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PhD student in Structural Engineering, Sweden


The Structural Engineering research subject, at the Division of Structural and Fire Engineering at Luleå University of Technology seeks to employ a PhD student to work with advanced methodology for optimization of material, design and execution regarding concrete bridge decks. The position is included in a national research project on sustainable bridge decks with financing from Swedish Transport Administration and the building industry (SBUF by NCC AB).

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering includes, design, construction, repair and upgrading of buildings and structures. Special consideration is given to environmental, health and safety issues related to concrete and composite materials, their properties and interaction with other materials. The research group currently consists of approximately 30 senior researchers and PhD students.

Both undergraduate programs and research are closely linked with the construction industry and other universities and institutions. Approximately 70% of our funding is externally funded. Therefore the ability to broadcast the research in both national and international forums is of great importance. We also have a strong focus on conducting research that is applicable and useful to the community and industry. We are proud of the fact that so many of our projects have resulted in technological innovations.

Efficient research is a key phrase at Structural Engineering and process orientation philosophy has been established within the research group. PhD education is such a process supported by individual study plans and main- and co supervisors. The PhD students work together to ensure maximum output and value from research and studies alike and it is included in the education that the candidates will be expected to participate in teaching.

Avoidance of cracking bridge decks

A sustainable society needs infrastructures like bridges, railways, roads, harbors and dams, that is durable and have a high functionality. Parts of the infrastructure are constructed in an intensive rate while other parts feature an age larger than 100 years. Road bridges are very common in Sweden; the Swedish Transport Administration is responsible for more than 15 000 bridges and the corresponding number is handled by other clients.

The bridge deck is an important element of a bridge. The deck consists of a concrete slab that distributes the traffic load to the main longitudinal beams of the bridge. For a sustainable performance of such a deck it is important that both its function and durability is considered in the design and construction processes. A common solution for the bridge deck is a concrete overlay cast directly on the structural concrete and an issue for the overlay is cracking due to shrinkage and/or temperature movements and bond to substrate.

An important part of research is to model stresses/strains of concrete overlay addressing research question like the occurrence of cracking and how it could be modelled. Examinations are performed in the laboratory and at half scale/full scale situations on real structure. Theoretical calculations are performed to describe the phenomenon and to establish possible recommendation. It is also important to study the execution when casting the overlay.

The research project is a continuation of an ongoing study which will be reported during 2017.


A suitable background for the position is a master in civil engineering or equivalent. Experience from structural or construction engineering and experimental work with building materials is meritorious. It is a requirement that the applicant speaks, reads and writes English relatively unhindered.

Read more: General curricula for the Board of the faculty of science and technology

Possibilities for the PhD student

To work as a PhD student means great opportunities to define the day to day tasks on your own and also how they will be performed. You will get training in project management that is combined with your own education and development. In addition you will get to try the role as teacher. As a scientist, you will work an unbiased part in many different contexts which will provide a unique opportunity to lead advanced developmental projects together with companies and other universities. During the education you will also get to develop both your social and professional network.


For further information, please contact:

LTU: Martin Nilsson, head of Structural and Fire Engineering, phone: 0920-49 25 33, Ulf Ohlsson, associated professor, phone: 0920 – 49 18 53. Mats Emborg, professor of Structural Engineering, phone: 0920 - 49 13 48. Andrzej Cwirzen, Chaired professor, Structural Engineering, phone 0920 – 49 33 87

NCC: Magnus Alfredsson, phone 08 – 58551000

Union representatives:

SACO-S Daina Dagis, 0920-49 3880 OFR-S Lars Frisk, 0920-49 1792

Placement and admission: Luleå is the primary geographical placement. Admission can be given instantly.

As a PhD student you will be employed during four with possible elongation by one year if departmental duties will be involved. For employment for the PhD position, the candidate need to, or will be, admitted to the research education.

The university is actively striving for equal opportunity and diversity, contributing to a creative study and working environment. Basic values of the university are based on respect, openness, cooperation, confidence and responsibility.

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should contain a personal letter and CV/merits (including diploma and list over courses with grades), references to two persons that can validate the applicants qualifications. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish. Mark your application with the reference number below.

Reference number: 673-2017

Further Information

Application Deadline : 28 March 2017

PhD student in Structural Engineering : PDF

Contact Email:

Posted on 2017-03-02 11:17:29

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