ENAC – PhD Research Position in Data-Driven Friction at the Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory (EPFL, Switzerland)

We invite applications for a fully-funded PhD research position to embark on an exciting journey in the realm of data-driven analysis of frictional phenomena.

Project Overview

This PhD research opportunity is part of a pioneering project aimed at redefining our understanding of friction through cutting-edge data-driven methodologies. Friction presents intricate challenges that traditional models struggle to capture. This project seeks to bridge the gap between microscopic interactions and macroscopic observations using data in new ways, leading to more accurate simulations and predictions. It is planned to launch on January 2024 and expected to last 4 years.

Research Focus

The selected candidate will delve into the realm of data-driven computational mechanics, exploring the application of novel approaches to better understand friction behavior. The primary research goals encompass:

  • Redefining friction modeling through data-driven paradigms.
  • Utilizing extensive data and advanced techniques to bridge micro- and macro-scale interactions.
  • Applying data-driven methods to real-world problems, such as assessing residual stiffness in cracked concrete and frictional rupture of geophysical interfaces.


  • A Bachelor/Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computational Sciences, Physics).
  • Strong background in computational mechanics, numerical simulations, and programming (Python, C++).
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate effectively within a research team.


The successful candidate will receive a competitive stipend along with funding for research expenses and conference participation. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with EPFL’s leading experts in the field and living in Lausanne, a charming city on the shores of Lake Leman (Switzerland).

Application Process

Interested candidates are requested to submit the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae (CV) highlighting relevant academic and research experiences.
  2. Statement of purpose (1 page) detailing your research interests and motivation for pursuing this project.

Please email your application materials to [email protected] no later than November 15th. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews. We encourage you to send your application as soon as possible, applications will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis. 

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Joaquin Garcia Suarez at [email protected]

Application Deadline: November 15th 2023

Expected Start Date: January 1st 2024