MSCA-ITN PhD Student

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Jun 2021

The University of Belgrade – Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is seeking to appoint two high-caliber Early Stage Researcher (ESR) to join the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network - European Industrial Doctorate RE-FRACTURE2 'Modeling and optimal design of refractories for high temperature industrial applications for a low carbon society'.

Early Stage Researcher 5: Inverse analysis procedure for calibration of constitutive models for mechanical behavior at high temperature


Fixed-Term – 36 months: from 1st November 2021 to 31st October 2024


The RE-FRACTURE2 project is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie action by the Framework Programme of the European Union for Research and Innovation Horizon2020. Innovative Training Networks (ITN) drive scientific excellence and innovation. They bring together universities, research institutes and other sectors from across the world to train researchers to doctorate level.

This project aims to train motivated international Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), through the international collaboration of Industry and Academia. At the end of the project, the participating researchers are awarded with the PhD title - European Industrial Doctorate (EID).

The objective of the project is to derive new computational models for refractory materials, which will make possible for the first time to simulate in-silico their behaviour over the whole of working temperature range. These models will be a breakthrough in the design of components like refractory nozzles, plates, ladle and tundish slide gate systems, which will directly translate to energy savings, waste reduction and decreases in pollution and CO2 emission, together with safety improvements.

About BU: Department of Strength of Materials at the Faculty of Mechanical engineering – University of Belgrade consists of highly qualified academic professors experienced in training and tutoring young scientists and students. Members of the Department have significant expertise in the theory of optimization applied to engineering problems, material parameter identification both through computational and experimental strategies. The work at Faculty of Mechanical engineering is focused on promotion of research in key areas in engineering, in training of engineers and scientist for the future generations and in establishing relations with industrial companies both at national and international level. To achieve these ambitions goals, the Faculty seeks for highly qualified individuals.

The Role (for the ESR5 position)

ESR5 will be enrolled on the PhD programme in Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade. The ESR will perform research on the mechanical characterization of ceramics at high temperature through the application of inverse analysis, supervised by Prof Vladimir Buljak at the University of Belgrade, by Dr Massimo Penasa at CAEMATE and Severin Romero-Baivier at Vesuvius Group SA (Belgium).

Further information about the PhD projects is below:

Title: Inverse analysis procedure for calibration of constitutive models for mechanical behavior at high temperature

Objectives: The PhD student will develop a procedure for the calibration of newly developed constitutive models apt for modeling of material mechanical behavior at high temperature. The work should include sensitivity analysis through the simulation of tests in order to optimize testing configurations and develop characterization procedures for further industrial routine use. The designed procedure should synergically combine numerical simulations with experiments (link with ESR1) and mathematical programming in order to build fast computing tool capable of establishing transition from experimentally measured quantities to sought material properties. In a view of large nonlinearities present in the model reduced order techniques based on Proper Orthogonal Decomposition will be studied for the acceleration of numerical simulations.

Expected Results:

- Optimization of testing protocols in terms of experimental setups and selection of measurable quantities;

- Development of reduced order model for the acceleration of nonlinear simulations of selected tests;

- Design and implementation of an automatic calibration procedure centred on inverse analysis for routine industrial use.

Planned secondments: Approximately 6 months after the enrolment at BU, the ESR will spend a secondment period of one month at VESUVIUS, during which he/she is going to be involved in the setup of the experimental tests (tutor S. Baivier). Approximately at month 18 (M18) the student will start a secondment period at CAEMATE with the aim of implementing the designed inverse analysis procedures

Early Stage Researcher 6: Topology and geometry optimization of refractory devices


Fixed-Term – 36 months: from 1st November 2021 to 31st October 2024

The Role (for the ESR6 position)

ESR5 will be enrolled on the PhD programme in Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade. The ESR will perform research on the structural optimization techniques, particularly in the application of topology optimization to refractory devices. The work will be supervised by Prof Vladimir Buljak at the University of Belgrade and by Dr Massimo Penasa at CAEMATE.

