Research Assistant/Associate (f/m/d) for MSCA-DN network in “AIM-NEXT” - Lifetime prediction under corrosion and oxidation damage in service-like conditions

Land Nordrhein-Westfalen


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Informationen zum Job

Weitere Informationen

The successful candidate will be employed under a regular employment contract.
The position is to be filled by 10/1/2024 and offered for a fixed term of 36 months.
The fixed-term employment is possible as it constitutes one of the fixed-term options of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (German Act on Fixed-term Scientific Contracts).
This is a full-time position.
The successful candidate has the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in this position.
The salary is based on the German public service salary scale (TV-L).
The position corresponds to a pay grade of EG 13 TV-L.

Unser Profil

Our Profile

The Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering (IWM) focuses on application-relevant research of metallic and ceramic materials and their composites, their manufacture, their microstructural and mechanical properties under static and dynamic stress and their appropriate use in the design and manufacture of components. In the EU funded project AIM-NEXT (Accelerate the design and Insertion of nonCRM hard Materials for Next generation EXTreme Applications), the understanding of binder corrosion and the development of improved binder for cemented carbides is part of the sub-project DC9.


The AIM-NEXT doctoral network is an interdisciplinary research training network of seven universities and six companies from across the Europe. 

Currently, the tooling industry is built on critical and scarce raw materials (CRMs). The overall scientific goal of AIM-NEXT is to create and assemble experimental methods, data, computational approaches and to complete the seamless integration of material design for non-CRM tooling. When successful, the project will contribute to a reduced dependency of European market to W and Co critical raw materials which are essential for high performance materials operating under extreme conditions. The project will also provide a framework for accelerated development of future ceramic materials.

Within the AIM-NEXT network ten PhD students will be trained to develop scientific and personal skills forming a solid basis for their future careers in fundamental and applied sciences either in an academic or industrial setting. The DC9 individual project will be realized at IWM of RWTH Aachen University.

Your Sub-Project DC9

The increased importance of ecological use of materials in manufacturing calls for an extension in the lifetime of hardmetal tools used in challenging environments such as water treatment, mining, waste recycling, civil construction, and manufacturing. To achieve this, understanding the corrosion and oxidation mechanisms and resulting damage, in combination with fatigue loading, is crucial.

The central part of your doctoral research will be carried out at IWM of RWTH Aachen University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Christoph Broeckmann. An academic secondment placement (6 months) will take place at the University of Aveiro (Portugal). Additionally, a 3-month placement at the company Durit (Portugal) is foreseen.

Your Ph.D. degree will be awarded based on the successful completion of the research work from RWTH Aachen University. You will also be required to participate in the training and workshop organized by the AIM-NEXT Doctoral Network. As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellow, you are also expected to contribute your time on disseminating your project’s results through public engagement and other scientific platforms.

Ihr Profil

  • University degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in Engineering or Science, with a specialisation in Materials Science, Mechanics, Physics, or any related subject.
  • Proficiency in English (accredited: TOEFL, Cambridge University, or similar). 
  • Skills required to work in a laboratory and conduct mechanical testing (micro and macro scale) and microstructure characterization (electron microscopy)
  • First experiences in data analysis and regression modeling
  • Good communication skills resulting in a good team work ability
  • Interest in scientific courses and workshops throughout the PhD studies
  • International mobility and interest in cooperation with other research groups
  • You fulfill the the mobility rules for Marie Skodowska-Curie projects:
    • Applicants can be of any nationality, but may not have resided or carried out her/his main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the last 3 years immediately prior to this recruitment.
    • The applicant must be an early stage researcher, being within the first four years of her/his research career and not have a doctoral degree yet. 

Please provide the required information (in English) in one single PDF file with the following order:

  • Completed application form
  • Detailed CV (maximum 5 pages)
  • Motivation letter (maximum 2 pages)
  • A scanned copy of certified transcripts of results of Bachelor and Masters’ degrees in relevant discipline.
  • English language certificate (if available)
  • Any additional files considered relevant to the application.

All required information has to be packed in a single-PDF file in the order showed above and using a file name with the following format: surname_name_DC.pdf

Please apply by sending your application to AIM-NEXT contact address: indicating as email’s subject “AIM-NEXT DC APPLICATION”.

Ihre Aufgaben

You will be responsible for the scientific planning, implementation and evaluation of a sub-project with the partners Durit and the University of Aveiro entitled “Lifetime prediction under corrosion and oxidation damage in service-like conditions”. The main methods comprise:

  • Evaluation of oxidation and corrosion mechanisms in different binder phases in cemented carbides using experimental methods such as optical emission spectroscopy, micrographs with image analysis of porosity, electron backscatter diffraction, EDX mapping and XRD analyses
  • The degradation of mechanical properties is locally mapped by nanoindentation and macroscopically determined by bending and fatigue tests
  • The influence of the binder-WC interfaces on corrosion is investigated using different WC grain sizes
  • An evaluation of corrosion and oxidation experiments after different exposure times allows conclusions to be drawn about the corrosion kinetics and the extrapolation of the service life by means of regression analysis
  • Corrosion-resistant new binders and their process windows are simulated in Thermo-Calc
  • New binders are used to produce modified cemented carbides (cooperation with Durit) which will be tested at University Aveiro

Über uns

RWTH is a certified family-friendly University. We support our employees in maintaining a good work-life balance with a wide range of health, advising, and prevention services, for example university sports. Employees who are covered by collective bargaining agreements and civil servants have access to an extensive range of further training courses and the opportunity to purchase a job ticket.
RWTH is an equal opportunities employer. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all suitably qualified candidates, particularly from groups that are underrepresented at the University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or age. RWTH is strongly committed to encouraging women in their careers. Female applicants are given preference if they are equally suitable, competent, and professionally qualified, unless a fellow candidate is favored for a specific reason.
As RWTH is committed to equality of opportunity, we ask you not to include a photo in your application.
You can find information on the personal data we collect from applicants in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at

Besoldung / Entgelt

EG 13 TV-L


  • Beruf und Familie

  • Gesundheit

  • Vorsorgeleistungen


Augustinerbach 4, 52062 Aachen

Mehr zum Job

Beschäftigungsart Befristete Anstellung
Arbeitszeit Vollzeit
Augustinerbach 4, 52062 Aachen