Internship: Designing physical systems with intelligent behavior, GPU simulation of smart structures.

Date posted March 1, 2022
Type Scientific Internships
Physical systems can be designed to respond intelligently to external stimuli. For example, we have recently show that we can design a resonating structure that vibrates differently in response to different spoken commands . This offers the tantalizing opportunity to build zero-energy smart devices, as such structure can be used to detect verbal commands without a battery.
It is exceedingly difficult to figure out how should we shape a physical system, so it presents a desirable intelligent behavior (e.g., it reacts to the word we have chosen, for example, vibrating only when we say ‘Hey Alexa’). To do so, we use computational optimization. Computational optimization requires simulating many different systems and comparing their performance, a slow process.

To solve this problem, we plan to use graphics cards to speed up simulations. Graphics processing units, GPU’s can solve a massive number of identical problems in parallel. Therefore, they have exciting potential in optimization problems where we need to simulate many configurations. The goal of this internship is to develop GPU-accelerated tools to simulate multiple physical systems massively in parallel. We are looking for a person interested in computational physics who enjoys tinkering with computer codes. Prerequisites are knowledge of C++ and Python, and an interest in nonlinear dynamics simulation. GPU-programming expertise is not necessary but valuable.

The experience gained during this internship will be a significant asset for a student interested in a career in computational physics or in software development. The resulting codes will be made accessible online, helping the student set up a project portfolio. The simulations will be part of publishable scientific research of which the student will be offered the possibility of becoming co-author.

About the group

The hypersmart matter group investigates the processing of information by structured elastic materials. We combine an applied drive to answer the low-energy and ubiquitous computing needs of the future, with a fundamental interest to understand the limits and principles that govern information processing in physical systems. To achieve these goals, we combine advances in simulation and modelling with cleanroom fabrication techniques.


You have a Bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry or biology and will participate in a Master study during the entire internship period. The internship is open to master’s degree candidates from a range of backgrounds, including Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related field. We are looking for ambitious candidates who are excited about computational methods in science and engineering.

The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. Please note: As of January 2021 the UK is no longer an EU member state. You must be available for at least 6 months.

Terms of employment

At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your AMOLF supervisor.

Contact info

Dr. Marc Serra Garcia
Group leader Hypersmart matter
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7201

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  List of followed courses plus grades.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

AMOLF is highly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment. Hence, we greatly encourage candidates from any personal background and perspective to apply.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.