Doctoral Studies

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Do you have your Master's degree in your hand and are now wondering what's next? Are you considering doctoral studies and would like more information about what it is like working as an academic staff member at Construction Materials Division?

Some information...

The ibac is one of the largest building research institutes in Germany. The Construction Materials Division is led by Professor Thomas Matschei and apl. Professor Anja Vollpracht and current employs 16 academic staff members, who work in four different groups with varying focus areas.

Aside from teaching and basic research, application-oriented research and materials testing that are closely aligned with industry play a primary role in daily work.

What are my responsibilities as an academic staff member?

As an academic staff member your responsibilities are diverse and serve to train and prepare you for a career as a manager and leader. Contact to industry is an important component in addition to working on demanding research topics. You learn to acquire, plan, and implement your own projects and material testing contracts, and in doing so, to appropriately employ colleagues, funds, and equipment.

Participation in international conferences, where you can present your research results, is just as important as collaborative work in national and international working groups and committees. Last but not least, you will be involved in preparing and giving classes.

Structured inclusion and supervision by the group leader and professors ensure a high level of training.

What prerequisites should I have in order to be able to work as an academic staff member?

  • Smooth and completed studies in civil engineering, chemistry or mineralogy with a good final average grade
  • Knowledge in the field of building materials
  • Communication and teamwork skills
  • A goal-oriented work method
  • Very good German skills
  • Very important: interest in a scientific work with the aim of doctoral studies is crucial

What does the Construction Materials Division offer you?

  • A workplace with a young, motivated team
  • Diverse opportunities for continuing education
  • Preparation for the responsibilities as a manager
  • Interesting and ambitious topics in research and materials testing
  • Outstanding technical, chemical, and physical facilities
  • Well-structured and effective service
  • The ibac is an institute at RWTH Aachen University, which has been an Excellence University since 2007.
  • Located in Aachen – an attractive city at the heart of Europe

How long does it take to complete doctoral studies?

It is not possible to determine the duration since personal development and changes in the research landscape cannot always be predicted. The Chair has a handbook for introducing new employees, which includes individual steps of development. Your time at the Chair primarily includes work on the research and industry projects under the direction of the respective group leader, contributions to teaching, and later, independent project work. Once an employee has settled in accordingly, they will also be responsible for larger projects.

On average, it takes five to six years for an academic staff member to leave the Institute with a doctorate in engineering. After an intensive training in the beginning the candidate determines a dissertation topic and begins to work intensively on the topic.

How much do I earn?

Employees are paid based on TV-L 13/1. Unmarried individuals without children would roughly receive a gross pay of 4,000 Euros a month. If a candidate has previous professional experience, it is possible to be paid accordingly. You can find additional information in the Wage Agreement of the Federal States.

What prospects do I have as an engineer with a doctorate in building materials?

The question is often asked whether it's worth pursuing doctoral studies in the building sector. This can't be answered simply. The answer depends on how you envision your professional future.

A doctorate is looked at favorably in fields such as research and development departments and technical offices at internationally active construction companies. A doctoral degree is also helpful when pursuing self-employment as a surveyor or in an engineering firm. Last but not least, engineers with a doctorate in concrete technologies also have the option of pursuing an academic career.

The effect of doctoral studies is often underestimated by young graduates and it can be attractive to quickly enter the workforce. However, after a few years of employment doctoral studies can be a deciding advantage for attaining higher positions. A survey of the engineers with a doctorate at RWTH Aachen showed that half of the candidates already held a management position after one to two years.

Does our profile interest you and you would like to apply?

Take a look at our current job openings.
You are also welcome to send an unsolicited application via mail or email to:

Institute of Building Materials Research at RWTH Aachen University
Construction Materials
Sigrid Hubatsch
Schinkelstr. 3
52062 Aachen
Phone: +49 241 80 95102