Veronika Kovzel
Phone: +49 351 260 3231

More Information


For any questions, do not hesitate to ask:
Dr. Michael Bussmann Tel.: +49 3581 37523 11,
+49 351 260 2616
Prof. Ivo Fabian Sbalzarini
Mrs. Inken Köhler Tel.: +49 3581 37523 10,
Mrs. Weronika Mazur Tel.: +49 3581 37523 23,
+49 171 3635554
Dr. Michael Hecht
Prof. Oliver Sander

Place of work:

Working hours:
19,5 h/week

Online application
English / German
Job-Id: 161/2020 (1093)

The HZDR is committed to equal opportunity employment and we strongly encourage applications from qualified female candidates. We also carefully consider all applications from job candidates with severe disabilities.

Bautzner Landstraße 400
01328 Dresden

PhD Student (f/m/d): Computational Methods for Cell Shapes and Elastic Materials – Numerical PDE Solvers on Complex Shapes—

As member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the HZDR employs about 1,200 people. The Center's focus is on interdisciplinary research in the areas energy, health and matter.

The Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) is a German-Polish research center for dataintensive digital systems research. We combine innovative methods from mathematics, theoretical systems research, simulations, data science, artificial intelligence, and computer science to provide solutions for a range of disciplines - materials science under ambient and extreme conditions, earth system research, systems biology and medicine, and autonomous vehicles. CASUS was jointly founded in August 2019 by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and the University of Wroclaw (UWr). CASUS is located in the heart of Görlitz at the border between Germany and Poland. The CASUS start-up phase is hosted by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rassendorf and is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (SMWK).

The CASUS Department of Systems Biology is looking for a PhD Student (f/m/d) excited about novel mathematical approaches to fundamental algorithms in scientific computing. Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The employment contract is limited to three years. Location of work is Görlitz, remuneration is according to the German Civil Service Tariff and HZDR employment conditions. No tuition charged.

The Scope of Your Job

The project is embedded in a larger collaboration with MPI-CBG and TUD's Department of Mathematics and aims to exploit recent advances in high-dimensional interpolation problems with vastly improved computational performance and accuracy. Interpolation is at the heart of many applications in scientific computing. In particular, it allows to derive polynomial level set parametrizations of non-flat manifolds. This fact shall be incorporated into the development of novel numerical solvers of PDE's on curved surfaces and complex shapes. You will work with experts in the field of mathematics to further develop the algorithmic foundations, and with colleagues from the other CASUS Departments in order to apply the new algorithms. Applications include, but are not limited to, discretizing active polar gel models of biological tissue dynamics and simulating deformations of synthetic materials.

Your Tasks:

  • Develop efficient polynomial-level-set parametrizations of complex shapes based on earlier work

  • Incorporate the parametrizations into existing finite element methods and mesh-free DC-PSE discretization of partial differential equations

  • Apply the results to numerical simulations of non-linear PDE's on complex shapes occurring in 3D bio- and synthetic-material mechanics

  • Implement the resulting algorithms in the parallel computing DUNE and OpenFPM frameworks

  • Publish your results in academic, peer-reviewed journals

  • Present your results at scientific meetings

Your Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in mathematics, theoretical/computational physics, scientific computing or computational sciences

  • A solid background in computing and natural science

  • Programming skills in languages such as Python or C++

  • Experience in Functional Analysis, Differential Geometry and Numerical Analysis

  • Strong motivation to work in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment

  • Excellent communication skills in English and in a professional context (presentation of research results at scientific meetings, colloquial discussions, writing of manuscripts).

We offer:

  • A vibrant research community in an open, diverse, and international work environment
  • Scientific excellence and high quality of training according to the Helmholtz Doctoral Guidelines

  • Broad national and international science networks
  • Cutting-edge, professionally managed high-performance computing resources
  • Scientific computing and software engineering support team
  • Salary according to the German Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD)
  • Comprehensive benefits package (30 vacation days per year, company pension plan (VBL), flexible working hours, in-house health management, relocation assistance).

Kindly submit your completed application (including cover letter, CV, diplomas/transcripts, etc.) only via our Online-application-system.