Vacancies at FEMTO-ST

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AS2M : Soft Poly-Articulated Microrobots Embedding their Actuation for Force-Controlled Nanomanipulation

Context : Micromanipulators are becoming increasingly popular in a wide range of industrial and scientific applications, because they provide humans with the unique ability to perform manipulation, assembly, characterization and other tasks on objects smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Until now, such small dimensions made these objects inaccessible to the sense of touch, and many users were content with generally static, planar observations using powerful microscopes. Thousands of jobs have been created in just a few years, and dozens of start-ups have been set up in Europe, because these manipulators enable dynamic tasks to be carried out in 3D space, as well as controlling interactions between robots and objects of interest.[...]

Objectives of the thesis :The main aim of this thesis is to achieve a technological and methodological breakthrough, enabling the production of micromanipulators with on-board actuators, with dimensions of less than one cubic millimeter. This breakthrough is made possible by the recent development by our teams of two unique manufacturing processes. One involves bending glass and endowing it with muscles, while the other uses a 4D printing technique based on 2-photon polymerization. The aim of the thesis will be to study the principles of motion generation based on one of these 2 principles, to produce prototypes and to use them to carry out robotic tasks on applications of high societal or industrial interest available through the laboratory's collaborations.

Profile :  We are seeking a highly motivated, a team player, an open mind, and result-oriented candidate. The candidates are expected to have the following skills:

- Master degree in robotics, mechanical, mechatronics engineering or equivalent with distinction.

- Strong background in modelling of multi-physical systems, control, robotics, soft materials, and manufacturing (micromachining).

- strong interest in teamwork

- Familiar with Matlab, Python or C++, CAD software and Finite Element Methods.

- Interest/experience on experimental investigations/validations.

- Additional skills on computer vision and optics (lasers) might be appreciated

- skills about microscale aspects (design, fabrication, applications) can be developed during the thesis and are not a requirement for the recruitment process.

- Candidates must be fluent in English. French would be an advantage but not necessary.


Applied Mechanics : "Development of hybrid microfabrication processes with environmental analysis"

Context : Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are devices that combine mechanical, optical, or electromagnetic elements with electronics. They serve as sensors and/or actuators capable of interacting with their environment. These devices are ubiquitous in many modern applications, ranging from automotive sensors to implantable medical devices.[...]Various works have been conducted at FEMTO-ST in the field of micro-machining. In particular, the fabrication of molds using cleanroom technologies for micro-injection of polymers has been developed [2]. This manufacturing process could be an option for replacing silicon parts. The mold can also be produced using various technologies available at the MIFHySTO platform. Among these, wire electro-discharge machining allows for the creation of micrometer-scale patterns in ceramic materials [3].

PhD objective: The objective of the thesis is the development of hybrid micro-manufacturing processes for the fabrication of autonomous sensor components for structural health monitoring. Environmental analysis will be fully integrated into the process development approach. It will be based on the creation or selection of relevant environmental criteria to optimize from an environmental perspective. The proposed thesis work complements the activities of the European project FEDER-FSE+ SAMI in collaboration with the University of Franche-Comté, SUPMICROTECH ENSMM, and the companies SilMach and Axon’ Nanotec. It also lays the foundation for the directions defined in the MICRO team's project.

Applicant Profile :The candidate must hold a Master's degree or equivalent in the field of materials mechanics and machining processes. Knowledge in the field of life cycle analysis will be a plus. Only candidates with excellent grades in their Bachelor's and Master's degrees will be considered. Detail-oriented, motivated, and environmentally conscious, the candidate should have a profile indicating skills in mechanical design, as well as a strong preference for experimental characterization and microfabrication.

Deadline : 24 May 2024


OPTICS : Supercontinuum Generation for Next-Generation Tunable Ultrafast Lasers

Context : Interested in a European project bridging laser physics, fiber optics, and nonlinear optics? Want to make a fundamental and societal impact with your research? Consider applying for a 3-year PhD position at the FEMTO-ST research institute. Join a highly skilled and dedicated team of scientists and play a key role in developing new fiber designs for innovative applications in ultrafast laser technologies and supercontinuum sources.

