Scientific Internship: 3D printing microscale responsive structures

Date posted September 15, 2017
Type Scientific Internships

The Soft Robotic Matter group at AMOLF is looking for interns at the Master level that will work on the development and testing of a technique to print soft and responsive structures at the microscale. The structures need to respond in a pre-determined way to global external stimuli. The ultimate goal of this project is to fabricate new types of architected materials that can adapt their properties to changes in their environment. In this project, we seek to develop reproducible actuators composed of hydrogels. This material has an enormous range of applications from biology to soft robotics, as it can be actuated by several stimuli e.g. heat, light or changes in pH, resulting in large shape-changes. In this project the student will learn the necessary techniques for 3D printing the material, including a microscale printer and working in a cleanroom environment. Moreover, the student will also learn techniques to test and characterize the printed structures by operating electronic and special optical microscopes. The exact research line will depend on the background and interest of the student, but there will be enough guidance from the members of the group with different specializations ranging from engineering to physics with additional technical support.

About the group

The Soft Robotic Matter group is part of the Designer Matter initiative, a recently started research line at AMOLF. The group focuses on the design, fabrication and fundamental understanding of materials that are capable of autonomously adapting to – and even harnessing – variations in their environment. We aim to uncover principles that help us understand how non-linearity and feedback can result in the emergence of complex – but useful – behavior in soft actuated systems. To this end, the Soft Robotic Matter group explores active and sensing elements to implement feedback capabilities and computation in soft architected materials, and uses a combination of computational, experimental and analytical tools. This line of research uniquely combines concepts from soft robotics and architected materials, providing new and exciting opportunities in the design of compliant structures and devices with highly non-linear behavior. See also:


The internship is open to candidates from a range of backgrounds, including Engineering, Physics, Material science or a related field. The Soft Robotic Matter group is looking for a highly motivated candidate with a go-getter mentality. Preferably, the candidate has a strong experimental background, in combination with a sound appetite for analytical work. Experience in additive manufacturing, micro- and nanofabrication or similar fabrication techniques is an advantage, but not required. Excellent verbal and written communication skills (in English) are essential.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. You must be available for at least 3, but preferable more than 5 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. ir. Bas Overvelde
Group leader Soft Robotic Matter
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

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–  Resume;
–  List of followed courses plus grades.
–  Motivation letter (max. 1 page).
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