PhD Position - Meshless Metal Cutting Simulations

100%, Zurich, temporary

The Institute of Machine Tools and Manufacturing (IWF) is looking for a new PhD candidate to support the development of a numerical software tool to simulate metal cutting processes.

Project background

The Metal cutting processes remains one of the most important, if not the most important, manufacturing process in any developed nation. Thus, it is of utmost importance to be able to predict the outcome of such processes and to gain insight into the underlying physics. Computer simulation is a valuable tool for both mentioned purposes. Current simulation models are hampered in their efficiency because they rely on classical FEM paradigms, which require constant remeshing in the face of the extremely large deformations encountered during metal cutting. Therefore, a novel simulation tool using meshfree methods was implemented at IWF. This PhD position is concerned with extending this tool with novel features, ranging from advanced material models to cutting edge numerical methods.

Job description

You will be working on an open-source, cutting edge meshless solver used to produce the most high resolution meshless metal cutting simulations to date. Your main responsibility will be improve the numerics and algorithms in the current code and futher drive the paralellization efforts on graphics processors. Work is done in a modern working environment in a small but highly motivated team. The position is full time with 100% employment. Besides programming duties the position also includes preparing publications for high quality international journals, outreach at conferences and teaching efforts.

Your profile

The succesful candidate has a Master's degree in Computer Science, Computational Science, Physics, Engineering or a comparable field and is a proficient programmer with a record of long time relevant programming experience, especially in C++. Furthermore, the candidate is fluent in english and has a solid mathematical foundation. It would be beneficial if the candidate could also demonstrate knowledge in GPGPU programming (especially CUDA), or alternatively other parallel programming paradigms. Knowledge in meshless methods, especially Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) or in other numerical methods to solve Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) would be highly appreciated. Finally, it would also be advantageous if the candidate could show a background in (nonlinear) continuum mechanics.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application including a motivation letter and full CV. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. 

For further Information:

  1. Watch for an overview of the features currently supported by our solver
  2. Visit to check out our open source codes

Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Hagen Klippel at for informal inquiries about the position.

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