PhD position at CMM for a computational scientist

We are partners in a MSCA DN-JD project (Doctoral Network – Joint Doctorate) SENNET. The aim of SENNET is to create disruptive sensor technology for indoor air quality by incorporating porous materials and sensor technology. The project has pooled the interdisciplinary and intersectoral expertise of leading members located in Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Moldova, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands.

We are looking for an excellent PhD student to work on the “characterization of adsorption and dielectric and refractive index response of MOFs and zeolites”. The objective is to accurately predict (1) the adsorption isotherms and selectivity, and (2) the dielectric constants and refractive index response of nanoporous materials towards various volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For this purpose, accurate material specific force fields and/or ab initio trained machine learning potentials for a variety of VOCs need to be constructed to simulate single- and multicomponent isotherms. Additionally, dielectric constants and refractive index responses should be calculated for certain VOCs using ab initio techniques such as density functional theory.

We are looking for a computational scientist with a solid background in atomistic molecular simulations, quantum mechanics, statistical physics and thermodynamics applied to material science.

The candidate should have or will soon obtain a master’s degree of a university or international equivalent in the field of Physics or Physical Engineering. Depending on the curriculum also a master’s in chemistry, chemical engineering or another related field might have the desired background. Experience with molecular simulation software (LAMMPS, DLPOLY, RASPA, Gaussian, VASP, CP2K, …) and coding (Python, C, …) is an advantage. Additionally, the candidate has a pro-active working style, the willingness to look beyond the borders of his/her own discipline and a strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary team. (S)he is highly motivated to become an independent researcher. We expect a researcher with excellent communication skills and a strong motivation to collaborate with other researchers, within the CMM, the SENNET consortium and our networks.

The selected candidate will not only receive state-of-the-art science/technology training but will also benefit from a unique soft-skills training program within the frame of the MSCA doctoral network, which will kick-start his/her career as a highly employable professional in the EU and beyond. We will host the potential PhD student at Ghent University in our research group, the Center for Molecular Modeling. However, this PhD position will lead to a joint-PhD between Ghent University (CMM) and Université de Montpellier (CNRS). As such a first secondment of six months is planned at CNRS Montpellier under the supervision of prof. Guillaume Maurin. Another secondment of 2-3 months is planned at one of the industrial partners SCM (Software for Chemistry & Materials) for which Stan van Gisbergen will be supervisor.

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Recruited Researchers. At Ghent University PhD funding is foreseen for 48 months. All applications proceed through the on-line recruitment portal on the website. Please carefully read the eligibility criteria on the website. The initial deadline for on-line registration has been extended for our research position. Ideally the selected PhD student starts prior to March 1st, 2023.