Doctoral Student in Structural Engineering
Lund University Faculty of Engineering

Lund University, LTH, Department of Building & Environmental Technology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Subject description
Structural engineering deals with the principles and methods for the design and detailing of load-bearing structures. The objective in design is to create structures with adequate safety and serviceability under the influence of relevant loads and actions during the intended service life of the structure. The core of the subject considers the performance and design of timber, concrete, masonry and steel structures. Another important aspect is structural reliability; a systematic approach for considering risks and uncertainties in design to ensure structural components and systems perform as intended with a sufficient degree of safety against failure, damage or loss of functionality. See the general syllabus for more information:

Project description
The PhD project mainly includes studies of uncertainties and how they affect the reliability of results from calculations of thermal and moisture performance of bio-based climate envelopes and the effect of these results on load-bearing systems in new and existing buildings. A specific aspect of this concerns considerations of uncertainty through general risk and decision based frameworks, but also by using probabilistic methods. Upcoming requirements for climate declarations of buildings will lead to an increased use of bio-based materials. To ensure the desired performance and durability over time, this development requires a holistic view on how different risks and uncertainties affect the composition of the climate envelope and the load-bearing system. Synergies are possible with an ongoing project investigating bio-based materials in the climate envelope creating possibilities for aquiring input information for the new studies. The uncertainties in the modeling may also increase further due to future climate change, the possibility of integrating this in the modelling will also be studied.

The uncertainties in modeling will be investigated using analytical models, computer modeling / simulations, field experiments and surveys / interviews. The final goal is to develop a risk based methodology, which may include probabilistic theory, that can be linked to ordinary calculation programs. Such programs can in turn be used by property owners, contractors, architects and others to predict the risk of moisture-related problems as well as the life span of different types of bio-based materials in climate envelopes and load-bearing systems.

Work duties
The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching within the field of structural engineering and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Structural Engineering if he or she has:

  • at least 90 credits in subjects of relevance to the field including at least 60 second-cycle credits and a second-cycle degree project of at least 30 credits in the field, or
  • a second-cycle degree in a relevant field.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. Ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Knowledge and skills in risk and reliability assessments/methods
  • Knowledge and skills in design of timber structures
  • Knowledge and skills in moisture calculations
  • Good oral and written proficiency in Swedish. 

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including max 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

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