ESR 4: Development of two complementary ice adhesion test methods

Technische Universität Darmastadt, Darmstadt (Germany)

Supervisor: Ilia Roisman

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 Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany), under scientific supervision of Prof. Ilia Roisman (, 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 Technische Universität Darmstadt, from which he/she shall obtain the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Job Description

Only limited empirical and in many cases contradicting data are currently available on the dependence of ice adhesion on the material and morphological properties of substrates. Better understanding of the adhesion physics and predictive models developed in this task is required to enable a rational design of low-adhesion surfaces for active anti-icing systems.

The objectives of the project include: i) design and set-up two complementary experimental techniques to measure ice adhesion force in tensile and shear mode on model substrates of different wettability and roughness; ii) validate the ice adhesion models developed in WP2 and iii) propose a best practice for ice adhesion testing in icing wind tunnels

The ESR will be responsible for the design of the experiments and their conducting in the aim to determine the influence of the value of the adhesion forces will be measured for surfaces with various surface energies and morphologies, thermal and mechanical properties, and atmospheric conditions. The expected results include: (i) setup of ice adhesion test rigs, (ii) design of experiments completed to identify the most relevant experimental parameters (material properties and icing conditions), (iii) ice adhesion test results on a variety of icephobic surfaces and in representative icing conditions, (iv) cross-correlations established among relevant operating and system parameters, validation of physical and numerical models completed.

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 phenomena, icing/solidification, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, optical measurement methods.
  • Desirable: experience in design and setup of an experimental test-rig.
  • Language skills: ENGLISH: Excellent.

Institution address

Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics, Technische Universität Darmstadt
Alarich-Weiss-Str. 10, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany.

Important dates

Expected starting of the working contract: 1st October 2021.
We look forward to receiving your application until 31st August 2021.

Application process

By e-mail to and, to the attention of Prof. Ilia Roisman and Hussong Jeanette.

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 Prof. Ilia Roisman at