Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) in Experimental Structure Performance Evaluation of Materials


Postdoctorate Position Permanent Harwell, UK

Uploaded 21 Oct 2021

Job Description

The Internal Research Fellow will be based in the Materials & Processes Section, Structures, Mechanisms & Materials Division, Mechanical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering & Quality.
The materials and processes used for space hardware manufacturing present very specific challenges and limitations. The ever-present need for low mass must be met while ensuring very high performance and reliability of the final product with no repair or maintenance options. Often small, complex geometries for operating in highly demanding mission environments are necessary.
The industrial transition to Industry 4.0 is introducing smart production capabilities through digitalisation and automation, enabling agility to react quickly to market needs and giving rise to unprecedented design solutions (e.g. additive manufacturing), as well as optimisation of cost, performance, and time to market. Another important trend is the increasing utilisation of Commercial Off-The-Shelf solutions, that require cost-effective, rapid performance evaluation and qualification.
In order not to compromise this agility through extensive, resource-intensive testing and qualification, structure-property relations need to be explored more fundamentally.
The objective of this activity is to experimentally study structure/performance relationships for space-relevant materials and processes, especially:
Powder bed additive manufacturing processes: the influence of powder characteristics and process parameters on final parts performance.
Characterisation of Pb-free solder alloys: creep, stress relaxation, temperature dependencies, formation of inter-metallic compounds on different PCB finishes and their impact on long-term reliability.
Liaising with ICME experts to provide input parameters for predictive computational modelling.
Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the ESA website:


Person Specification


Behavioral Competencies

  • Result Orientation
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Fostering Cooperation
  • Relationship Management
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Forward Thinking


Applicants should have recently completed, or be close to completion of, a PhD in materials science or equivalent. Preference will be given to candidates awarded their doctorate within the past five years.

Additional Requirements

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.