Triply Periodic Minimal SurfaceThis Ph.D. program has an interdisciplinary feature aiming to combine fundamental fields such as mathematics and physics with cutting edge engineering of advanced materials and the development of innovative photonic and electronic devices.

In addition to the close links between mathematics and physics, several research areas of both fields have strong bidirectional connections with many engineering sectors too.

In the obvious direction towards applications lie areas of mathematics such as optimization and control theory, qualitative and numerical analysis of partial differential equations, advanced mathematical modelling and computational methods. Similarly, the physics of micro and nanostructured materials and the study of the interaction between electromagnetic fields and matter continuously led to important applications in electronic and photonic technologies, including plasmonics, spintronics, innovative magnetic materials and quantum technologies.

In the opposite direction, new technically demanding physics experiments, such as those typical of high-energy physics, require cutting edge technological solutions coming from electrical and materials engineering, as well as from information and data science. At the same time the development of applications of polymeric, ceramic, metallic, hybrid, possibly nanostructured, materials as well as microstructured complex liquids require sophisticated mathematical models based on the thermodynamics of multicomponent structures, on transport phenomena, multiscale simulation of composite materials, computational fluid dynamics of homogeneous, heterogeneous and rheological complex fluids. All these issues led in recent years to the development of new methods of mathematical analysis and numerical simulation.

This Ph.D program lies at the intersection of all these different paths. It aims to provide future researchers and technologists with sound mathematical and physical grounds to be used to solve challenging engineering problems and to develop innovative technologies and exploit them for the further advancement of knowledge.

Fabio Ambrosino
Università di Napoli Federico II

Francesco Calabrò
Università di Napoli Federico II

Michel Devoret
Yale University, New Haven

Rosario Fazio
Università di Napoli Federico II & ICTP, Trieste

Massimo Franceschetti
University of California, San Diego

Nicola Fusco
Università di Napoli Federico II

Andrey Golutvin
Imperial College of London

John Hogan
University of Bristol

Pier Luca Maffettone
Università di Napoli Federico II

Carlo Mantegazza
Università di Napoli Federico II

Lorenzo Marrucci
Università di Napoli Federico II

Giuseppe Mensitieri
Università di Napoli Federico II

Carlo Nitsch
Università di Napoli Federico II

Felix Otto
Max Planck Institut für Mathematik in Naturwissenschaften,Leipzig

Guglielmo Rubinacci
Università di Napoli Federico II

Endre Süli
University of Oxford


Admission to the PhD program is based on qualifications and an interview. A master’s degree or equivalent is required (a four or five years bachelor’s degree from an elite University may occasionally be considered equivalent).

Applicants will provide a CV and a brief description of their research interests. At least one but no more than 3 reference letters are also required. Among all applicants, a short list will be selected for the interview.

Duration: 4 years

Grant: Every year SSM offers 6 positions for this Ph.D. program. Each grant is 19,000€ per year. Every grant comes with extra funds for research activity.


The Ph.D. program has a duration of four years. First year will be mostly focused on classwork and study while the remaining years will be mainly devoted to research activities.

Here follows a list of the main subjects of interest:

  • Computational electromagnetics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Continuum mechanics
  • Differential geometry
  • Experimental methods in fundamental physics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Fundamental-physics sensors and resulting technologies
  • Micromagnetics
  • Modelling and simulation of soft matter
  • Multiscale modelling of materials
  • Partial differential equations (qualitative and a numerical analysis)
  • Plasmonic and metamaterials
  • Physics of complex materials and related devices
  • Quantum information and quantum simulation
  • Thermodynamics and constitutive equations of materials

First year

First year students should obtain 60 credits by performing the following activities:

- taking elective Ph.D. courses provided by the School, other universities or research centers  passing the corresponding exams or assessment tests.

- attendance to seminars, summers schools and workshops organized by the School, other universities or research centers (up to 5 credits)

- participation to laboratory activities or projects or research activities carried on by research groups operating within the School or other scientific institutions (up to 10 credits)

Second year

During this year student should obtain 24 credits by attendingseminars, summers schools and workshops organized by the School, other universities or research centers. The remaining 36 credits will be allocated for research activities.

Third year

All 60 credits will be devoted to research activity.

Fourth year

A total of 60 credits will be devoted to research activity and preparation of the Ph.D thesis.

Research Activity

At the beginning of the second year, students will communicate to the Ph.D. coordinator the name of the thesis supervisor they have chosen. The supervisor can be either a member of the Ph.D. program board or an external professor or researcher. In the latter case, the choice of supervisor must be approved by the Ph.D. board.

After completing the required credits, in order to be admitted to the second year, students must give a talk on a topic of their choice in front of a committee formed by members of the Ph.D. board. The talks will be also attended by all other Ph.D. students. 

In order to be admitted to the subsequent years, students will present a report on the progress of their research. The report will be evaluated by the Ph.D. board.

During the Ph.D. program students are required to visit other scientific institutions for a period of at least nine months, even if not continuous.

Training and soft skills

These activities will be organized together with the other Ph.D. programs of the School and with the University of Napoli Federico II.

Italian language courses for foreigners as well as English, German, French and Spanish courses are available at the University Federico II.

Short training courses on project development and proposal writing will be organized by the School. To this aim, meetings are planned with young recipients of ERC, FIRB and other grants.

This Ph.D. program favours scientific exchanges and visits of students and researchers. Here is a list of the main scientific institutions with which collaborations with members of the Ph.D. board exist:


  • CERN, Geneva
  • Department of Applied Physics, Yale University
  • Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
  • Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University
  • Department of Materials, ETH, Zürich
  • Department of Mathematics, Technische Universität, München
  • Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
  • Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT Boston
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Technology, Eindhoven
  • Department of Physics, Imperial College, London
  • Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona
  • Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
  • Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Natural Sciences, Lipsia
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University
  • Stanford Linear Accelerators Center, Stanford University


SSM - Scuola Superiore Meridionale