PhD Scholarship in Structural Engineering with Focus on Uncertainty and Risk Considerations for Building Performance Modeling

Applications are invited for a PhD position in structural engineering to join Lund University. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for 5 years in Sweden. Applicants should apply before March 27, 2020.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Subject description

Structural engineering deals with the principles and methods for the design and detailing of load-bearing structures. The objective in design is to create structures with adequate safety and serviceability under the influence of relevant loads and actions during the intended service life of the structure. The core of the subject considers the performance and design of timber, concrete, masonry and steel structures. Another important aspect is structural reliability; a systematic approach for considering risks and uncertainties in design to ensure structural components and systems perform as intended with a sufficient degree of safety against failure, damage or loss of functionality.

Project description

The PhD project mainly includes studies of uncertainties and how they affect the reliability of results from calculations of thermal and moisture performance of bio-based climate envelopes and the effect of these results on load-bearing systems in new and existing buildings. A specific aspect of this concerns considerations of uncertainty through general risk and decision based frameworks, but also by using probabilistic methods. Upcoming requirements for climate declarations of buildings will lead to an increased use of bio-based materials. To ensure the desired performance and durability over time, this development requires a holistic view on how different risks and uncertainties affect the composition of the climate envelope and the load-bearing system. Synergies are possible with an ongoing project investigating bio-based materials in the climate envelope creating possibilities for aquiring input information for the new studies. The uncertainties in the modeling may also increase further due to future climate change, the possibility of integrating this in the modelling will also be studied.

The uncertainties in modeling will be investigated using analytical models, computer modeling / simulations, field experiments and surveys / interviews. The final goal is to develop a risk based methodology, which may include probabilistic theory, that can be linked to ordinary calculation programs. Such programs can in turn be used by property owners, contractors, architects and others to predict the risk of moisture-related problems as well as the life span of different types of bio-based materials in climate envelopes and load-bearing systems.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching within the field of structural engineering and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student's potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including max 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 .

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).


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