PhD Position (m/f/d) for the simulation of microplastic transport in soils

The DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre 1357 Microplastics and the Theoretical Physics VI

The University of Bayreuth is a research-oriented university with internationally and interdisciplinary profile areas in research and teaching. The DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre 1357 Microplastics and the Theoretical Physics VI group has a vacancy for a

PhD Position (m/f/d) for the simulation of microplastic transport in soils

The position is initially limited until the end of the project 31.12.2026 and serves to promote a scientific qualification (doctorate). The remuneration is based on salary group 13 TV-L in part-time.

The CRC 1357 Microplastics:

The DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre Microplastics links the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Earth Sciences at the University of Bayreuth. In its second funding period (2023-2026), the CRC 1357 investigates the biological effects of microplastics on various organisms, the transport of microplastics in and between air, water and soil, the formation and aging of microplastics and new approaches to solutions in the field of environmentally friendly plastics. A PhD within the CRC 1357 Microplastics means participating in an interdisciplinary team, working in an application-oriented research field and making a significant contribution to answering fundamental questions. PhD students can receive a structured professional and interdisciplinary qualification through the University of Bayreuth Graduate School and the BayNAT - PhD Program Interdisciplinary Microplastics Sciences and network intensively with PhD students from all participating disciplines.

Your task:

Within the theoretical project B06 “Behaviour and transport of microplastics in disturbed and undisturbed soils” you will investigate the transport of microplastic particles in natural soils. The goal of the project is to understand the physical mechanics which drive or hinder infiltration and transport through the porous soil matrix. You will heavily use methods of computational fluid dynamics such as Lattice-Boltzmann, Immersed-Boundary and Volume-of-Fluid. Due to the large separation of length scales, the project is very challenging from a numerical point of view.

For roughly one third of the project you will be concerned with developing an appropriate simulation code in C++/OpenCL. In the remaining two thirds, you will carry out large-scale simulations on local, national and European supercomputer facilities. You will collaborate closely with our experimental partners in Bayreuth and Cologne.

Your profile:

  • Successfully completed university degree (master's, diploma or equivalent degree) in theoretical physics, computational mathematics/engineering, geosciences or a similar discipline
  • Good programming skills are required
  • A background in fluid mechanics is desirable, but not explicitly required
  • Ability to work independently and in a structured manner
  • Commitment, high flexibility, team spirit
  • Very good knowledge of English (written and spoken)


What you can expect:

  • Constructive working atmosphere in a friendly, open-minded, interdisciplinary and international team
  • Independent research activity for a doctorate in basic and application-oriented research in a socially relevant topic
  • Doctorate in the structured doctoral program "Interdisciplinary Microplastics Science" with opportunities for further individual and interdisciplinary qualification
  • Network of exciting national and international scientists and the opportunity for research stays in other groups
  • Flexible working hours with option for extended home-office and remote work
  • Company health management
  • Compatibility of family and career

The University of Bayreuth values the diversity of its employees as an enrichment and is explicitly committed to the goal of equal opportunities for men and women. Women are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants with children are very welcome. The University of Bayreuth is a member of the Best Practice Club "Familie in der Hochschule e.V.", and has successfully participated in the HRK audit "Internationalization of the University". Persons with severe disabilities will be given preferential consideration if they are equally qualified.

More information and further job offers in the CRC 1357 can be found on the homepage of the CRC 1357 Microplastics. More information about the project on the homepage of the Biofluid Simulation and Modeling group.

Please apply online with meaningful application documents (letter of motivation, CV and references) via our Application Portal Uni Bayreuth.

Call identifier: SFB1357-B06

The documents will be deleted after filling the position according to the requirements of data protection.

Contact person for inquiries is Prof. Dr. Stephan Gekle:, Phone +49 921 55-4462