University of Cambridge

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Research Associate - From interparticle forces to yielding in soft amorphous solids (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance, with a possible extension for up to 1 year.

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in the group of Rob Jack, in the Dept of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. The project involves numerical simulations of soft amorphous solids including colloidal glasses and gels, including analysis of the local stress in these heterogeneous materials, and non-equilibrium effects such as physical aging and gel collapse. The results will be combined with those of experimental collaborators, to understand the fundamental principles that govern the mechanical properties of these soft solids.

The position is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of a joint project with the experimental group of Prof Paddy Royall at Bristol University. The numerical results will be compared with particle-resolved experiments on colloidal systems, using super-resolution confocal microscopy. Dr Jack has a joint appointment between the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics ¿ the successful candidate will have opportunities to work with other researchers in both departments.

The project will involve computer simulations of colloidal systems by molecular dynamics and Brownian dynamics. We will analyse the local stress; heterogeneous dynamics and structure; and local events such as plastic deformations (of glasses) or arm-breaking (in gels). The aim is to understand the correlations between (microscopic) interparticle forces and (macroscopic) observations of rheological response, or gel collapse. The data from experiments and simulations will be analysed on an equal footing, to enable a quantitative understanding of the experimental system.

The successful candidate must have (or be about to obtain) a Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, or a related discipline, with experience of computer simulation methods and a working knowledge of statistical mechanics. They must be highly motivated, and have a strong record of innovative research consistent with the stage of their career.

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Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a cover letter, and a full list of your publications in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Further information can be obtained from

Please quote reference MA24064 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online