PhD position on Modelling and Predictive Rendering of Materials Using Microgeometry

Tuesday 01 Jun 21

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Apply no later than 23 June 2021
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We can do computer graphics better. Commonly used methods for appearance modelling are based on coarse approximations of aggregate reflections that do not fully capture light-matter interactions at the microscopic level. By faithfully tracing light at the microscopic level, we could achieve high fidelity rendering of most optical phenomena. Unfortunately, doing this in a naive fashion would also restrict us to simple scenes and truly glacial rendering times. The overarching goal of this project is to marry doing it right with some measure of efficiency to achieve a method that will allow for stunning realism and reasonable offline rendering times.

To be more precise, this PhD project is on predictive rendering based on an understanding of the surface and the subsurface microstructure of materials. The research task will be to develop a methodology for modelling the microgeometry of materials, and to use materials modelled in this fashion to describe the appearance of objects during rendering. A key challenge is modelling of microgeometry and representation of the variation of the microgeometry across the surface and throughout the volume of products designed for manufacture. The project can be approached with a very mathematical mindset, via an approach informed by physics, through machine learning, or, perhaps most fruitfully, by combining these outlooks. Thus, we are looking for an intrepid, open-minded, and exploratory candidate.

This PhD position is one of 15 early stage researcher (ESR) positions in an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The ITN is called PRIME (Predictive Rendering In Manufacture and Engineering,  

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be working with predictive rendering, which is a computer graphics research discipline conjoining mathematical modelling, computer science, and physics. In this position, you will therefore

  • Compose mathematical models mapping the interaction of light and microgeometry of materials to rendered images.
  • Implement rendering techniques.
  • Validate models by comparing with photographs of real items.
  • Use learning-based techniques for representing geometry and light scattering.
  • Write scientific papers and present research results at conferences.
  • Work as a teaching assistant in two or three 5 ECTS modules.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Formal Requirements

  • Master’s degree in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Physics or Engineering.
  • No PhD degree.
  • Less than 4 years of professional employment after obtaining your master’s degree
  • Less than 12 months of residency in Denmark in the last 3 years

Technical Proficiency

  • Advanced knowledge in the field of computer graphics.
  • Foundations in calculus, optics/physics, and geometric modelling.
  • Strong programming skills.
  • Some experience with deep learning techniques.

Soft Skills Requirements

  • Fluent spoken and written English. Minimum proficiency level is B2, C1 is definitely preferred.
  • Self-reliant working style
  • Curious and ambitious personality.
  • Prior research and publication experience is considered a definite plus, but is not required.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professors Jeppe Revall Frisvad, Associate Professor Andreas Bærentzen, and Project Manager Rebecca Engberg.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

The project includes secondment (research stay of a few months) with one or more of the partners in the PRIME consortium. More information at

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Jeppe Revall Frisvad, email:

You can read more about DTU Compute at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 23 June 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Compute is a unique and internationally recognized academic environment spanning the science disciplines mathematics, statistics, computer science, and engineering. We conduct research, teaching and innovation of high international standard—producing new knowledge and technology-based solutions to societal challenges. We have a long-term involvement in applied and interdisciplinary research, big data and data science, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), smart and secure societies, smart manufacturing, and life science.

In the Section for Image Analysis and Computer Graphics, we explore the interplay of vision, graphics, and geometry. The section roughly consists of 10 senior members of the department faculty, 25 PhD students, and 5 postdocs. The group of people is international, and the work language is English. The section and the university offer many lab facilities for imaging, additive manufacturing, high-performance computing, and optical experiments. The department is an internationally unique academic environment spanning mathematics, statistics, and computer science and strives to achieve research excellence in these disciplines of formal science.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.