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The School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), a member institution of the Uni- versity of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO), offers bilingual study programs at the BA and MA levels. On behalf of its iTEC Institute (Institute of Construction and Environmental Technologies) and in collaboration with a European university, the HEIA-FR invites applications to fill the position of:

UAS Academic Associate (PhD student) in geotechnics


Mission and Scope of Activities

  • Carry out a doctoral thesis in the field of geotechnics in collaboration with a European university, aiming at studying the Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) caused by the excavation of underground structures in clay formations
  • Investigate the development and extent of the EDZ around galleries excavated at different depths by means of physical modelling on hollow cylinders monitored by X-ray tomography during mechanical unloading
  • Perform in addition numerical modelling with constitutive models that take anisotropies and non-linear behaviour of clay into account, with the goal of comparing the simulation results with the measurements and observations collected in the laboratory and on site
  • Teaching duties at the UAS Bachelor level (exercises, projects, laboratories).

Your profile

  • University-level Master’s degree in civil engineering with a specialisation in geotechnics, or an equivalent degree
  • Strong interest in experimentation; experience in laboratory and digital image analysis
  • Numerical modelling skills (FEM) in geotechnics
  • Very high scientific rigor
  • English proficiency (written and spoken) and working knowledge of French.


Additional information

  • Fixed-term employment contract: 3.5 year maximum (duration of the thesis)
  • Activity rate: 100%


Interested? Send in your application by clicking on the Apply («Postuler») button below. Complete applications must include: cover letter; curriculum vitae; 3 references; grade report / transcript; relevant certificates, diplomas and study attestations (if you are still studying).