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Matters of Activity. Image Space Material

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Matters of Activity. Image Space Material | Jobs | PhD Candidate 'Material Form Function' (m/f/d): E 13 TVöD from 01.01.2020 limited until 31.12.2022 - MPG/MoA/2/19

PhD Candidate 'Material Form Function' (m/f/d): E 13 TVöD from 01.01.2020 limited until 31.12.2022 - MPG/MoA/2/19

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Research Staff
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Employment at Max Planck Insitute for Colloids and Interfaces within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Actitiy


Application until
30 September 19

The Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity invites applications for a doctoral position as part of its structured doctoral program. The doctoral program promotes disciplinary doctorates in connection with joint research in an interdisciplinary working group with a program duration of 36 months.


Job description:
In the project »Material Form Function« seeks to fill a doctoral student position.

The position focuses on the multi-scale characterization of fiber systems and fiber structures in nature and their geometric-constructive and design development into fiber-based constructions for spatial applications.

The aim is to investigate how the relationship between geometry and materiality influences the properties of material systems for load-bearing or functionally active structures in architecture and design. Fiber structures are regarded as active systems and are translated into demonstrators by numerical analysis and modeling as well as material-based prototyping. Based on this, novel concepts of construction, joining and functionalization (e.g. for adaptive structures, air conditioning) are developed and transferred into the architectural context. Current technologies and processes of manual and industrial fiber processing, e.g. from aircraft construction, textile technology or lightweight construction, should be incorporated into the research.

The position works in close connection with the projects »Material Form Function« and »Weaving« and forms interfaces between areas of materials science, architecture, mathematics and geometry.

The aim of the research is the development of biologically inspired material systems for sustainable developments of energetically and structurally efficient structures for the spatial-architectural context.


  • Higher education degree preferably in architecture, engineering or physics
  • Knowledge of experimental, material-based prototyping, structural design principles, fiber and textile-based material systems and manufacturing practices, digital and analog shape generation processes, numerical analysis and modelling
  • Experience with geometric - mathematical form-finding processes with interfaces to programming, engineering and design desired
  • Above-average willingness for interdisciplinary cooperation
  • High proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Very good German language skills desired
  • Have a high level of social competence and the ability to work well in a team

The Max Planck Society seeks to employ more women in areas in which they are underrepresented. Hence, we are particularly encouraging qualified women to apply.

The Max Planck Society aims to hire more disabled people and applications of handicapped candidates are welcome.

Information on support of PhD students at the Max Planck can be found here.

To apply for this position, please send your application including CV, letter of motivation and certificates to Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Biomaterials, Dr. Michaela Eder, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Fratzl and Prof. Christiane Sauer, Research Campus Golm, 14424 Potsdam, Germany or preferably in electronic form (one PDF file) to:  with the reference number MPG/MoA/2/19.

The Matters of Activity research program can be found here.