ESR 1: Understanding supercooling effect on wetting and ice adhesion

University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan (Italy)

Supervisor: Carlo Antonini

Doctoral position

We are looking for a young graduate with a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Engineering or Materials Science, with experience in wetting, icing, and/or adhesion, for a 36-month doctoral position in the area of icephobic surfaces.

The candidate will participate as an early-stage researcher (ESR) to the Marie Skłodowska – Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN) project: “Smart surface design for efficient ice protection and control” (SURFICE). A project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The project will be carried out at University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), under scientific supervision of Dr. Carlo Antonini (, secondments of 3-6 month at different MSCA-ITN partner institutions will be part of the project.

The ESR will be matriculated as doctoral Student of the University of Milano-Bicocca, from which he/she shall obtain the PhD degree in Materials Science and Nanotechnologies.

Job Description

The project will attempt to generate a new generation of experts in anti-icing technologies.

Your project will be structured in the following phases:

  • Design and setup the test rig for combined wetting and ice adhesion tests.
  • Evaluate the supercooling effect on surface wetting parameters.
  • Evaluate the supercooling effect on ice adhesion on a variety of icephobic of single drops.
  • Validate cross-correlations with outputs from: (i) MD simulations, performed at KU Leuven, in the group of prof. David Seveno; and (ii) other ice adhesion tests performed at TU Darmstadt (prof. Ilia Roisman) and in an icing wind tunnel facility (possibly at Airbus).
  • Complete validation of physical models as input for numerical simulations.

Based on the proposal, two secondments at KU Leuven (prof. David Seveno, Belgium) and FT Technologies (Dr. Tanmoy Maitra, UK) are planned during the PhD programme. These may be modified if more relevant/productive secondments become available as the work of the ESR and the SURFICE network evolves, or in case of mobility reduction due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Your profile

  • Candidates should have recently obtained a Master’s degree in Physics, Engineering or Materials Science with outstanding grades.
  • Strong experimental and theoretical background in at least one of the following topics: wetting, icing, anti-icing technologies, and adhesion.
  • Desirable: experience in design and setup of an experimental test-rig.
  • Language skills: ENGLISH: Excellent; ITALIAN: of advantage for the interaction within the University, however not required.
  • You have a talent for conceiving experimental hypothesis and can realize them in a target-oriented manner.

Institution address

Department of Materials Science – U5, Via Roberto Cozzi, 55, 20125 Milano MI, Italy.

Important dates

Interviews for ESR1 have started, based on the CVs collected before 31st March. New applications will be considered, only until the positions are filled.

Expected starting of the working contract: 1st June 2021.

Application process

By e-mail to, and, to the attention of Dr. Carlo Antonini and Dr. Irene Tagliaro.

Please include the application form and other documents given in the general information. The general information also indicates the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, the application requirements and the selection process.

For questions and further information on the position, please contact Dr. Carlo Antonini at