PhD Scholarship Position in Super Insulation Render for Renovation and New Constructions

A fully-funded PhD fellowship in mechanical engineering is available at Chalmers University of Technology. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for five years in Sweden. Applicants should apply before October 28, 2018.

The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering has about 290 employees encompassing a broad theoretical knowledge base, from engineering science to the social sciences to the humanities, as well as design-based, artistic research. The combination of all of these perspectives allows for great interdisciplinary advancement in the field and a broader discussion of various aspects of sustainability. Together, we provide a comprehensive environment for architecture and civil engineering, well equipped to take on the common challenges of building a sustainable future.

Information about the project

You are invited to apply for a PhD student position in the project ‘Super insulation render for renovation and new constructions’

In Sweden, the heating of buildings account for about 30% of the final energy use. By building energy-efficient houses, and renovating existing buildings according to the latest energy requirements, the energy use in the construction sector can decrease. This project investigates and further develops design solutions with a new type of highly efficient render containing aerogel particles. Renders are used primarily as water-repellent layers and to protect the often non-insulated structure. Renders with aerogel incorporate the additional function of thermal insulation, with which a considerable effect can be obtained on the building’s energy use.

Aerogel is a silica-based material with a thermal conductivity of 10-20 mW/mK, corresponding to 25-50% of that of conventional insulation materials. It was produced for the first time in the 1930s, and manufactured by a gel being dried under supercritical conditions (high pressure and temperature) so that the liquid evaporates without destroying the fine porous structure. The result becomes a very porous material that needs to be reinforced and mixed with other materials (e.g. render) in practical applications. In this project, effects on the long-term performance and service life of the aerogel render will be investigated under challenging physical conditions (high/low temperature, high humidity, mechanical load, etc.) in the laboratory as well as in the field. Hygrothermal (heat and moisture) simulation models are used for risk analyses of building components and full building assemblies.

The PhD position is located at the Division of Buidling Technology at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. The department is a merger of the former Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and represents a broad field of knowledge theory ranging from engineering and social sciences to the humanities and design-based, artistic research. These different perspectives provides a strong interdisciplinary environment with opportunities for broader discussion of various aspects of sustainability.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibility as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. This includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results both verbally and in writing. In addition to the research project, you will also take courses on the advanced level within the graduate school of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The position may also include departmental duties, such as teaching, corresponding to about 20 % of working hours. You will be employed by Chalmers

Full-time temporary employment. The employment is limited to a maximum of five years and the research leading up to a PhD degree is expected to be finalised in four years effectively. The employment is tied to successful progress of the doctoral studies, as evaluated throughout the project.


A suitable background is a Master of Science degree (with at least 240 higher education credits) in civil engineering, mechanical engineering or engineering physics. The position requires oral and written communication skills in English. Communication skills in Swedish is also meritorious. If Swedish is not your native language, a goal is that you should be able to communicate, and teach tutorials, in Swedish after two years. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

You are expected to take initiatives, work independently when needed and take responsibility for your work. Furthermore, the project interacts closely with adjacent disciplines and industrial partners. Thus you need to have high collaborative skills. Finally, you need to be able to disseminate results and knowledge within existing and new networks. This includes academia, industry and society at large.

Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180517 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
- CV
- Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
- Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
- 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
- Previous research fields and main research results.
- Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:
- Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.
- Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 28th of October 2018

For questions, please contact:

Pr Johansson, Assistant Professor,, +46 31 772 19 66


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