led multidisciplinary growth areas that target a number of global challenges.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £34,397 - £37,486 per annum.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Minh-Son (Son) Pham ( .

Further guidance may be sought from Mrs Darakshan Khan (

For technical issues when applying online, please contact: .
  • Job description - Metacrystals - ENG00804.pdf

About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is the UK's only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It's our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society - and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information
Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations:
  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations .

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.