University of Cambridge

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Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term) - Statistical Physics Group

Development of fundamental atomistic theory and simulations of polymer glasses under deformation.

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/Research Associate position available for a period of 3 years. The project is fully funded by US Army Research Laboratory (Army Research Office) and will be supervised by Dr. Alessio Zaccone. The successful applicant will be a member of the Statistical Physics Group at University of Cambridge.

The scope of the work includes developing an atomic-level theory of deformation, both linear and non-linear, of glassy polymers within the framework of Nonaffine Lattice Dynamics (NALD) using input from numerical atomistic simulations. The final objective is to arrive at a deeper understanding of the microscopic mechanisms of anelasticity, yielding, plastic flow, and strain hardening in glassy polymers. An interface between the atomistic simulations and analytical or semi-analytical theory will be built by the successful applicant, with the final result being general laws or correlations which relate atomistic and molecular-level parameters (the materials chemistry) with technologically relevant features of viscoelastic and plastic response. The project will include close collaborations with teams at US Army Research Laboratory (US ARL) and NIST.

Applicants must have a degree and a PhD preferably in theoretical physics (candidates with degrees in materials science, materials engineering, theoretical physical chemistry, applied mathematics will also be considered) with proven experience working with theoretical methods and computational tools to describe condensed matter systems. They must have a deep understanding and working knowledge of condensed matter physics and/or materials theory/simulation, and be willing to address topics in lattice dynamics, molecular dynamics, polymer physics and theories of glasses and liquids. An interest for scientific programming and algorithms is also an advantage.

More information about the group can be found here:

More information about the Department can be found here:

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 September 2021 in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should provide a CV, including contact details of two referees and a covering letter describing their suitability for the role.

For further information contact Dr Alessio Zaccone -

Please quote reference NQ15984 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online