Phd in Optimised Constructions Using Semi-automated Designing and Manufacturing Methods for Minimum Resource Consumptions

Technical University Of Denmark is pleased to invite applicants to apply for a PhD position. All students regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply. The deadline for applying is September 28, 2018.

DTU Civil Engineering is inviting applications for a 3-year PhD position starting November 2018, jointly funded by VILLUM FONDEN and DTU Civil Engineering. The study is related to the development of a bio-based material for constructional 3D-printing in remote Arctic regions.

Why this research is needed

In the light of limited resources and correlated increase of economic value, a green and economic future for the construction sector focuses on short and smart logistics, and optimized use of material. This includes local exploitation of raw materials, production of resource conscious circular material and minimization of material use within structural layouts. Novel designing and manufacturing methods, such as structural topology optimization and constructional 3D-printing allowing for highly slender designs and freedom of shaping during the construction process. Hence, these demands need to be explored to secure sustainable structural designs for future building practice.

Greenland's building industry is challenged by location dependent amplification of problems such as building material resource shortage and increased logistic efforts. The current architecture in these remote Arctic regions is not well suited for the conditions and consumes therefore high amounts of non-local materials – is hence depending on an extensive transportation infrastructure. Applying the mentioned methods of using local materials for semi-automated construction methods, could attenuate the dependency on the main land.

Project description

This project aims on breaking new ground for the application of innovative construction methods for future building practice in Arctic Regions and focuses on the development of a new sustainable material.

Throughout the course of this PhD-study, the limits of the proposed bio-based material will be explored in the aspects of:
- freedom of shaping possibilities for topology optimized constructions, designed for extreme loading impact from wind and snow loads

Hereby, the materials adjustment parameters are inter alia temperature, moisture content, biochemical additives and manipulation, and variation of processing throughout the additive printing.The candidate should have a master’s degree in civil engineering, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree. Further desirable qualifications are work experience in the Arctic (in specific Greenland) in an academic context, experience in wind tunnel testing, topology optimization, microscopy of organic construction material and testing of biological binders in concrete. A good command of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential. The candidate is expected to be self-motivated and to publish the project results in international peer-reviewed journals.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 Professor Holger Koss, Section for Structures and Safety.

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 main workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus, but the project will require travel and exchange in Greenland and at relevant Arctic universities.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Holger Koss,


Please submit your online application no later than 28 September 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
- Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their 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 Civil Engineering develops and utilizes science and technical knowledge for the benefit of society through a sustainable development of construction and the built environment. As part of a strong university, the department provides research, study programmes, innovation and research-based consultancy of the highest quality in civil engineering. The Department develops new knowledge and solutions for the challenges facing the construction industry based on classic disciplines of building research, as well as the monitoring and decoding of physical phenomena,we combine theory and practice.

DTU Civil Engineering has a special role in researching, educating and developing new construction engineering solutions for Arctic settings, for the benefit of society in both Denmark and Greenland. The department has a scientific staff of about 80 persons, 60 PhD students, and a technical/administrative support staff of about 50 persons.


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