Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

13 Early Stage Researchers in MSCN European Training Network “ENHANCE”

This job offer has expired

    University of Franche-Comté
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    01/07/2017 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Multiple locations, see work locations below.
    35-38 (depends on country)
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

The Initial Training Network entitled "Piezoelectric Energy Harvesters for Self-Powered Automotive Sensors: from Advanced Lead-Free Materials to Smart Systems (ENHANCE)" will provide thirteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with broad and intensive training within a multidisciplinary research and teaching environment. Key training topics will include development of energy harvesters compatible with MEMS technology and able to power wireless sensor. Applied to automobiles, such technology will allow for 50 kg of weight saving, connection simplification, space reduction, and reduced maintenance costs - all major steps towards creating green vehicles. Other important topics include technology innovation, education and intellectual asset management.

ENHANCE links world-leading research groups at academic institutions to give a combined, integrated approach of synthesis/fabrication, characterization, modeling/theory linked to concepts for materials integration in devices and systems. Such a science-supported total engineering approach will lead towards efficient piezoelectric energy harvesters viable for the automotive industry. ESRs will focus on this common research objective, applying a multidisciplinary bottom-up approach, which can be summarized by: "engineered molecule- advanced material- designed device - smart system". ENHANCE also seeks to intensify the relationship between academic and private sectors, and to train highly skilled young researchers for new materials and device technologies. Both are essential to provide a strong European lead over the rest of the world in this highly competitive industry.

The ENHANCE consortium partners recognise that engineering graduates face a rapidly changing work environment, with short product development times and life cycles, rapid evolution of knowledge, new methods of working, and, of course, new career paths and opportunities outside those of traditional PhD academia and research. It is therefore essential to prepare them to address both these challenges along with the complex technical, social, commercial and ethical questions raised by emerging engineering technologies (e.g. in the fields of nanotechnologies, energy, healthcare, environment, raising living standards,etc.) and practices.

Project partners: University of Franche-Comté (coordinator, FR); Imperial College (UK), INSA Lyon (FR), University of Catania (IT), Grenoble INP (FR), University of Cologne (DE), Cedrat Technologies (FR), AIXTRON (DE), ST Microelectronics (IT)

Associated partners: PSA Peugeot Citroen (FR), frecInIsys (FR), EPFL (CH), EpiValence (UK), ST Microelectronics (FR), Knowledge Transfer Network (UK).



The ENHANCE consortium will also address the key doctoral training elements of academic and transferrable skills provision by establishing exciting and attractive academic and transferrable skills modules. In the different Area of Knowledge of the ENHANCE programme, a specific programme of specialisation, tailored on the needs of the chosen research field available at the different partner places, will be proposed to the PhD students and specified in their Personal Career Development Plan. We will ensure co-ordinated provision of these key doctoral training elements that can best leverage on the international capabilities of the consortium, on its unique and complementary skills base reflecting both national and regional strengths and, on the on-going developments of new curriculum in the fields of materials, modelling, devices and systems for energy harvesting and future vehicles. The academic skills provision will build from the assumption that all the centre skills education programmes will be modular, with specific credit modules and available across the partner centre sites using both traditional (lecture, seminar, summer school, workshop) and widely developed web-based delivery actually developed by several partners. A key topic for 21st century engineers will be technology management including topics such as technology innovation and intellectual asset management. The opportunity for the ESRs to explore and acquire these multidisciplinary skills within the international context of ENHANCE will uniquely position them for the future. The rapid race of engineering research and the steady integration of engineered technology in our infrastructure and life, calls for more involvement from engineers, scientists and technologists in the setting of public policy and in participation in the civic arena.


Eligibility criteria

  • Master degree or equivalent degree which formally entitle to embark on a doctorate;
  • Must not have resided or carried out main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of host organisation for more than 12 months in the last 3 years (short stays for holidays do not count);
  • Must be in the first four years of full-time equivalent research experience of their research careers (starting from the date when the degree enabling the access to the PhD studies was obtained)
  • Have not been awarded a doctoral degree,

Selection process


How to apply:

In order to apply, send by email to project coordinator Ausrine Bartasyte, coordinator@itn-enhance.com:

  • CV (2 pages)
  • Diploma (copy) of Master degree or equivalent degree which formally entitle to embark on a doctorate, including annexes with marks/classifications.
  • Cover letter (1 page)
  • Names and contact details of two referees, who agreed to provide recommendation letters
  • List of selected Phd topics in order or preference

Applications should be submitted electronically before the 1st July 2017.

