PhD position in eco-innovative shape memory architected dampers for the seismic protection of infrastructures

A PhD position between École des Ponts ParisTech and University of Pavia is available starting October 2024. The position is part of the EU-funded project MISCEA, which is an ambitious inter- and multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Network under the Horizon-Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND.

DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES: There is strong evidence that global climate change is likely to increase seismic activity. Thus, there is a growing need of efficient strategies for mitigating the impact of earthquakes on infrastructures. The relevance of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA)-based dampers in seismic protection has already been demonstrated in several works. However, one drawback is that the material behavior is strongly nonlinear and difficult to model in detail. Moreover, SMAs are expensive materials with a relatively high carbon footprint. In this context, besides advanced simulation tools, the design of SMA dampers can also benefit from recent advances in metamaterials and additive manufacturing. These are fundamental for producing complex geometries with improved performances, tuning the design based on the type of building where the damper is used, and reducing production costs and times, in conjuction with a potential decrease of emissions and consequently of the carbon footprint of the part production, that is fundamental for their application and commercialization.The aim of this PhD project is to develop new numerical strategies and topology optimization approaches for SMAs, allowing for the advanced simulation and optimization of SMA-based architected damping systems in the dynamic regime. The validation of the approach will be possibly assessed by manufacturing and testing the optimized structures made of NiTi SMAs.


DURATION: doctoral contract of three year, starting October 2024.

SALARY: net stipend of around 2100 € per month.

LOCATION: The PhD is joint between Ecole des Ponts and University of Pavia. The supervisors in each institution are Prof. Michael Peigney and Prof. Giulia Scalet. The PhD will benefit from the co-supervision of Prof. Gwendal Cumunel. At Ecole des Ponts, the candidate will be hosted by Laboratoire Navier ( At the University of Pavia, the candidate will be hosted by the Laboratory of Programmable Materials and Structures (ProMaSt Lab – of the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture (


Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Prof. Michael Peigney ( and Prof. Giulia Scalet (

DEADLINE: 30 April 2024.