Fully Funded PhD Positions At The University Of Maine

The University Of Maine is looking for PhD students to join Dr. Xiaoxiao Zhao’s group in the Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine (starting in Aug 2024 or Jan 2025). Their research interest focuses on surface and interface engineering, an interdisciplinary field encompassing the disciplines of mechanical engineering, material science, chemistry, and biomedical engineering.

Their research goal is to understand the fundamental physicochemical mechanics of liquid-solid and solid- solid interfaces for designing materials with desirable surface properties and functionalities.

The successful candidates will work on implementing surface and interface engineering in sustainable materials, manufacturing, and water scarcity. This involves (1) tailoring and strengthening sustainable per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS)-free coatings for diverse environmental-friendly applications, (2) developing highly efficient and sustainable strategies for PFAS removal and degradation, (3) micro/nanopatterning of complex thermoplastic structures for applications in microelectronics and optical devices, and (4) developing energy-efficient air moisture extraction strategies for universal and equitable access to drinking water.

Education and Qualifications:

A BS or MS degree in Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering or related areas. If the candidate is international, they should also include TOEFL (>80) or IELTS (>6.5) scores.


Applicants should email Dr. Xiaoxiao Zhao (xiaoxiao.zhao@maine.edu) a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a brief statement that discuss research ideas and future career goals. The successful applicant is expected to start in Aug 2024 or Jan 2025. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

About the University of Maine and the Department of Mechanical Engineering:

The University of Maine is a Carnegie R1 top-tier research institution. The University of Maine is a land, sea and space grant university, and maintains a leadership role as the University of Maine System’s flagship institution.

More information about the University of Maine is at umaine.edu.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has an ABET-accredited BS program as well as MS and PhD degree programs. The Mechanical Engineering Department is housed in the brand-new Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center, a 115,000 sf, $78-million state-of-the-art teaching and laboratory facility on the UMaine campus in Orono.

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