Job ID: 151758

Ph.D. Student (Materials Science, Geology, Geochemistry, Construction Materials) University of Texas

University of Texas at Arlington

  • Dec. 18, 2020
  • Ph.D. Student (Materials Science, Geology, Geochemistry, Construction Materials) University of Texas
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • University of Texas at Arlington
    Arlington, TX
  • Open until filled
  • Available immediately
  • Graduate Student
  • Materials Sciences/Polymer Sciences
    Geology - Geochemistry
    Earth Sciences
    Chemistry - Physical
    Atmospheric Sciences
    Sciences - General

Subject: Open Ph.D. position at the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington

An educational leader in the thriving North Texas region, the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity. (

The Materials Science and Engineering Department is the oldest and most diversified program in North Texas. It is a university-wide, highly- interdisciplinary graduate program with eight core materials faculty and approximately 25 affiliated faculty spanning from physics and chemistry to electrical, mechanical, aerospace, civil and bio engineering. It offers minor, masters and doctoral degree programs in Materials Science and Engineering. It has courses in nanoscale materials and nanotechnology, magnetic, optical and energy materials, bio/nano materials, surface engineering, and thin film technology. The department’s growth is aided by high levels of research funding from NSF, NIH, DOE, ONR, NASA, DOD and other federal, industrial and state sources in the areas of micro/nano electronic devices, self-assembled nanomaterials, multifunctional nanocomposite thin films, biomaterials, optoelectronics, biosensor, solar cells and materials for clean energy, advanced lubricants, and coatings. (

See requirements for admission to UTA MS&E here: and here:,

The ideal applicant will have the following characteristics:
- B.S. or M.S. degree in geochemistry, materials science, geology, chemistry, earth sciences, or related fields
- Research experience in materials characterization (surface and bulk), and chemical analysis relevant to natural materials, ceramics, and related topics
- Competence in performing experiments with high attention to detail and diligence, and ability to abstract and infer conclusions from observations
- High level of motivation and capability to work both independently and with supervision
- Background in aqueous chemistry, mineral-water interactions, and earth materials

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Erika La Plante to develop alternative infrastructure materials through high-resolution investigations of low-temperature mineral-fluid processes (e.g., sorption, dissolution, nucleation). Approaches that will be implemented include experimental aqueous geochemistry and surface science. Studies will be performed using a combination of in situ (fluid cell) and ex situ microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, with focus on atomic force microscopy (AFM) and complementary techniques, to probe, among others: degradation processes under various environmental stimuli, control of physical and chemical properties of silicate, carbonate, and oxide materials, and characterizations of morphology and structure of films and bulk materials at the angstrom level. Interested applicants are invited to reply to this posting with their CV and a cover letter. Please send inquiries and applications to Applications will be reviewed as they are received for a Spring 2021 start date.

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Contact Information

  • Erika La Plante
    Materials Science and Engineering
    University of Texas at Arlington
    Arlington, TX 76019

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