Computational mechanics applied to solar energy materials

1 Post Doctoral Fellow position
(Deadline September 8th, 2014 12:00 )
Finite element method, Fracture/damage mechanics, Coupled problems in multi-physics, Error control and mesh adaptation, Multi-scale numerical methods
Participation in the research activities of the ERC Starting Grant CA2PVM related to the development of multi-physics computational models for the study of the durability and performance of standard and innovative photovoltaic modules. In particular, research activities regard:
  • Development of multi-physics mathematical formulations for silicon semiconductors accounting for the coupling between the electric, the thermal and the mechanical fields and implementation of the derived weak forms in the finite element method.
  • Implementation of fracture mechanics and damage mechanics models for the simulation of cracking and diffuse damage in silicon cells embedded in photovoltaic modules.
  • FEM implementation of innovative constitutive models for the viscoelastic response of polymeric materials.
  • Realization of pre-processors written in Matlab, Python or analogous software for the automatic generation of finite element meshes for photovoltaic modules.
  • Development of mathematical techniques for the control of modelling and numerical errors.
  • Computational methods for the assessment of the probability of failure of composites.
Research, tutorship and mentoring of the Institute's Ph.D. students, limited teaching and participation in the development of the Institute's research activities.
Formal requirements
 Possession of a PhD in Structural Engineering, Mechanics, Applied Mathematics or in a related field, or a four or five year undergraduate degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or in a related field if the PhD is expected to be earned by the date of appointment (around December 2014). An excellent level of both written and spoken English is mandatory.
Note: Please, remember to write the overall score/average grade (if available) of your four or five year undergraduate degree when compiling the Online Application Form.
Specific requirements
The applicant must demonstrate though his curriculum and publications experience in the implementation of user element subroutines in finite elements analysis programmes (FEAP, ABAQUS, or others). The candidate should possess research experience in fracture mechanics and/or damage mechanics. Knowledge and experience in error control techniques and in the numerical treatment of coupled problems in multi-physics are also welcome. Candidates should have excellent programming skills in Fortran and Matlab; good programming skills in Python and Mathematica is ideal. Candidates should also have an excellent publication track record in computational mechanics and computational methods and an excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.
CA2PVM - Multi-field and multi-scale Computational Approach to design and durability of PhotoVoltaic Modules
Gross amount
Negotiable; minimum €19,360 - maximum €35,000
One year, renewable for a maximum of three total years
Job Research Area: 
Job Research Unit: 
Job Contract Type: 
Assegno di ricerca
Full call
Calendar latest update
July 30th, 2014
First meeting of the Selection Committee
September 8th, 2014
Preliminary shortlist
Preliminary shortlist
Third meeting of the Selection Committee
September 18th, 2014 from 14.00 - San Francesco complex - Piazza San Francesco, 19 Lucca
Final ranking
Final ranking

Selection procedure and criteria

Selection procedure conditions are transparent and are based on international standards.


A Selection Committee, appointed by the Director, assesses all applications on the basis online application info and - if provided - reference letters. Shortlisted candidates, selected on the basis of the preliminary analysis, are invited for a research presentation at IMT. Travel expenses to Lucca for the research presentation interview will not be reimbursed.

Selection Criteria

The evaluation criteria are based on: Quality of research activity, including publications in peer-reviewed journals and references; Research organization experience and participation in international/national research projects and research periods in public and private institutions (academic and non-academic); Relevance of the candidate's profile for the development of IMT's research activities; Teaching, mentoring and supervision experience; Motivation; Excellent knowledge of English, both written and spoken; As well as any other requirements as specified in the advertisement.


Apply ONLINE only.

Before starting prepare the application attachments and information as listed below.


  • Personal info and contact info (compulsory)
  • Number of your Identity Document (Passport or Identity Card) (compulsory)
  • University degree (compulsory) and Ph.D. (obtained, or "ongoing")
  • Name, position, institution and email address of three referees (compulsory)
  • An email, with the appropriate instructions to upload the reference letters will be automatically generated and sent to your referees.


  • Your CV in English (compulsory);
  • One research paper (published or working paper): compulsory.
    Shortlisted candidates will be asked to present this research paper in the final stage of the selection.