In this position, you'll conduct advanced scientific research in photonics, focusing on photonic crystal fibers for nonlinear optics. Your responsibilities will include designing and developing state-of-the-art ultra-stable supercontinuum sources. The primary objective is to design the next generation of polarization-maintaining all-normal dispersion optical fibers for ultra-stable supercontinuum generation in the visible to near-infrared range from 0.6 µm to 1.4 µm. The ultimate goal is to develop supercontinuum-seeded optical parametric sources through optical parametric amplification (OPA) from 0.7 µm to 2 µm and direct difference frequency generation (DFG) from 3 µm to 10 µm, driven by novel high-repetition-rate ultrafast Ytterbium lasers. This platform will offer high versatility in emission wavelength, pulse duration, and power/energy control.

This thesis will be carried out in the Optics Department of the FEMTO-ST institute (UBFC) as part of the European Project VISUAL, in collaboration with Amplitude Systems and Fastlite companies, the University of Lille, and INPHYNI in Nice.

For further details, please refer to the project website https://horizon-visual.eu/ and this review paper: T. Sylvestre et al., J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 38, 90-103 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1364/JOSAB.439330


ENERGY : Modelling and multi-criteria evaluation of the integration of centralized and distributed long-term energy storage in an island context

Description : Non-interconnected areas, including the French islands, suffer from an energy mix that is both more carbon-intensive and more expensive than mainland France. These areas are also highly dependent on imports of fossil fuels, especially oil, for electricity production and transport. La Réunion is an example of this, with, in 2022, an average electricity production cost of more than €280/MWh, an 85% energy dependency rate, 65% of the final energy consumption used for transport, and only 14% of renewable energy in primary energy consumption [1]. La Réunion has moved closer to 100% renewable electricity production by 2024, through the conversion of thermal power plants to biomass and bioliquids. However, the environmental impacts of these solutions are questionable, as is the choice to resort to importing wood from other continents. By 2030, the island is also aiming for complete energy self-sufficiency, which seems very ambitious.

The ANR HyLES project, which ends in 2024 and is coordinated by FEMTO-ST, has enabled a study of the energy mix and the role of hydrogen for the 2030 and 2050 horizons, according to different scenarios [2] based on a modelling of production (particularly renewable), consumption, means of transport and the electricity transmission network. This work has shown the need for long-term storage (in addition to short-term storage on the scale of a few hours) on the scale of the island, but the question cannot be studied within the project due to lack of time. The work also pointed out the great difficulty in covering the needs necessary for the decarbonization of the aviation sector while that of the maritime sector would be conceivable

Skills/Qualifications :
Master's or engineering degree in electrical, energy or applied mathematics engineering. Experience with Python programming. Written and oral proficiency in English and French. Ability to write and present in English. Interest in energy issues and transitions. Interest in interdisciplinary work.

Languages : ENGLISH - Level : Excellent
FRENCH - Level : Excellent

Work Location : FEMTO-ST Energy - Dept SHARPAC - Belfort, France

Application deadline : 1/06/2024


Applied Mechanics : "Integrating strain-hardening and damping behaviour of plant fibre composites in the design of structures for high performance applications"

Applied Mecanics offer a PhD position as part of a major European project focusing on fully bio-based composites.
The main aim of the thesis is to optimise the structural damping performance and stiffness/damping ratio of biobased composites in the design rules for structures such as wind turbine blades.

Context :SSUCHY-Next: Developing the supply chains for industrial hemp fibre and bio-based resins towards high performance circular bio-based composites

SSUCHY-Next is a European project funded in the frame of the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU), a partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). SSUHY-Next builds further where a previous European project (SSUCHY, www.ssuchy.eu) stopped in 2022. Ambition is to bring different parts of the hemp fibre supply chain to TRL 7, through production at scale of various fibre products, covering the complete value chain from field to composite.

Profile requirements :
▪ Student (Master 2 or final year of engineering school) in mechanics of sustainable materials and structures, mechanics of materials for engineering.
▪ Knowledge and skills in composite materials (manufacturing, testing and modelling).
▪ Software: proficient with Matlab and FEM
▪ Curious, self-motivated, hard-worker
▪ English: fluent reading, writing and speaking with ease.


AS2M : Sub millimetric robot for lab-on-chip

Context :The treatment of a huge number of diseases, including cancers, is tightly related to our capacity of understanding and harnessing the development of cell populations. Characterization, sorting and manipulation of these cells are thus tremendous challenges for therapies of the future. These last years, significant progress have been made, especially due to the development of lab on chip devices. These devices are composed of micrometric fluidic channels and include several detection and characterization stages.

