PhD Thesis

Applications for PhD theses on the reliability of materials and devices for nuclear fusion, microsystems and nanotechnology are always welcome. Please address inquiries and applications to Prof. Dr. Kirchlechner.



Toughening of hard coatings
High-throughput micromechanics
Protective coatings for plasma-facing components


Master and Bachelor theses can be found in the navigation on the left, further positions can be found on the career portal of our personnel service pages

Further Job Offers (see also at:

PhD (f/m/d)
Characterisation and modelling of protective coatings for plasma-facing components in future fusion power plants


PhD students (f/m/d)

Job description

The Institute for Applied Materials - Materials and Biomechanics (IAM-WBM) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) strives for a fundamental understanding, prediction and optimisation
of mechanisms responsible for the degradation of advanced functional material systems. Our material portfolio comprises, among others, materials required for the energy transition. Within the division Mechanics of Materials 2 (WM2), we develop protective coatings for the first/inner wall of future fusion power plants. The wall needs to withstand thermal peak loads as well as erosion by high-energy particles from the fusion plasma. This can be achieved by a protective tungsten coating, linked to the steel wall by a functionally graded material: Several interlayers of mixed tungsten/steel composition and increasing tungsten content.

The IAM-WBM is offering a PhD position in materials science at WM2. The focus of this position is the characterisation and modelling of tungsten/steel functionally graded materials.

  • Thermo-mechanical experiments on single interlayers and mechanical characterisation of the in interface strenght between coating and substrate
  • Finite element modelling with newfound properties to predict the coating´s behaviour and to further improve its design
  • Formulation of a damage model in order to predict failure probabilities while taking into account variation of production quality
  • Model verification with new coatings, manufactured in cooperation with external partners
  • Presentation and publication of the results in scientific meetings and peer-reviewed journals

Personal qualification

  • Candidates must hold a master degree with focus on materials science, physics, mechanical engineering or a similar subject
  • Basic understanding of mechanical testing is required
  • Prior experience in finite element simulation and damage modelling is beneficial


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Technikerin / Techniker / Werkstoffprüferin / Werkstoffprüfer (w/m/d)


Technical staff (f/m/d)

Job description

  • Auf-, Umbau sowie Modifikation von Versuchsständen zur Durchführung von mechanischen Werkstoffprüfungen
  • Durchführung von statischen und dynamischen Experimenten, Dokumentation ihrer Abläufe und Erfassung der dabei anfallenden Messdaten
  • Archivierung der Versuchsdaten, Grundauswertung, sowie Aufbereitung in digitaler Form zur Auswertung und Einspeisung in Datenbanken
  • Durchführung von Materialuntersuchungen mittels optischer/elektronischer Mikroskopie inkl. Probenpräparation

Personal qualification

  • Sie verfügen über eine abgeschlossenen Ausbildung zur Werkstoffprüferin bzw. zum Werkstoffprüfer oder Sie verfügen über eine abgeschlossene Weiterbildung zur staatlich geprüften Technikerin / zum staatlich geprüften Techniker (w/m/d) der Fachrichtung Maschinentechnik mit Berufserfahrung

  • guter Umgang mit rechnergestützten Maschinen und Anlagen

  • schnelle Auffassungsgabe


EG 9b, sofern die fachlichen und persönlichen Voraussetzungen erfüllt sind. 


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