Internship or Master's thesis

Finite Element Implementation of a Micromagnetic Model

Ref. 2023_005

IBM Research Zurich is one of IBM's 11 Global Research Labs. We are leading the research agenda for tomorrow's information technology. In addition to breakthrough technology innovations, we build strong relationships with academic and industrial partners to be one of the best places to work for world-class researchers.

We have an exciting opening for an

Internship or Master Thesis Project in Finite Element Implementation of a Micromagnetic Model


The internship will focus on the development of a variational formulation of a micromagnetic model that will be numerically implemented in finite elements. The resulting software will be used to simulate the write transducers used in magnetic recording systems.


Micromagnetics is an indispensable tool used to understand the physics underlying the behavior of magnetic systems and to guide experiments through parameter spaces that would otherwise be too vast to explore. The governing equations include effects that arise from quantum mechanics that are essential to describing ferromagnetism but also ensure a classical continuum description of the magnetization field. To solve a micromagnetic problem numerically, one must approximate the continuum model in a discrete fashion. Two popular approaches are the finite difference (FD) and finite element (FE) methods. Open-source packages such as MuMax and OOMMF use FD-based algorithms, where the governing equations are solved by discretizing the space with a regular grid and by approximating derivatives by finite differences. Although powerful, FD based solutions have limitations. Typical models simulate length scales ranging from a few nanometers to tens of micrometers, and concern phenomena that take place on the picosecond timescale. Thus, simulating engineering-relevant systems can become computationally cumbersome.

Job description

The goal of the internship is to implement a variational formulation of the micromagnetic model using the finite element method. You will implement your model in high performance software and assess performance, accuracy and robustness in systems involving ferromagnetic objects with complex shapes. The resulting software will be used to conduct high-fidelity simulations of systems relevant to magnetic data storage technologies.

Your profile

The internship is open to masters and PhD students in engineering, computational science, physics or related disciplines. Programming experience (e.g., Python, Fenics) or HPC experience will be helpful.


IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.

How to apply

If you are interested in this exciting position, please submit your most recent curriculum vitae.

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