PhD position-Combinatorial monitoring of the composition-dependent microstructure dynamics in steel

Context & Job description

This PhD project is a collaborative work between ESRF, SIMAP laboratory of Univ. Grenoble Alpes, and the industrial partner ArcelorMittal. The context of this work is to develop a high throughput experimental methodology to feed data-driven alloy design and industrial process control. You will join beamline ID31’s team at the ESRF. ID31 is a versatile instrument suited for fast high energy diffraction (HEXRD) measurements. The aim of the PhD project is to develop the methodology of high-throughput, time- and space-resolved in-situ HEXRD, aiming at monitoring in a combinatorial way the compositional dependence of the phase transformation dynamics in advanced steels. You will have to develop the fabrication of compositionally-graded steels from diffusion couples under controlled atmosphere, the implementation of time- and space-resolved fast diffraction experiments at the beamline (furnace adaptation and fast movement, data synchronization), and the use of the very large sets of data obtained to feed physical models for phase transformations and/or machine learning approaches. Strategic scientific cases defined with the industrial partner include: ferrite-to-austenite transformation and cementite dissolution during heating, bainitic transformation in 3rd generation advanced high strength steels, and precipitation of carbides in bainitic and martensitic steels.

Further information may be obtained from Veijo Honkimäki (tel.: +33 (0)4 76 88 27 25, email: and from Alexis Deschamps (+33 (0)6 80 27 19 05, email:

Expected profile

  • Degree allowing enrolment for a PhD (such as MSc, Master 2 de Recherche, Laurea or equivalent) in physics, materials science, chemistry or closely related science
  • A background in experimentation is desirable, and knowledge of phase transformations and/or X-ray diffraction is desired
  • Manual skills and rigorous attention to detail are essential in this work environment, as well as some programming proficiency for data analysis
  • Proficiency in English (A proof of upper-intermediate level would be advantageous and can be provided in the application. Applicants originating from native-English-speaking countries can apply without the need for proof of level. An official degree conducted in English will be also accepted as a proof; Students without proof upper-intermediate level may still apply and their level of English will be checked during the interview).
  • Compliance with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie mobility rule: candidates may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than twelve months in the three years immediately before the date of recruitment.
  • At the date of recruitment, early-stage researchers must be in the first four years of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Candidates must satisfy eligibility criteria according to the partner university requirements for PhD enrolment.

More details about the application procedure on

Working conditions

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral school of University of Grenoble Alps and based full-time at the ESRF (Grenoble, France), other than a 4-month secondment to ArcelorMittal (Maizières les Metz, France). Additional visits totaling no more than 3 months may be made to the SIMAP laboratory of University of Grenoble Alps when needed, as well as some visits to IJL laboratory in Nancy, France, when present at ArcelorMittal. Furthermore, a varied pedagogical training programme will be offered to the successful candidate throughout the 3-year PhD project.

More details on the InnovaXN programme on

Company description

InnovaXN is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND programme providing an opportunity for 40 industrial companies to work with 40 PhD students, performing advanced research and exploiting the unique characterisation techniques of the ESRF and ILL. Through collaborations with industry, innovation will be the central theme of the programme. This will provide a unique cross academic-industry science setting, secondment opportunities and society-relevant research, training the future key researchers able to tackle major research and societal challenges.

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