Postdoctoral Position in Theoretical Physics with Emphasis on Computational Materials Physics

University of Oulu


Postdoctoral position in theoretical physics with emphasis on computational materials physics


The University of Oulu is an international science university, which seeks and creates innovations, well-being and knowledge through multidisciplinary research and education. The community comprises over 3000 employees and 14000 students in 8 faculties. It is one of the largest and most multidisciplinary universities not only in Finland, but also in the Northern Countries. The new strategy of the University of Oulu is directed at global challenges in 5 focus areas, see


The postdoctoral position is a part of the University of Oulu profiling program “Physics for strong, tough and sustainable steel”, which falls within the focus area “Creating sustainability by materials and systems”. The position is in the Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit (NANOMO) in the Faculty of Science and is connected to the unit’s participation in the Center for Advanced Steel Research (CASR) (


NANOMO is a highly international research environment presently formed by four professors and around 40 other researchers. The focus is on molecular scale materials research and novel applications of spectroscopic and imaging techniques. The main external funding sources are the European Union ERC, Horizon2020 programs and ERDF funds, the Academy of Finland and the China Scholarship council. The unit coordinates Finnish national participation in the MAX IV facility, participates in the planning and construction of the FinEstBeaMS beamline, and contributes to the European Free Electron Laser Eu-XFEL project.


The position is a fixed three-year position, starting 1st of August 2018 at the earliest, the exact starting date being negotiable. A trial period of six months is applied in the position.


Subject field and description of the position


The position is for state-of-the-art modeling of physical mechanisms affecting the structures of advanced steels through cutting-edge characterizations including research at international photon sources. The research is expected to focus on the effects of microstructural details on the mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of steels.


The main responsibilities of the position comprise carrying out computational molecular dynamics and/or multiscale modelling of phenomena occurring in steels, first-principles calculations of atomic/electronic structures for novel heterostructures among different phases, and theoretical predictions of low-dimensional materials’ functionalities. Special emphasis will be on martensite-austenite and bainite-austenite heterostructure modelling, phase transformation subjected to external strain and/or thermal treatment, and the evolution of precipitates in steels with special reference to interfacial energies. The computational results will benefit together with experimental data to obtain physical insight into the functionality of materials. For this reason, experience in first-principles and molecular dynamics packages is desired, along with abilities of explicating experimental data from a theoretical viewpoint.


The appointed candidate is expected to participate in the international multidisciplinary and intersectorial collaboration network between the CASR and NANOMO, the Nordic-Baltic Steel community and international research organizations.


Required Qualifications

-          PhD in computational chemistry, physics, materials science or related area, obtained within the past 10 years

-          Experience in computational materials science, with special emphasis on first principles and/or molecular dynamics methods

-          Experience in computational packages such as VASP, CASTEP, LAMMPS, Materials Studio, etc.

-          Good communication skills in both written and spoken English


Understanding and usage of machine learning and strain engineering are not mandatory but considered as merits for the present post.


Fluent English, good communication and teamwork skills are required. When assessing the applicant’s qualifications, issues to be considered will include scientific publications, thesis supervision, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question, scientific work abroad, and other international activities. Further, shown potential in acquiring supplementary (extramural) funding and teaching experience will be taken as a merit when choosing the scientist. The candidates are expected to have experience from research environments other than the University of Oulu. Work abroad and other international experience will be regarded as an asset.


As a part of the NANOMO unit, the duties also include supervising PhD students. Participation in teaching as a part of the physics curriculum, and in the supervision of MSc and BSc theses is also expected.



The salary is based on the levels 5 – 6 of the demand level chart for teaching and research personnel of the salary system of Finnish Universities. In addition to the basic salary, supplementary salary part will be given for personal achievements and performance, the sum rising to a maximum of 46.3 % of the basic salary level for the position. Therefore, the full salary is between 3,200 – 3,700 euros per month.



Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, must be submitted using the electronic application form accompanied by the following English-language documents, preferably as a single pdf file:

1)      A brief curriculum vitae according to Finnish Advisory board on Research Integrity (TENK):

2)      List of publications according to the Academy of Finland (, ten most important ones marked

3)      A brief account of research merits

4)      A brief research and action plan with a special emphasis on how the plan benefits the research in the field and links to the research at NANOMO unit

5)      Contact details of 2 to 4 persons available for recommendation

6)      The applicant is encouraged to include his/her own citation indices (total number of citations and h index)

The deadline for the application is 15th of July 2018. Please, use the electornic application system. E-mail applications are not considered.


Contact information

In order to receive the information and announcements concerning the official selection procedures to be followed in order to fill this post, applicants must inform the Faculty of their contact details for the whole duration of the selection process: they must specifically provide both their home and work telephone numbers, their e-mail addresses, and their postal addresses.


For further information about the application and selection procedures, please contact:

Professor Matti Alatalo, Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit tel. +358 (0)40 5127332, e-mail: Matti.Alatalo(at)

Professor, Head of Unit, Marko Huttula, Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, e-mail: Marko.Huttula(at)

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

hamburg uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni