The University of Turku is a world-class multidisciplinary research university which offers interesting challenges and a unique vantage point to national and international research and education. At the Faculty of Technology, the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering brings together experts in physics, chemistry and engineering in a drive towards innovative materials engineering for future technologies and key societal challenges.
We are now looking for 2 doctoral candidates / project researchers and 1 postdoctoral researcher in the field of applied AI for Materials Engineering. The posts are related to three projects in the group of Prof. Milica Todorović. Successful candidates would develop sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and apply them to tasks like materials design and the optimization of materials properties and processing technologies. Many of the projects are highly multidisciplinary and we are building a diverse and creative team with aptitude for excellence.
In the SmartCycling project (1 PhD position), we will improve the recycling and recovery of battery materials, an important objective given the rapidly growing battery use in our society. Our objective is to apply complex AI optimization techniques to battery materials recycling simulations, with the aim to make our current processing more sustainable and green by reducing waste and overuse of resources. The optimal recycling recommendations will be tested in the laboratory by experimental partners in the group of Prof. Rodrigo Serna at Aalto University (FI).
In the DeeperMaterials project (1 PhD position), we will apply natural language processing (NLP) AI tools to materials design and utilize a previously untapped data source in materials science, scientific texts. In collaboration with the NLP group of Prof. Sampo Pyysalo (UTU), we will compile materials science literature into text-based datasets and train sophisticated neural networks to generate new knowledge on material-material and material-property relationships. This will require you to train cutting-edge transformer neural network models on Europe’s premier supercomputing platforms.
In the BOSS project (1 post doc position), we apply Bayesian optimization tools to optimise the structure and properties of materials in both simulations and experiments. In collaboration with BOSS developers in the group of Prof. Rinke (Aalto University, FI), you will build upon the multi-task BOSS algorithm to facilitate multi-objective optimizations and combine different channels of information. The new implementation will help you carry out computational explorations of the microstructure and functional properties of organic/inorganic materials. You will manage large-scale first-principles supercomputer simulations alongside AI algorithms and data analytics tools.
Your experience and ambitions
We welcome candidates with a degree in physics, materials science, chemistry or computer science, who are passionate about data science and applied AI in natural sciences. A higher university degree is needed for the doctoral candidate/project researcher position and a doctoral degree for a postdoc. Prior experience with materials simulations, coding and data science is a bonus. We seek colleagues who enjoy coding, scripting and analytics, and are keen to push the boundaries of computational materials design. These projects requires creative thinking and programming as well as a broad understanding of the atomistic structures and functional properties of materials. We further appreciate willingness to travel, teach and mentor, collaborate and communicate science.
What we offer
In the Digital Materials Laboratory group, led by Prof. Milica Todorović, we combine electronic structure simulations and machine learning to pursue innovative applications for future technologies. We are a multi-cultural and cross-disciplinary team. You will train in AI applications with experienced developers, meet our global network of collaborators, join us at scientific meetings, help us organize research workshops and get involved in academic and diversity outreach. In combination with the academic development courses at the University of Turku, we will help you grow a competitive career profile.
The tasks of the doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researcher are fixed-term and last two years. The starting time for the positions would be 01.02.2021, or upon mutual agreement. The contracts duration will be 2 years from the starting time for the positions, with the possibility of extension.
Candidates who will graduate soon (master or doctoral students) are also encouraged to apply. In these cases, the title is either Research Assistant or Project Researcher, and the duration of the contract is 6 months. If the relevant degree is obtained within these 6 months, the contracts will be upgraded to the correct title with the appropriate change in salary.
The salaries are determined in accordance with the university salary system for teaching and research personnel. For a doctoral candidate/project researcher, the salary is at levels 2-4 on the job demands chart, where the task-specific salary component is 2 078,27 - 2 591,28 euro per month. For a postdoctoral researcher, the salary is at levels 4-6 on the job demands chart, where the task-specific salary component is 2591,28 - 3498,98 -euros per month. In addition, a personal work performance component will be paid in all of the positions. If a research assistant is hired for the position, the salary is at level 1 on the job demands chart, where the task-specific salary component is 1889,69 euros per month. In addition, a performance-based salary component of min 6% and max 50 % will be paid in all of the positions.
There is a trial period of six (6) months for the doctoral student and postdoctoral researcher. There is a three (3) month trial period for the research assistant and project researcher.
The qualification requirements of the positions are stated in the University of Turku rules of Procedure. A person selected for the post of doctoral candidate / project researcher is required to have a higher university degree. In addition, when acquiring his or her degree or otherwise, he or she is required to have demonstrated the ability and motivation to undertake postgraduate studies and the capacity to complete a doctoral degree in accordance with the research plan. The degree must be completed before the end of the application period.
A person selected for the post of postdoctoral researcher is required to have a doctoral degree and the ability to do independent scientific work as well as having the necessary teaching skills. The degree must be completed before the end of the application period.
Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are required in the positions. If you are applying for a project researcher/doctoral candidate position, you will apply for the study rights for doctoral studies at the University of Turku (in this case Spring 2022/Autumn 2022). Thus, please check the student information and application criteria.
Ready to apply?
The application period has been extended until 28th of January 2022. The applications we have already received are considered in the call. Applications must be submitted by Friday 28th of January 2022 (23:59), using the electronic application form of the University of Turku at the following address: https://www.utu.fi/en/university/come-work-with-us/open-vacancies The link to the application system is at the beginning of this announcement (Apply for the job). Applications documents in English should include:
(1) Letter of motivation
(2) CV (incl. publication list)
(3) Degree certificates and academic transcripts
(4) Contact details of at least two referees (or letters of recommendation, if already available)
(5) Verification of language proficiency. Not mandatory, but IF you already have one include it in the application. NOTE, for doctoral candidate positions, when applying to the University of Turku graduate school, you must have good English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. See the list of accepted International English language tests here.
The positions will be filled as soon as a suitable candidates are identified. For additional information on the scientific projects, kindly contact Prof. Milica Todorović (milica.todorovic(at)utu.fi). For questions related to the application process, contact HR specialist Sarian Kotka (sjkkot(at)utu.fi). University of Turku reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period, reopen the application process, and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.
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