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Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher (ESR)

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

Location:  Guildford
Salary:  £31,812 per annum
Marie Curie provisions include generous travel and career exploratory allowances.
Post Type:  Full Time
Advert Placed:  Thursday 24 January 2019
Closing Date:  Sunday 03 March 2019
Reference:  004319

MATHEGRAM - Multiscale Analysis of Thermomechanical Behaviour of Granular Materials


MATHEGRAM is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by EU through H2020 MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS, and aims to improve our understanding of the thermomechanical behaviour of granular materials. MATHEGRAM will deliver a timely, concerted research and training programme to 15 early stage researchers, and brings together a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial consortium consisting of 10 beneficiaries (i.e. full partners), and 5 partner organisations. The MATHEGRAM vision is to develop robust numerical models and novel experimental techniques that can predict the performance and measure the properties of granular materials at different temperatures, so that they can be effectively used in various industries.

At the University of Surrey, two ESR positions are available to work on the following MATHEGRAM projects:

ESR1 – Discrete elementmodelling of heat generation induced by friction. This project aims to explore fundamental mechanisms underlying heat generation in granular materials and to develop and validate a computational model describing these mechanisms.

ESR4 – Heat generation and transfer in granular materials. The objectives of this projects arei) to explore changes in mechanical properties and temperature induced by heat generation and transfer, ii) to examine the variation of temperature and stresses in granular materials.

Each of these projects involves a 3-year PhD doctoral research program, leading to a PhD degree awarded by the University of Surrey, as well as secondment (i.e. internship) to other MATHEGRAM partners up to 9 months.

Key duties will include:

  • Develop a computational model for heat generation (ESR1);
  • Validate the computational model using experimental data (ESR1);
  • Investigate heat generation and transfer in granular materials (ESR4);
  • Model heat generation and transfer in granular materials (ESR4);
  • Perform novel research under the supervision of academic and industrial supervisors;
  • Write technical reports periodically for internal and external dissemination;
  • Participate in the activities of the MATHEGRAM programme: attending network training events, collaborating with MATHEGRAM partners and researchers;
  • Undertake secondments to MATHEGRAM partners for research and training purposes;
  • To take initiatives in the research planning and work as an independent researcher.

Person Specification:

  • Master’s degree in Engineering, Physics or Materials Science or a closely related discipline;
  • Knowledge of numerical methods, computational modelling (FEM, DEM, CFD) and granular materials;
  • Experience in computer programming using any of the computer languages will be an advantage but not essential;
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • Experience in data analysis, interpretation and management, as well as writing technical reports/papers;
  • Entry requirements include English language requirements being IELTS Academic 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each band or equivalent.

Eligibility: Applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for an early stage researcher under the Horizon 2020 ITN Programme; in particular, they should be eligible to be appointed as an ESR in the UK by satisfying the following criteria:

  • Must be ‘early-stage researchers’, i.e. at the date of recruitment (the date on which their employment on the project starts) be in the first four years (fulltime equivalent research experience) of their research careers. 'Full-time equivalent research experience' is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or from where he/she is seconded) – even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged.
  • Have not been awarded a doctoral degree (PhD candidates under 4 years of registration and before completion may apply)
  • Have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for less than 12 months (cumulative) in the three years prior to their appointments.

In addition to the base salary the successful candidates will also receive a mobility allowance of between £4064 and £5757.

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Charley Wu (

If interest, please apply online by either click ‘apply’ below or go to and search using reference number 00431 

Please do NOT apply if you have previously sent your applications to but have not been invited to submit a formal application.

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Ms Bianca Barrett (

Closing date: 3rd March 2019


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Further details:

For more information and to apply online, please download the further details and click on the 'apply online' button above.

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