Further information about the PhD projects is below:

Title: Topology and geometry optimization of refractory devices

Objectives: The PhD student will focus on the study, the development and the implementation of Topology Optimization (TO) techniques in order to apply them to the optimization of refractory products. Loads, boundary conditions and constrains will be taken from realistic refractory products, supplied by VESUVIUS, with the main goal to maximize their selected performance. For finding the optimal solution to the formulated nonlinear programming problem, different methods are going to be tested, including sequential quadratic programming, method of moving asymptotes, as well as derivative free, soft computing techniques based on genetic algorithms. In order to accelerate the conventionally adopted approaches, where highly nonlinear FEM simulations are used to evaluate the design performance, reduced order models will be implemented. Developed novelties are going to be on methodological side and therefore not restricted to the application only on selected products.

Expected Results:

Development and implementation of novel Topology Optimization (TO) procedures for iterative optimization of refractory devices;

- Application of the designed TO procedure to improve the performance of selected refractory products

Planned secondments:

The student will spend the first half of the training program principally at the host institution (BU, 17 months), with one month secondment at VESUVIUS. In this phase, he/she will be introduced to the most recent theories and applications of TO. The following secondment period of 18 months at CAEMATE will focus on the computational implementation of the developed techniques and their industrial use

The other Consortium partners:

About VESUVIUS: Vesuvius Group SA (VESUVIUS) is a global leader in the supply of specialized refractory products and packaged technology solutions to the steel making, foundry and glass industries, employing more than 12,000 people in 90 different countries. Vesuvius develops and produces highly specialized Flow Control Systems packages which contain advanced refractories and devices for the controlled casting of liquid steel mainly for the process of continuous casting in steel plants. R&D activities at Vesuvius Ghlin site include fundamental research in refractory material characterization on thermomechanical behaviour and material modelling by finite element analysis, in addition to continuous research to advance the state-of-the-art in flow control equipment and technology. These activities support the essential contribution of Vesuvius towards realizing the targets of the steel industry to produce high quality steel at the lowest possible energy consumption, hence reducing CO2 emission and production cost.

About University of Trento: The Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering (DICAM) at the University of Trento (UNITN) pursues high level scientific and teaching objectives, regarding research and training, in line with the most important research intensive universities. DICAM also promotes significant interrelations with public authorities and private companies, at local, national and international level. DICAM’s mission is laid down in the following specific targets: i) the promotion of research in key areas of Engineering; ii) the training of engineers and researchers of the future generations. It has achieved an excellent position, in the 251-300 group, in the World University Ranking 2019 and it is 36th in the University in the Europe Teaching Rankings.

About CAEmate: CAEmate is a rapidly growing hi-tech company active in the development of innovative software solutions and cloud applications targeted to engineering workflow automation. The company employs the most advanced technologies in object oriented programming, cloud-computing and numerical simulation (FEA, CFD, DEM) to improve efficiency and safety in the engineering design procedures. The company is located in Bolzano, in Northern Italy.

The successful candidate will be a team player, prepared to work closely with the Project’s senior staff and other ESRs. The successful candidate will receive a prestigious fellowship and will benefit from a wide-ranging training programme and activities, which will encompass:

  • Being part of a network of leading scholars working on innovative technologies for heat resistant devices.
  • Regular training schools pertaining to both, technical skills on topics in heat resisting devices relevant to the scope of the RE-FRACTURE2 project, and a range of transferrable skills (research management, communication, dissemination, etc.).
  • A secondment to one of the partners in the RE-FRACTURE2 consortium.
  • Establishing a professional network in academia and industry.
  • How to apply

    Application should be submitted to with the subject “Application for RE-FRACTURE2 ESR position”

    The link to the requirements for the enrolment at doctoral studies at the University of Belgrade will be available from beginning of May.

    Duties & Responsibilities

  • Undertake postgraduate research in support of the agreed doctoral research project.
  • Work closely with the academic and industrial supervisors to ensure the compatibility of the individual project with the overall goals of RE-FRACTURE2.
  • Disseminate the research outputs through publications in international journals.
  • Present the research at major international conferences to both academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Communicate the results of the project through outreach activities.
  • Attend and participate in academic and non-academic conferences, events and seminars.
  • Attend and participate in all training events and supervisory meetings.
  • Be seconded to other network partners as necessary to fulfill the grant obligations.
  • Prepare progress reports and similar documents on research for funding bodies, as required.
  • Contribute to the delivery and management of the wider Programme, including attending and participating in programme committee meetings.
  • As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the ESR may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above duties responsibilities.

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