Two PhD positions in Geosciences

Two PhD positions (TV-L E13 75%, 3 years) are offered in the DFG-funded project:

"Strain-rate dependent brittle deformation of rocks during impact cratering: Linking mechanical data and microstructure"

The aim of this project is to understand the role of strain rate on brittle deformation of rocks in the range from quasi-static to highly dynamic conditions and to associate it with corresponding microstructures within the deformed rock. A comprehensive set of experiments using a Tri-axial loading frame, a Split-Hopkinson Pressure Bar, and a Flyer Plate Impact facility is planned.

We are seeking excellent MSc graduates with a strong background in Geosciences, in particular Structural Geology/Tectonics, Geophysics, Mechanical Engineering, Rock Mechanics, or Material Science. Experience in the use of microstructural analytics (SEM, EBSD, TEM), experimental rock mechanics, or numerical modeling is advantageous.

Position 1: The successful candidate conducts quasi-static and dynamic mechanical experiments of rocks and characterizes the samples prior and after the experiments by means of petrography and structure (fracture and fragmentation characteristics, deformation). Natural samples from impact craters will be analyzed with the same methodology.

Position 2: The successful candidate conducts flyer plate experiments and dynamic tensile tests on rocks in close cooperation with Fraunhofer-EMI in Freiburg. The obtained mechanical data will be implemented in material models for numerical simulation.

The application should include the following documents: a letter of motivation including a statement which of the two positions is preferred, a CV, a list of publications (if available), certificates of the university degree (with grades) and transcripts of record, master/diploma certificate (with grades) and the contact details of at least two referees.

The University of Freiburg aims at increasing the number of women in academic positions and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply for this position. Disabled applicants with appropriate qualifications will be given preference.

Please send your application in English or German in digital form and/or as hardcopy by 15.08.2018 to Prof. Thomas Kenkmann ( and Prof. Frank Schäfer (;

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kenkmann
Prof. Dr. Frank Schäfer
Institut für Geo-und Umweltnaturwissenschaften - Geologie
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Albertstrasse 23-B
79104 Freiburg

posted: 28 June 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.