PhD Student in Rail Vehicle Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

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KTH is the largest technical university in Sweden. Education and research cover a broad spectrum within natural sciences and engineering, as well as architecture, industrial engineering and management, urban planning, work science and environmental engineering. KTH has 13 344 full-time equivalent students, of whom 6 955 are at Bachelor (first) level, while 5 545 are at Master (second) level. In addition, 1 314 are full-time equivalent students at doctoral studies (third) level and 3 900 employees.

The School of Engineering Sciences carries out a wide range of research at the international front line, from fundamental disciplines such as mathematics and physics, to engineering mechanics with applications such as aeronautics and vehicle engineering. We also offer University degree programs in Engineering Physics, Vehicle Engineering, Engineering and Education, and Open Entrance, as well as a number of International Masters Programmes.

PhD student position in Vehicle and Maritime Engineering focusing on dynamic simulation of heavy freight wagons

The Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, offers a PhD student position in Vehicle and Maritime Engineering with focus on rail vehicle technology. The project comprises modelling and simulation of the dynamic interaction between vehicle and track. Especially the traffic on the Iron Ore Line in northern Sweden and Norway with axle loads of today 30 tonnes shall be studied, mainly the freight wagons. Also the locomotives might be part of the investigations, however.

An efficient transport to the harbours in Luleå and Narvik with low maintenance costs is essential for the Swedish ore competitiveness. The mining company LKAB is also planning to expand in future shipments. To do this with a limited track capacity needs to further increase axle load and possibly also the train speed, which could lead to significantly increased maintenance costs.

Operation with such high axle loads results in extremely high stresses in the material. An example of a phenomenon to be studied is that the so called rolling contact fatigue on the wheels is increasing dramatically during the winter months. The purpose of the project is to develop simulation models that allow for computer studies of the vehicles´ interaction with the track. Actions like modified wheel and rail profiles might be suggested and tested within the framework of the project.

The project is included in the research programme on vehicle–track interaction conducted by the KTH Railway Group, a successful activity having reached international recognition.

Required qualification for a PhD student position is a Master degree in vehicle engineering, engineering physics, mechanical engineering or similar. Experience from the fields of vehicle design, multibody simulation, wear, or fatigue is considered as additional qualification. Good oral and written communication skills in English are required. The position is intended for an ambitious student who wants to pursue research studies leading to a PhD degree.

Form of employment: Time limited.
Start date: According to agreement.
The salary follows the directions provided by KTH.

Application deadline: August 1, 2011.
Employer’s reference number: S-2011-0511

Application via e-mail to Anna-Karin Burström:
Write reference number S-2011-0511 in the e-mail subject.

The application should include:

  • A personal letter (about one page) stating background and interest in PhD studies as well as interest in the actual topic.
  • CV including MSc degree certificate.
  • Records of MSc studies and master thesis work.
  • Any other certificates, diploma, etc. available.
  • Reference person(s)
  • All documentation shall be in Swedish or English.

Professor Mats Berg
Professor Sebastian Stichel

Trade union representative
Lars Abrahamsson, SACO
Phone: + 46 8 790 70 58

For more information, please visit official website:


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