Goal : To tackle this challenge, this thesis will focus on the design of novel hydraulic robotic architecture small enough to be include inside a sub millimetric lab-on-chip. The final aim of such microrobot being to perform the folowing key tasks: cell sorting, cell characterisation and cell injection.

Research profil : we are seeking enthusiastic candidate interested in working in a muldisciplinary environment. The candidate should have a strong background in at least one of this domain mechatronics, robotics, control and/or programming (C++, Matlab), microfabrication as well as an interest for applied physics. The candidate should have good command of spoken and written English. No specific background is required in biology.

Main Location: Institut FEMTO-ST (Besançon, France)
Second Location: Imperial college London (United Kingdom). This project is part of a collaboration CNRS and Imperial College. Opportunity of Weeks to months period in London will be available.

Applications should be sent before 30 mai with a covering letter, CV and transcript of grades for the last two years to :


MN2S :"Development and characterisation of chemical micro-sensors gas sensors for integration into smart textiles.

MINAMAS Team from MN2S Department offer a PhD is part of the European project UPWEARS (HORIZON-CL4-2023-RESILIENCE-01-32), which involves collaboration among 15 European and international
partners. The project is centered on the development of sustainable and innovative textiles using plant-based fibers for the sports textile industry. Its main objective is to integrate chemical micro-sensors into these textiles to enable continuous monitoring of air pollutant exposure.

The doctoral research will be conducted within the Micro Nano Sciences and Systems Dpt (MN2S) at the FEMTO-ST Institute located in Besançon. This institute is renowned for its cutting-edge technologies, advanced equipment, and specialized platforms, notably including the micro and nanotechnology facility known as MIMENTO. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to conduct experiments at Scion in New Zealand. Scion is New Zealand Forest Research Institute with
expertise in biomaterials and sustainable electronics.

Profile : Master’s degree in materials, chemistry, engineering sciences. Ability to define and conduct experiments.
We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to work in an international environment, interacting with international partners in Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, UK, New Zealand.
The candidate will have acquired skills in literature review, written and oral communication in English. An experience in computer programming and signal processing would be a bonus.

Applicants are invited to submit their application to the PhD supervisors.
Application must contain the following documents:
• CV
• Cover letter
• At least 1 reference letter
• Master’s results (M1, M2)

Application deadline : May 15th  2024


AS2M Uncertainty evaluation associated to small forces generation between 100 nN and 100 µN with magnetic springs

The PhD thesis is proposed within the framework of the ANR TRAFALDA project, which started on February 29, 2024. This project is carried out in collaboration with the French metrology. The FEMTO-ST Institute is the project leader. The ambition of the TRAFALDA project is to demonstrate that the French metrology is capable to deal with a new range of forces below 100 µN in a way that is traceable to the SI, and that it can implement a metrological calibration approach for small force measurements in a specific case of biomechanical characterization.

It deals with the uncertainty evaluation associated to small forces generation between 100 nN and 100 µN with magnetic springs – Application to the calibration of a platform dedicated to the mechanical characterization of human oocytes for in

Keywords: small forces generation, force metrology, uncertainty estimation, magnetic springs, mechatronics, instrumentation, observation and control theory, human oocyte characterization

Location: FEMTO-ST Institute, Besançon, France, in the ROBIMSS team of the AS2M department. This team has developed genuine expertise in the generation of small forces of less than 100 µN using self-stabilizing magnetic springs for small-scale mechanical characterization. It is also interested in the metrology of small forces, in order to quantify the quality of forces generated or measured.

Application: open until the end of June 2024.

Starting date: between June and October 2024.


MN2S : Effect of environment gaseous contamination on dry lubrication – In space applications

Partners: The PhD thesis is a collaboration between the French Space Agency (CNES, https://cnes.fr/fr/), ADR Alcen (https://www.adr-alcen.com/en), and Institut FEMTO-ST (https://www.femto-st.fr/en), under CNES PhD program.
Location: FEMTO-ST Institute, Besançon, France, in the Micro-Nano Sciences and Systems Department (MN2S). The MINAMAS (Micro-Nano Materials and Surfaces) team specializes in the physical, and tribological study of thin films, nanomaterials and solid/gas interaction. It has developed strong expertise in multi-environment lubrication, and nanomechanical characterization of tribological materials, particularly for space mechanisms.

Starting date: October 2024
Application: online on https://recrutement.cnes.fr/fr/annonces from February 1st to March 15th, 2024, subject REF : 24-129