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PhD Position Self-powered Piezoelectric MEMS (1.0 FTE)

University of Groningen

Vacancy number 219060 


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 31,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world (see our ranking:, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

A PhD position is available in the Discrete Technology & Production Automation group at the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG), Faculty of Science and Engineering. For more information about ENTEG please use the following link:

Job description

Topic of research: Self-powered piezoelectric MEMS

Broad implementation of the Internet of Things, portable electronics, foldable devices or biomedical sensors has been hindered by the limitation of conventional batteries. Advances in self-powered MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) can play a crucial role towards the further development of those technologies. Piezoelectric materials enable harvesting power from mechanical sources, due to their ability to generate an electrical voltage in response to applied mechanical stress, showing great promise for the next generation of self-powered micro devices. The aim of this project is the synthesis of piezoelectric materials and their implementation into the fabrication of self-powered electromechanical systems. The research will be done in close collaboration with the Zernike Institute of Advanced Materials. The successful candidate will work in a multidisciplinary research environment where engineering and materials science are to be combined to improve the development of highly efficient and reliable piezoelectric devices.

We are looking for a talented, curious, enthusiastic, and motivated life scientist for a four-year PhD position. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and conferences, and to assist in the supervision of research projects for both bachelor and master students.


Candidates should have a MSc degree with expertise/background in materials science and engineering. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates with background in engineering materials, chemical engineering, mechatronics, MEMS/NEMS, microelectronics and semiconductor devices. Relevant experience in piezoelectric materials and/or piezoelectric devices will be a clear advantage.
The successful candidate is expected to have an excellent academic record and should be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment in close cooperation with other experts. Excellent communication skills and good command of English (oral and written) are also required.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year (salary scale PhD fellow Dutch Universities), up to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position, excluding a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and a 8.3% end of the year bonus. The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

You may apply for this position until 10 March 11.59 pm / before 11 March 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form, please see:

Documents to submit:

  • motivation letter (no more than one A4 page)
  • CV (no more than four A4 pages)
  • list of publications (if any)
  • transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees
  • contact information of three academic referees (title, full name, affiliation, email address).

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


Dr Mónica Acuautla, email: 

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications. 

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Groningen - Netherlands
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: €2,325 to €2,972
£2,067.86 to £2,643.30 converted salary* gross per month.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th February 2019
Closes: 10th March 2019
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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