Industrial PhD position within development of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics

DTU Energy
Wednesday 20 Dec 17

Do you want to contribute to future environmentally friendly lead-free piezoceramics?

Meggitt A/S and the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark offer an Industrial PhD position in manufacturing and characterization of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics. Piezoelectric ceramics are widely applied – Meggitt’s products are for example used in medical ultrasound, underwater acoustics, vibration sensors and flow meters. Commercial piezoelectric materials are almost exclusively made up of lead-based oxides, but stricter regulations on the use of hazardous materials in electronics call for lead-free replacements. Many lead-free piezoelectric systems have been reported, but more research and development is required for the materials to fit a wider combination of parameters required for commercial use.

This project aims to develop two lead-free piezoelectric material compositions that are suitable lead-free alternatives for two of Meggitt’s lead-based materials. In addition to fulfilling a set of piezoelectric material coefficient targets, each material needs to be stable within a defined temperature and moisture operation range.

Responsibilities and tasks
As a PhD student, we expect you to take responsibility for the development of your project under guidance from supervisors from both Meggitt and DTU. You will perform literature reviews to identify the most promising compositions for the lead-free piezoelectric materials. Then you will synthesize and characterize these using standard ceramic processing techniques and ceramic and piezoelectric characterization. You will develop and implement strategies to improve the parameters falling short of the requirements for the material targets, for example chemical modifications and sintering adjustments. You will analyze and summarize your results and disseminate them in project reports, publications and at international conferences.

Candidates should have a master's degree in materials science, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics or similar. Further strongly preferred qualifications are:

  • Hands-on laboratory experience with processing and characterization of ceramics
  • Knowledge of solid state chemistry/physics
  • Very good communication skills in English, both spoken and written. Knowledge of Danish is an advantage, but not required.
  • Ability to work accurately and systematically
  • Ability to interact with colleagues at all levels of the organization
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide

We offer
Meggitt A/S has 60 years of experience in manufacturing high quality piezoelectric ceramics and provides materials and components with the highest reproducibility of properties and parameters in the industry. As a member of our R&D group, you will be placed in an active research environment. Three out of five members of the R&D group hold a PhD degree, and the experience in the field ranges from 1 year to over 20 years. Two industrial PhD projects have already been completed within the company.
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. DTU Energy is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. As a PhD student you will be a part of the section for Ceramic Engineering and Science and the research team working with electromechanical converters.
As an Industrial PhD student you will also be a part of an Industrial PhD course network.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms will be in accordance with the rules set out by the Danish AC collective agreement (minimum monthly salary DKK 29 675), but the exact terms will be subject to negotiation. The period of employment is 3 years.

The PhD candidate will be employed by and mainly based at Meggitt, and partly based at DTU Risø Campus and DTU Lyngby Campus, all in the greater Copenhagen area. The project also contains a three-month external research stay at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany in 2019/2020.

DTU Energy are currently present on both Risø Campus, close to the town of Roskilde, and Lyngby Campus, north of Copenhagen. In 2019, the entire department will be moving into new facilities at Lyngby Campus.

Further information
Further information may be obtained on the websites and or by contacting Erling Ringgaard (, Bhaskar Reddy Sudireddy ( or Astri Bjørnetun Haugen ( Please do not send your application to one of these addresses.

We must have your application by 30 January 2018. To apply, send an email to with “Application for PhD position” in the subject line, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Energy is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.