PhD Student in Solid and Structural Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology

A PhD position is available at Chalmers University of Technology. All students regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply. Applications are invited up to October 10, 2018.

The main competencies at the department of Industrial and Materials Science are found in the areas of: Human-Technology Interaction | Form and Function | Modeling and Simulation | Product Development | Material | Production and in the interaction between these areas. The research develops the industrial process, from need to finished product while creating added value. To combine skills throughout the whole chain distinguishes the department both nationally and internationally. Here we gather internationally prominent researchers, in dynamic and outstanding research environments, as well as in national and international research networks. Information about the research

You are invited to apply for a PhD student position in the project “Growth of rolling contact fatigue cracks”.

Fatigue crack growth, and especially rolling contact fatigue crack growth, is the major deterioration factor, and one of the largest cost drivers in railway operations. Large research and development efforts have been put into combating and predicting rolling contact fatigue. The aim of the project is to investigate and develop methods to predict crack progression in railway wheels and rails. This includes detailed analyses as well as coarser engineering approaches. Here results from detailed (finite element) analyses can be compared to coarser engineering predictions in order to increase their quantitative capabilities. Further, operational data from wheel damage progression and from track tests are intended to be employed to further enhance / calibrate /validate numerical analyses.

The new knowledge and prediction tools developed in the project will be useful in the design of running gear and track components. This research will build on previous investigations in European and in-house CHARMEC projects. It will be run in close cooperation with industrial partners and may be partly included in European research projects.

Your project will be part of the activities within the Swedish National Centre of Excellence in Railway Mechanics CHARMEC - CHAlmers Railway MEChanics (see for more information). CHARMEC was established in 1995 and is supported by Chalmers, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and an Industrial Interests Group comprising nine partners. All research at CHARMEC is carried out in an international context with overall objectives to reduce the railway’s costs for production, operation and maintenance, and to decrease the environmental footprint while improving safety, reliability and transport quality. Currently, some 25 research projects are carried out within CHARMEC.

The project will be placed at the Division of Material and Computational Mechanics. The activities of the division are focused on the mechanical modeling of structures, components and processes along with the involved materials, thereby providing mechanics-based solutions and virtual solution tools to our engineering challenges. Currently, about 15 PhD students are working within our main research areas: Lightweight materials and structures, Multi-phase materials, Process modelling and simulation, Railway mechanics, and Structural mechanics.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibilities as PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. This includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results. The position is a full-time temporary employment with a time limited to a maximum of 5 years including teaching or other duties corresponding to 20% of working hours. You will be employed by Chalmers and will receive a salary according to current salary agreements.

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.


A suitable background is a Master of Science degree (with at least 240 higher education credits) in mechanical engineering, civil engineering or engineering physics with emphasis on solid mechanics and computational methods. 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. Further, 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 20180477 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: 10 October, 2018

For questions, please contact:

Prof. Fredrik Larsson, MoB/IMS, +46 31 772 1979

Prof. Ragnar Larsson, MoB/IMS, +46 31 772 5267


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