Post-doctoral position: « Coupling of numerical solvers for large-scale wavepropagation from source to structure »

Scientific context and objectives

The Spectral Element Method (SEM) is currently very popular for large-scale wave propagation in geophysics, while the Finite Element Method (FEM) is much more widely used for vibration of structures in the context of Earthquake Engineering. This implies in particular that the two communities have developed efficient and validated solvers based on these two methods for their respective cases of interest. These cases of interest consider in particular non-linearities in the mechanical behavior (both for the soil and the structure) and uncertainties in the mechanical parameters. When aiming at computing the full seismic wave propagation path, from the fault to the structure, a natural approach would consist in coupling a SEM solver for the ground and a FEM solver for the structure. However, the space  discretization is different for the two methods (larger elements for high order methods). Likewise, the classical time discretization for the SEM is explicit with very small time steps, while it is implicit for the FEM, with larger time steps. These issues must be mitigated by appropriate numerical treatment at the interface or through a coupling volume. When considering wave propagation over large numbers of processing cores, the questions of synchronous computation and load balancing are essential, and will be of constant concern. The post-doctoral candidate will propose novel approaches for the coupling between SEM and FEM solvers (here SEM3D and Code Aster), and implement them in a High Performance Computing environment.

Research position

  • Duration : 1 year, plus possible renewal for 1 year.
  • Location : The applicant will join the MSSMat laboratory (, located on the campus of CentraleSupelec, in Ch^atenay-Malabry, France.
  • Net Salary : 2200 euros net per month (possibilities for cheap housing close to campus available upon request).

We seek for candidates with excellent skills in numerical methods and computational science.
An experience in mechanics or wave propagation would be appreciated, but not compulsory.

Applicants should send their curriculum vitae and statement of interest, or questions, to