Additional comments

We offer 13 positions with very competitive salaries in Italy, Germany, UK and France. PhDs will start from September-October 2017, the starting can be delayed until the end of April 2018  (see below for the topic descriptions of ESRs 1-13).

Two positions at University of Catania/INSTM:

Catania, Italy, https://www.unict.it/en/ & http://www.instm.it/en/instm.aspx

Contact: gmalandrino@unict.it

  • ESR1: Engineering of metal-organic precursors from synthesis to mechanistic aspects; Supervisor: G. Malandrino

Synthesis of novel metal-organic precursors (single and bimetallic sources), improved incorporation of alkaline elements in the films and nanostructures at high deposition temperatures; enabling growth of vertically aligned nanostructures.

  • ESR3 : Multiferroic films and nanostructures for hybrid energy harvesters; Supervisors: G. Malandrino & G.G. Condorelli

Growth of epitaxial and textured films with optimized texture/stoichiometry/defects/ composition/domain (natural and artificial) structure on Si or metal foil; optimization of doping on the A and/or B site and poling procedure to improve the piezoelectric, photovoltaic and pyroelectric properties with particular emphasis on photovoltaic-piezoelectric relationship; study of physical properties properties as a function of temperature; study of photovoltaic properties of  ENHANCE developed materials; testing the possibility to grow vertically aligned structures or 3D structured films from vapour phase or by using templates; study of the relationship between processing-composition-structure-morphology-physical properties.


One position at AIXTRON: 

Aachen, Germany, www.aixtron.com;

Contact: M.Heuken@aixtron.com

  • ESR2 : Modelling and simulations of CVD processes; Supervisor: M. Heuken

Control of precursor transport and decomposition process; modelling of commercial and advanced precursor chemical decomposition processes; theoretical definition the deposition conditions for the growth of thin films, highly conformal coverage of 3D structures or initiation of nanowire growth from vapour phase; simulation of chemical processes, heat transfer and flows in the reactors of academic partner by computational fluid dynamics (CFD), commercial and AIXTRON developed softwares; evaluation of up-scaling possibilities of developed growth methods and the potential market .


Two positions at Institute FEMTO-ST, University of Franche-Comté: 

Besançon, France, www.femto-st.fr & www.univ-fcomte.fr

Contact: ausrine.bartasyte@univ-fcomte.fr

  • ESR4 : Piezoelectric and pyroelectric films and nanostructures for hybrid energy harvesters; Supervisors: A. Bartasyte & B. Dulmet

Synthesis of textured and epitaxial piezoelectric films on metal foil or Si substrates; optimization of piezoelectric, photovoltaic and pyroelectric properties by tuning doping level, nonstoichiometry, oxygen deficiency with special attention on relationship between pyroelectric-piezoelectric  properties and their change as a function of temperature; simulation of optimal piezoelectric transducer configuration (number of layers, composition, electrodes, etc.) and its micro-fabrication from the optimized films ; testing the possibility of self-organized vertically aligned nanostructures growth, or 3D conformal coverage of existing nanostructures.

  • ESR9 : Design of mechanical structure and electronic interface of hybrid energy harvesters; Supervisors: M. Rakotondrabe (UFC), M. Lallart & P.J. Cottinet (INSA Lyon)

