Postdoctoral position in interatomic potential development for advanced functional materials Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Physics Sweden

Postdoctoral position - interatomic potential development for advanced functional materials


Department of Physics at Chalmers

Stimulated by major needs and challenges in science and a sustainable society, the ambition of the Department of Physics is to foster a creative environment for research, learning and outreach. We provide a competitive advantage by linking top-level international and interdisciplinary academic performance in the areas of material science, nanotechnology and energy research with world-leading industrial R&D&I projects. We address a wide array of experimental, computational, methodological and theoretical challenges, from fundamental physics research, through the development of new materials such as graphene and related materials, to direct industrial projects generating new inventions. We have a strong learning commitment on all levels from undergraduate to PhD studies where physics meet engineering.

The department is the major part of Gothenburg Physics Centre – a collaboration between three departments at Chalmers and Gothenburg University.

Information about the project

We are looking for a highly motivated and very talented individual to work on the construction of atomic scale models for heat transport in advanced functional materials. In this project you will exploit machine learning techniques for the development of transferable, accurate, and efficient models for atomic interactions that will be subsequently used to conduct large-scale atomistic simulations of thermal transport.

Your position is part of a European network that is concerned with the development of a multi-scale description of electronic and thermal transport in graphene based composite materials ( It will be hosted at the Department of Physics under the joint supervision of Profs. Andreas Isacsson and Paul Erhart. Our groups already have extensive experience in modeling thermal transport using a combination of electronic structure calculations, atomic scale simulations, and semi-analytic techniques. This project will rely on our in-house suite of scientific software packages, most notably atomicrex (, which are interfaced with machine learning libraries.

Major responsibilities

You will be responsible for the construction of atomic scale models based on artificial neural networks and Gaussian processes. In this process, you are expected to contribute to the continued development of our tools (, deploy them to construct atomic scale models, and carry out atomic scale simulations of heat transport.

This project will enable you to deepen your understanding of fundamental materials science by utilizing machine learning techniques in application driven research. It will also allow you to expand your knowledge of state-of-the-art software and data engineering techniques in an academic environment. Finally, you will be able to work in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative environment and have ample opportunities to grow your professional network.

Your major responsibility as postdoc is to perform your own research in a research group. The position also includes teaching on undergraduate and master's levels as well as supervising master's and/or PhD students to a certain extent. Another important aspect involves collaboration within academia and with society at large. The position is meritorious for future research duties within academia as well as industry/the public sector.

Position summary

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of two years (1+1).


You should hold a PhD degree in physics, chemistry, computer science or a related discipline and have a strong interest in computational modeling of materials with expertise in at least three of the following areas:

• electronic structure calculations
• atomic scale simulations
• interatomic potential development
• machine learning
• code development in Python and/or C++
• software engineering

You should enjoy working in a collaborative environment including interactions with both theoreticians and experimentalists

To qualify for the position of postdoc, you must have a doctoral degree in a relevant field; the degree should generally not be older than three years. You are expected to be somewhat accustomed to teaching, and to demonstrate good potential within research and education.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. 

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180260 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including:
• CV, include complete list of publications
• Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number) including:
• 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
• Previous research fields and main research results.
• Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?


In your cover letter please address the following questions:
- What is your motivation for pursuing a post-doctoral position?
- Where do you see yourself in two to three years?

Other documents:
• Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.


Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 17th of June, 2018

For questions, please contact:
Associate Professor Paul Erhart, MST,, 031-7723669
Professor Andreas Isacsson, CMT,, 031-7723187

*** Chalmers declines all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

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