PhD on Decision Support Tool for Renovation Strategies of Buildings at Chalmers University of Technology

Applications are invited for a PhD position in mechanical engineering to join Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The funds for this position are available for five years. Applications should be sent before March 22, 2020.

You are invited to apply for a PhD student position in the project ‘Decision support tool for renovation strategies of buildings with lack of technical documentation based on available databases and field surveys’ located at the Division of Building Technology at Chalmers University of Technology. The project will result in better and more adapted renovation strategies for any given building.

Project description

In the European Union, national renovation strategies of buildings are developed to reach low or zero carbon dioxide emissions from the building industry by 2050. Today, the documentation of renovations and changes performed on buildings is inadequate which creates difficulties to predict the buildings' service life. The aim of this project is to develop practical and scientifically proven tools to assess the need for and risks with various renovation strategies for a building in use based on the limited data collected from data archives and in the field (observations and non-destructive measurements). We will use models for service life assessment of buildings to identify the most suitable, and propose new, performance criteria for the renovation need.

New technologies that combine versatile and flexible field data collection (unmanned aerial vehicles or the internet of things) with advances in data analysis (machine learning and data mining algorithms such as neural networks and genetic algorithms) create novel possibilities to identify the status and, based on that, plan the maintenance and retrofit of any given building including those with a lacking technical documentation. In this project we will develop practical and scientifically sound tools based on Bayesian Networks (BN) that fill the gaps between the incomplete technical documentation to assess and optimize the retrofitting needs in any given building based on the data collected in field (observations, data harvesting and non-destructive measurements), even when there is inadequate information about earlier renovations.

The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering 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. The project is run in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The PhD student is expected to develop his/her knowledge in this field. 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.

Contract terms

You will be employed by Chalmers on a full-time temporary contract. The employment is limited to four years' effective time on the PhD project, plus additional time spent on teaching and other departmental duties up to a maximum of five years. The employment is tied to successful progress of the doctoral studies, as evaluated throughout the project.

Your profile

A suitable background is a Master of Science degree (with at least 240 higher education credits) in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science or engineering physics. The position requires oral and written communication skills in English. Communication skills in Swedish are also meritorious.

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. Therefore, 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.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20200101 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


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)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

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: 22 March, 2020

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


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