Apply For Fully funded Ph.D. position available on the multiscale modelling of hydrogen embrittlement in steel alloys

Apply For Fully funded Ph.D. position available on the multiscale modelling of hydrogen embrittlement in steel alloys


BCAM – Basque Center for Applied Mathematics is a world-class interdisciplinary research center located in the Basque city of Bilbao (Spain). Here, advanced statistical methods and numerical algorithms are combined with high-performance computing to solve complex problems in science and engineering.

Tekniker (Eibar – Basque Country, Spain) is a technology center within the Basque Research and Technology Alliance, specializing in advanced manufacturing, surface engineering, product Engineering, and ICTs for manufacturing.


We are looking for a Ph.D. student to work on the multiscale simulation of hydrogen-induced embrittlement (HE) of steels. The candidate will be co-supervised by Dr. Mauricio R. Bonilla (BCAM) and Dr. Iban Quintana (Tekniker). While the project will focus on the computational aspects, the student is expected to perform some experimental activities at Tekniker.


HE is connected to the fast diffusion of hydrogen atoms through the solid material lattice, often by quantum mechanical tunneling (even at room temperature) followed by interaction with crystal defects such as vacancies, dislocations, and grain boundaries. Despite great efforts, key aspects of this industrially relevant process are still poorly understood. Moreover, the in-silico analysis of realistic, multicomponent steel specimens remains a great fundamental and computational challenge. The student will employ micromechanical and structural characterization techniques to study the behavior of hydrogen-charged steels prepared at Tekniker. He/she will combine these analyses with hydrogen diffusion simulations developed and performed at BCAM. With this information, we aim to formulate novel manufacturing strategies to prevent HE. Modeling activities will initially focus on the atomistic scale, combining quantum mechanical methods, molecular dynamics, and Monte Carlo schemes. The insights obtained from these studies will be incorporated into a multiscale framework to allow direct comparison with macroscopic experiments, as well as the parameterization of continuous phase field or finite element models.


Promising and outstanding young researchers in engineering, mathematics, physics, or chemistry. At the call deadline, applicants must be in the first year of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.

  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent university grades.
  • Previous research experience, as evidenced by research publications, technical reports and/or conference presentations.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative research team.
  • Ability to present and publish research outcomes in spoken (talks) and written (papers) form.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Scientific profile

The preferred candidate will have:

  1. Background knowledge or interest in atomistic and multiscale simulation methods.
  2. Sound background in materials science, metallurgy, and/or solid mechanics.
  3. Programming skills in either Python, MATLAB, C++, or Fortran are highly desirable.
  4. Interest in performing experimental measurements (structural characterization, mechanical testing, diffusion measurements).


Required documents:


Letter of interest, succinctly describing past research experience.

2 recommendation letters.

Interested candidates must submit their paperwork through

There are no restrictions to applying based on nationality, and we are a committed equal opportunities employer. 

Closing date for application: 31th August 2022, 14:00 CET (UTC+2).

Starting date: as soon as possible (3 years). For any inquiries, please email Dr. Bonilla ( or BCAM recruitment ( However, paperwork will only be accepted through the link above.

Apply Here

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