Models of structures with passive (non-piezoelectric) and active (piezoelectric) devoted to harvesters by considering (vibrational) mechanical and thermal excitations; optimized structures with multi-degrees of freedom by combining piezoelectric modeling with control theory tools;  design of optimal multi-modal thermal-vibrational energy harvesters operational up to 600 °C with specifications relative to engines in automotives; micro-fabrication and characterization of hybrid transducer.  Development of energy harvesting electronic interface able to efficiently extract different type energies (vibrational and/or thermal) converted by the same active electromagnetic and/or piezoelectric transducer. This includes development, modelling and design of efficient, low-power electronic interfaces and regulation circuits: (i) able to maximize the extracted energy for each transducer, based for example on nonlinear treatments of the output electrical quantity (voltage, current, charge) of the transducers; (ii) able to harvest energy in an efficient way from several sources or conversion effects (hybrid energy harvesting); (iii) ensuring optimal operation of the extraction interfaces, based for example of DC/DC converters or Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT). The particular attention will be given to the power consumption of the proposed technique.


Two positions at University of Cologne:

Cologne, Germany, https://www.portal.uni-koeln.de/uoc_home.html?&L=1

  • ESR5 : Growth of piezoelectric nanostructures and films for vibrational energy harvesters; Supervisor: S. Mathur

Growth of substrate-supported piezoelectric vertically aligned nanostructures and films from vapour phase or from solutions by using commercial precursors or designed precursors (supplied by ESR1); optimization of the vertical alignment of the nanostructures;  enhancement of piezoelectric, elastic, pyroelectric, photovoltaic  properties (with a focus on the elastic and piezoelectric properties) by adjusting the composition, dimensions of nanostructures and growth direction;  electrical poling of the grown structures; relationship  processing-composition-structure-size-morphology-physical properties.

  • ESR6 : Self-supported nanomeshes of piezoelectric materials for vibrational energy harvesters; Supervisor: S. Mathur

 Enabling controlled growth of piezoelectric self-supported nanomeshes by electrospinning through adapted chemical and processing parameters (using commercial precursors or designed precursors); elaboration of tandem approaches (Electrospinning + CVD) to control texture/stoichiometry; enhancement of piezoelectric/elastic/pyroelectric/photovoltaic properties by adjusting the dimensions of nanostructures and solid solution composition/doping; electrical poling of the grown structures; relationship between processing-composition-structure-size-morphology-physical properties.


One position at ST-Microelectronics:

Catania, Italy, http://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/about/careers/st-locations/emea/italy/catania.html

Contact: rosa.previti@st.com

  • ESR7 : Simulation and design of autonomous sensor systems and microfabrication processes; Supervisors: S. Rinaudo (ST) & G. Malandrino (INSTM)

Selection of the ST sensor systems (off the shelf) which would fit PSA needs, simulations of the complete autonomous wireless sensor system, including sensing element, standard electrical circuit, RF communication module, digital signal processing module and power management modules (specific pre-designs of power modules will be done by ESR13), and definition of  power supply profile and requirements according to the sampling frequency and packaging/size limitations for power modules to be integrated to the autonomous sensor systems with the total size acceptable for specific defined application in the vehicle; evaluation of feasibility and potential of application in standard industrial micro-fabrication of designed structures of hybrid transducers; simulation of micro-fabrication process and definition of  protocols, compatible with MEMS industry, for the realization of developed piezoelectric and hybrid transducers; simulate the performance of  prototype sensor systems including the specifications of developed ENHANCE power modules, evaluate their price and potential market.


One position at IMEP-LAHC, Grenoble Institute of Technology:

Grenoble, France, http://imep-lahc.grenoble-inp.fr/grenoble, http://www.grenoble-inp.fr/

Contact: Laurent.Montes@grenoble-inp.fr

  • ESR8 : Vertical nanowire integrated nanogenerators based on nanostructures with high K2;  Supervisors: L. Montes

Study of direct piezoelectric effect in nanowires (grown by ESR6 & ESR 7) by lateral and vertical AFM piezoelectric measurements; study of size effect and size distribution on the piezoelectric coefficients; electrical modelling of nanowire based transducers; FEM simulations for predictive scaling of nanowires; modelling, fabrication and characterization of vertical nanowire integrated nanogenerators (VING) working in non-resonance mode; comparison of performance of VINGs based on materials with low and high K2


Two positions at London Imperial College:

London, UK, https://www.imperial.ac.uk/

Contact: m.kiziroglou@imperial.ac.uk

  • ESR10 : Integrated wireless power delivery systems; Supervisor: P. Mitcheson

As an alternative to local energy harvesting using light, motion or thermal gradients, wireless power delivery can be used to energise sensors and free them from the need of a tether whilst maintaining easy deployments for extended periods.  This PhD will investigate the possibility of remotely powering devices, including miniature sensors, using wireless power delivery.  There is significant interest in harsh environment sensing and so operation at high temperature will be a major consideration.

