ESR 13: Phase Field and Finite Fracture Mechanics for dynamic crack propagation and delamination in brittle materials and composites

  • Application deadline: 30/06/2020 17:00 CEST Brussels
  • Offer starting date: 02/11/2020
  • Researcher profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • Type of contract: Temporary
  • Job status: Full-time
  • Hours per week: 40
  • Secondments: 3 months at Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), 3 months at IMT Lucca (Italy) & 4 months at Bottero Glass Technologies, Cune (Italy)

Contract signing and incorporation dates are indicative and have yet to be defined.

  • Recruiting institution: Politecnico di Torino»
  • City, Country: Torino, Italy
  • Organization type: Higher Education Institute
  • Department: DISEG -Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale, Edile e Geotecnica
  • Main supervisor: Dr. Mauro Corrado
  • Research Field:
    • Engineering > Civil engineering
    • Engineering > Mechanical engineering
Project Description


In spite of the huge amount of studies carried out and the many advancements achieved in the last decades in the field of dynamic crack propagation, some aspects still lack of a comprehensive interpretation, such as, for instance, the strengthening and toughening mechanisms, and the phenomenon of crack branching.

In this context, the contribution of the present project consists in the development of numerical and analytical approaches that are robust and devoid of the flaws typical of other methodologies, like the mesh dependency for the cohesive method and the difficulty to manage crack branching and coalescence for the X-FEM.

Such a goal will be pursued by following two complementary strategies: on the one hand, a numerical approach based on the Phase Field model will be developed for a more detailed study of fragmentation of materials subjected to high strain rates. A special interest is in the coupling of PF with the cohesive method in order to get the most advantages in modelling composite materials. On the other hand, the Finite Fracture Mechanics will be extended to dynamics in order to provide a useful tool for preliminary sizing of materials and structures, limiting the use of computationally expensive approaches to the final stage in the structural design, while preserving a physical insight into the fracture mechanics problem due to semi-analytical relations.

Besides contributing to answer to fundamental questions, this project is oriented to develop tools for practical applications in the field of civil engineering and manufacturing industry, where there is the need to optimize material microstructure and products’ shape in order to improve their performance in the dynamic regime. A special emphasis will be put on the additive manufacturing technology, since it makes possible to create very complex microstructured materials showing unprecedented behaviors in the dynamic regime.

Additional Information


A full-time fixed-term contract is offered. Marie Curie ITNs provide competitive financial support to the ESR including: a competitive monthly living and mobility allowance and salary, coverage of the expenses related to the participation of the ESR in research and training activities (contribution to research-related costs, meetings, conference attendance, training actions, etc.). The recruited researchers will have a regular contract with the same rights and obligations as any other staff member of the institution.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must at the time of recruitment:

  1. Be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. The four years start to count from the date when a researcher obtained the degree (e.g. Master’s degree) which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a doctorate.
  2. Candidates could be of any nationality but have not resided in the host country for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.
  3. Have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Selection process

Applicants are evaluated by a selection committee on the basis of past academic performance (grades) and background, scientific relevance and aptitude to research, and any other additional pertinent data submitted in the application (such as scientific publications, if any).

The candidates that pass the initial assessment of the applications will be invited for an interview with the selection committee, either in person at the campus, or via standard internet videoconference. Equal opportunities are ensured to all candidates throughout the evaluation process.

EURAXESS offer ID: 491938

ESR13 - PhD Student Position within EU MSCA-ITN-ETN NewFrac


Offer requirements

  • Required Education Level: Engineering - Master Degree or equivalent
  • Required Languages: English - Excellent

Skills / Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Mechanical/Aeronautical/Civil Engineering/ Physics/ Applied Mathematics, earned before October 31 2020
  • Excellent undergraduated and Master’s degree grades
  • High level of written and spoken English
  • Teamwork ability

Specific Requirements

  • Very good competencies on solid and fracture mechanics
  • Good skills on computational mechanics; hands-on experience of programming in C++ and Python.
All PhD positions

ESR project

Host Institution


IRP/ESR 1: Total energy minimization with stress conditions for mixed mode fracture in anisotropic heterogeneous materials and structures

Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)

IRP/ESR 2: Toughening composites by micro and meso structural optimization

Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)

IRP/ESR 3: Fracture analysis of advanced layered ceramics

Sorbonne Université (France)

IRP/ESR 4: Fracture of LFRP ultra-thin ply laminates in aeronautical applications

Universidade do Porto (Portugal) 

IRP/ESR 5: Nucleation and propagation of compressive cracks

Sorbonne Université (France)

IRP/ESR 6: Multiscale modeling of fracture processes in injection molded SFRPs

Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany)

IRP/ESR 7: Debonding of the reinforcement in LFRP externally strengthened curved beams

Politecnico di Torino (Italy)

IRP/ESR 8: Fracture in biological anisotropic hard tissues (human bones)

Tel-Aviv University (Israel)

IRP/ESR 9: Multi-field and multi-scale modeling of fracture for renewable energy applications

IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca (Italy)

IRP/ESR 10: PF modeling of fracture in the human femur

Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Switzerland)

IRP/ESR 11: Analysis of the failure mechanisms associated to the unfolding failure in CFRP profiles

Fundación Investigación, Desarrollo y Aplicación de Materiales Compuestos (Spain)

IRP/ESR 12: Fracture in fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (FRTPs) across the scales

Universidade do Porto (Portugal)

IRP/ESR 13: Phase Field and Finite Fracture Mechanics for dynamic crack propagation and delamination in brittle materials and composites

Politecnico di Torino (Italy)

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European Commission under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Funded by the European Commission under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Grant Agreement n° 861061