Principal Investigator (fusion materials) - 4 years

4 years
Structural Materials

Job description

Development of innovative testing methodology for materials under design for future installations (e.g. nuclear fusion, Generation IV reactors, high temperature environment, reactor fuel cladding, space, and other extreme applications) requires implementation of specific protocols to enter the standards. As what concerns nuclear materials, the small specimen testing techniques (SSTT) or simply miniaturization needs to be aligned with the currently available standards (e.g. ASTM, ISO, etc..) and nuclear codes (e.g. RCC-MRx, ASME, R6). SCK-CEN is actively involved in the qualification of nuclear materials and pre-screening of innovative materials and composites. In the upcoming years, intensive SSTT programme will need to be executed to approach Standard-oriented miniaturization under the umbrella of European Fusion Research Programme (EUROfusion).
Fusion R&D team of SCK-CEN seeks a talented and motivated Principal Investigator to implement SSTT for perspective fusion materials. We look for a person who holds PhD and already started his scientific carrier for few years thus mature enough to take a position of Principal Investigator. The latter, besides scientific merits and proven achievement records, imposes organizational skills, leadership and ambition to grow.
As a principal investigator, you will contribute and lead the research on fusion materials relate to SSTT programme. The materials of concern are those which are primary candidates for ITER and DEMO installations. The goal of the project is to deliver protocol for geometry miniaturization and testing that enables thorough assessment of the mechanical properties of the materials in reference and irradiated conditions.
More specifically, your function consists in the following:

  • To elaborate a programme and execute the action on SSTT for specific set of materials with the final purpose to optimize the sample configurations for future irradiation campaigns and testing in Hot Cells;
  • Carry out and post-process standard and non-standard mechanical tests; Development of test procedures and sample geometry using computational tools (FEM);
  • Carry out primary microstructural characterization to support results/conclusions from the mechanical tests;
  • Follow-up of irradiation campaigns to trace the whole cycle from the sample preparation to the Hot Lab testing and shipment outside SCK-CEN;
  • Contribute to and produce scientific publications and reports;
  • Assist in guiding Master and PhD students in the field of fusion materials R&D. Initiate and monitor a Master’s thesis, support the collaboration with external partners including the exchanges of staff/students and use of partners’ facilities;
  • Assist in maintaining contacts with existing and potential customers for running and future projects in relation to fusion research.


Required qualifications

  • PhD in Science or Applied Sciences, preferably in materials science; Master’s degree in Engineering/Physics/Material’s Science;
  • Experience in experimental research on materials related, preferably related to nuclear applications;
  • Expertise in mechanical testing, micro-mechanical testing and primary microstructural investigation (SEM, LOM); any experience in the advanced microstructural techniques (e.g. TEM, FIB, etc..) is asset;
  • Experience in FEM for mechanical and thermal analysis;
  • Scientific publications (A1) related to the study of materials is obligatory;
  • Fluent in English, knowledge of French and/or Dutch is an asset.
  • Organizational awareness and good writing skills;
  • Being able to work independently and within an international team;


Should you have any questions, please contact

Sergooris Tomas
+32 (0)14 33 83 09