Open positions

PhD positions

We are searching for a highly motivated candidate in the following position:

PhD Student, Simulation and Thermodynamics of Aperiodic Crystals

The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary research group in the Institute for Multiscale Simulation at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg. Members of the research group currently work on nanomaterials design, crystallization processes, and colloidal self-assembly.

Aperiodic crystals are fascinating materials that possess long-range order but lack lattice periodicity. They are found in a variety of systems: intermetallics, oxides, minerals, elements under pressure, high-Tc superconductors, organic compounds, and proteins. The PhD thesis is part of a DFG-ANR funded German-French collaboration of six laboratories on the relationship between aperiodic order and physical properties.

The focus of the thesis are complex metallic alloys and oxide thin films. For this purpose, structure formation is studied and phase diagrams are calculated using molecular dynamics and density functional theory, assisted by machine learning of atomistic and coarse-grained models. These simulations accompany experiments carried out by our collaborators at x-ray and neutron facilities. The PhD student will visit the laboratory SIMaP of the University Grenoble Alpes and interact with other PhD students in Grenoble and Caen (France), Bayreuth and Halle (Germany).

Qualified applicants must have a Master’s degree in Physics, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field. Experience in simulation and computer programming (C/C++, Python) is desirable. Excellent communication skills in English to disseminate the results in international journals and conferences are expected. An interest in mathematics and physical sciences is required.

FAU offers the opportunity to work in an outstanding research university with innovative academic structures. Salary is in accordance with the German public service salary scale and the accordant social benefits. The position is available starting July 2019. Review of applications will begin April 22, 2019 and continue until the position filled.

For further information please see our webpage: and contact Prof. Michael Engel. To apply, send your CV, cover letter, one-page summary of your Master’s thesis, and references (people who may be contacted) via email to

Master / Bachelor / Mini-project theses

Various projects are available involving ligand-shell nanocrystals, colloids under confinement, host-guest crystal growth, and actively driven granular matter.

We are an interdisciplinary team in the inspiring atmosphere of the cluster of excellence EAM. Depending on the project, you will learn basics of numerical modeling of molecular and particulate system, molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, phase diagram calculation, high-performance computing, and gain insight into aspects of data science.

For details about possible projects and more information please send an email to or contact me in an informal manner.

Postdoc positions

There are currently no advertised positions. Please contact Prof. Michael Engel stating your research interests and describe briefly how they are related to work in our group if you are interested in joining the team.