Job details

Job posted by OUTCOME (27/01/2016 09.58)

Marie Curie Actions funded job vacancy PhD Student Position - 3 years employment - Project ITN OUTCOME - Modelling of delamination and interface strength in printed circuit boards (PCBs)

Structural elements used in aerospace and defense industries are frequently subjected to a large variety of unusually severe thermo-mechanical solicitations. One easily realizes that this type of structures has to be designed to sustain extreme temperatures, which may vary hundred degrees in short periods of time, and extreme mechanical loadings like hypervelocity impacts. New specific structural solutions are constantly developed to fulfill such requirements, which place these industrial sectors in the forefront of the technological innovation. We have formed a consortium composed of 3 academic and 4 industrial partners which aims at developing specific training for early-stage researchers within the field of aerospace and defense structures subjected to severe thermo-mechanical loads. The leitmotif of this ITN is to train creative and innovative researchers ready to face structural-engineering challenges which arise in the vanguard of technological innovation.



A printed circuit board is a passive component which allows to interconnect electronic components soldered on the outer layers in order to realize a complex electronic system. It is a complex multi-layer assembly developed for a very specific goal which requires expertise in mechanical and material sciences. In order to reach the expected performance and lifetime in harsh environments dedicated high-performance base materials are required. During its lifetime, the PCB undergoes a large number of thermal cycles which can lead to the breakup of copper path. In addition, when active components are soldered on the PCB, a thermal shock is produced. It has been detected that the use of certain combination of based materials leads to delamination, which damages the PCB and limits its service-life. We will investigate the delamination process and the evolution of the strength of interfaces from both theoretical and experimental sides. Within this context, we will develop a research on the damage and failure processes of PCBs subjected to thermal cycling. A theoretical model will be specifically developed in order to predict the onset and evolution of damage and failure. The predictions of the theoretical model will be compared with own experiments specifically conducted for that purpose (to check the reliability of the model predictions). The planned experiments are peeling tests at various temperatures performed for various pairs of materials frequently used to manufacture the PCBs.

Research outputs

A theoretical model, validated with experiments and numerical calculations, to predict the onset and evolution of damage (here delamination) in PCBs subjected to thermal cycling. We will focus on the strength of the interface. On the one hand the research has a strong fundamental background in, for instance, the definition of interface strength at room temperature. The goal also is to test the interface at different temperatures. On the other hand we plan to obtain very practical conclusions based on ability of the theoretical model to describe the behaviour of real PCBs that developed damage and failure during their service-life. The results of this research will have great interest for the industry since they will significantly increase the current knowledge on failure of PCBs due to extreme thermal loading. In particular, the proposed research will strengthen the knowledge of CIMULEC in this field, increasing its competitiveness, which is essential for the future development of the company.

Nr of positions available : 1

Research Fields

Engineering - Mechanical engineering
Physics - Classical mechanics
Mathematics - Applied mathematics

Career Stage

Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate)

Research Profiles

First Stage Researcher (R1)


The successful candidate will be employed for 3 years and receive a financial package plus an additional mobility and family allowance according to the rules for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks (ITN):

• Living allowance – 3452.1€ (per month)
• Mobility allowance – 600€ (per month)
• Family allowance – 500€ (per month – if applicable)

This amount is a gross contribution to the salary costs. Net salary will
result from deducting all compulsory social security/direct and employer taxes from the
gross salary according to the law applicable to the agreement concluded with
the ESR.

Additional information about the funding provided by the ITN projects can be found in:

The successful candidate will have access to the PhD program of the University of Lorraine as well as to the training activities organized within the OUTCOME consortium. These activities include, among others:

• Attendance to the Workshop: Extreme structural mechanics in aerospace applications to be organized by AEROSERTEC in Madrid.
• Attendance to the Workshop: Extreme structural mechanics in defense applications to be organized by RAFAEL in HAIFA.
• Attendance to the course: Horizon 2020 Proposal Development to be organized by EUROPA Media in Budapest.
• Attendance of the course: Damage and failure of solids subjected to extreme loading conditions to be organized by the University of Lorraine.
• Attendance to the course: From PhD to Scientific Leadership to be organized by Yellow Research in Madrid.
• Attendance to prestigious international conferences on damage and failure of engineering materials.


Required Education Level
Degree Master Degree or equivalent
Degree Field Engineering
Degree Master Degree or equivalent
Degree Field Physics
Degree Master Degree or equivalent
Degree Field Mathematics
Required Research Experiences
Main Research Field Engineering
Sub Research Field Mechanical engineering
Years of Research Experience 1
Main Research Field Physics
Sub Research Field Classical mechanics
Years of Research Experience 1
Main Research Field Mathematics
Sub Research Field Applied mathematics
Years of Research Experience 1
Required Languages
Language ENGLISH
Language Level Excellent
Additional Requirements
We are looking for highly motivated candidates who want to pursue a scientific career in mechanical engineering (academic or industrial). An ideal candidate would have a background in mechanical or civil engineering or physics or mathematics and a strong interest in collaborating with a team working attitude in an interdisciplinary project. The candidate must have some interests to develop both experimental, numerical and modeling researches. Good communication in English is required.

Candidates should have a solid background in Continuum Mechanics, Mathematics and Programming.
In order to meet the specific requirements of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie funded PhDs, the candidate should not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the last 3 years. He/she may be of any Nationality.

The candidates must provide a letter of motivation where they clearly state why, under their point of view, they should be enrolled in OUTCOME.

At least, one recommendation letter from the scientist/s who mentored the candidate during her/his master studies is required. The letter must clearly expose the profile of the candidate with emphasis in the qualities which make her/him suitable for being recruited in OUTCOME. Additional recommendation letters from any other professor/professional will be most welcomed.

We will particularly consider those candidates with proven experience in technological and/or research activities. Publication/s in journals indexed in the Journal of Citation Reports will be especially welcomed.
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Rue Charles Picard

EU Research Framework Programme
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H2020/Marie Curie Actions

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Avenida de la Universidad 30
28911 - Leganés
Madrid - SPAIN