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Ph.D. position: Developing and applying unique DFT code for leadership applications on HPC architectures

Advertising institute: PGI-1 - Quantum Theory of Materials
Reference number: D095/2017, Computational Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Supercomputing

The Institute for Quantum Theory of Materials (PGI-1/IAS-1), member of the Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI) and the Institute for Advanced Simulations (IAS), has strong and long-established expertise in developing and applying electronic structure codes based on density functional theory (DFT) to cutting-edge problems in nanoelectronics, materials science and energy.

KKRnano is a newly designed electronic structure code based on the Korringa-Kohn-Rostocker method to exploit the power of high performance computing (HPC) for the investigation of topological magnetic textures (e.g. Skyrmions, Hopfions, etc.) and the optimization of complex bulk materials including structural and chemical disorder, large defects, alloys, surfaces or molecules in key areas of information technologies, materials science and energy storage. The code runs efficiently on the currently available machines within PRACE (The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, such as the 458,752 core IBM Blue Gene/Q located in Jülich and is currently being optimized for upcoming exascale architectures that will strongly rely on low-clocked, but highly parallel compute devices like GPUs. This performance-related work is carried out in close collaboration with the Jülich Supercomputing Centre. The project is embedded in the research framework of the section Fundamentals of Future Information Technology (JARA-FIT) and High-Performance Computing (JARA-HPC) of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA,

Job description:
We are looking for a Ph.D. student who shares our excitement to develop KKRnano further as a unique scientific method on the fastest supercomputers in the world and feels the thrill to carry out leadership simulations in condensed matter physics and material sciences that have never been done before. The candidate has the opportunity to work closely with scientists who design future Tier-0 supercomputers.

Your Profile:
The candidate should have

  • a Master's degree in science, preferably physics or simulation science
  • a solid background in condensed matter physics, numerical math and should be familiar with the typical skills in computational physics
  • Existing expertise in DFT-based simulations and solid state physics will be an advantage
  • Ability to communicate with scientists and the scientific community
  • Well-structured and systematic research approach
  • Prior experiences in scientific publishing or the interest in publishing can be of advantage

What We Offer:

  • Research in a friendly, multitopical and international setting
  • as well as a cooperative work environment in a dynamical institute
  • A fantastic research and computational infrastructure

Forschungszentrum Jülich is located close to the border between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and with strong links to the ABCD Region (Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf), which is one of the leading high-tech regions in Europe.

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore we particularly welcome applications from women. We also welcome applications from disabled persons.


We invite interested candidates to send your application including a statement of research interest, a CV, copies of exams, degrees and grades, a copy of your Master thesis (or a draft thereof), published articles or other relevant material such as letter(s) of recommendation (if applicable) to
Prof. Dr. Stefan Blügel
Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-1)
Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS-1)
Forschungszentrum Jülich