  • ESR11 : Hybrid energy harvesting power supplies; Supervisor: P. Mitcheson

Design and Implementation of electrostatic energy harvesting systems by microfabrication and integration of active transduction materials such as PZT, thermoelectrics, multiferroic or photovoltaic films. Design and implementation of active power management, employing switching, pre-biasing, up-conversion and smart cold-starting techniques. This research will build on recent motion up-conversion harvesting approaches that may significantly benefit from pre-biasing techniques. It may also include integration of the harvesters with power management and storage, into sensor power supply systems


One position at LGEF, INSA Lyon:

Lyon, France, http://www.insa-lyon.fr/fr/lgef

Contact : mickael.lallart@insa-lyon.fr

  • ESR12 : Electronics interface for efficient energy harvesting from microscale transducers and micro-scale transducer arrays;  Supervisors: D. Gyomar, M. Lallart & P.J. Cottinet (INSA)

Develop rectifying interfaces compatible with low voltage levels to overcome low output power and to get stabilized DC voltage, transducer voltage output compatible rectifier will be developed; to surmount interfacing problems due to high output impedance, low capacitance compatible energy extraction interface will be designed; to attain stabilized voltage level in the volt range, required for electronic circuits, electrical components able to step up DC voltage to a suitable level with minimal losses will be developed; to get reasonable output power circuit microscale harvesters will be packaged in arrays and hence, a dedicated interface aiming at interfacing arrays of transducer with optimized energy conversion and extraction techniques will be developed.


One position at Cedrat Technologies:

Meylan, France, www.cedrat-technologies.com


Contact: jobs@cedrat-tec.com

  • ESR13 : Simulation and design of nonlinear hybrid harvester systems, their integration and testing; Supervisors: F. Claeyssen & F. Bourgain (CTEC) and M. Lallart & D. Audigier (INSA)

Help to determine specifications and expected performances of the new harvesters based on CTEC’s experience; modelling, design, integration, of hybrid thermal-vibrational energy harvesters and electromagnetic-piezoelectric harvesters. Modelling and developing a test bench based on CTEC APA actuators, adapted to low frequency, low amplitude vibrations. Integration to CTEC’s measurement tools and data acquisition systems. Testing of hybrid thermal-vibrational, solar-vibrational energy harvesters and electromagnetic-piezoelectric harvesters on test-bench and in the cars.


For more details concerning the PhD topics, please, contact directly the representers of employing institutions (email addresses are given above).

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent
    Physics: Master Degree or equivalent
    Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent
    Technology: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


Qualifications & experience:

  • Master degree or equivalent degree which formally entitle to embark on a doctorate;
  • Fluent English (oral and written);
  • Excellent IT skills (Microsoft office, image editors);
  • Background and expertise in the field of PhD topic;

Specific Requirements

Personal skills:

-High motivation, excellent interpersonal skills, good time and stress management, excellent written and oral skills

Work location(s)
2 position(s) available at
Institute FEMTO-ST/ University of Franche Comté
2 position(s) available at
Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine
United Kingdom
1 position(s) available at
LGEF/ Institut National des Sciences Appliduees de Lyon
2 position(s) available at
University of Catania, Consorzio Interuniversitario Ntionale per la Scienza e Technologia dei Materiali
2 position(s) available at
Universitaet zu Koeln
1 position(s) available at
Cedrat Technologies SA
1 position(s) available at
1 position(s) available at
1 position(s) available at
IMEP-LAHC/ Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble

Open, Transparent, Merit based Recruitment procedures of Researchers (OTM-R)

Know more about it at University of Franche-Comté

Know more about OTM-R

EURAXESS offer ID: 209340