KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Engineering Sciences

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Engineering Mechanics

Organisms have developed efficient ways of minimizing energy. The skin of sharks has microscopic surface structures allowing  water to flow over them with low resistance. The rough surface of the lotus leaf provides a self-cleaning property, because water drops easily (almost frictionless) roll off removing small particles from the leaf.

In the Fluids and Surfaces research group (www.bagherigroup.com), we want to understand how these complex surfaces interact with fluids. Our goal is to develop new methods for tailoring the micro- and nanscopic features of surfaces in order to manipulate the dynamics of liquids and gases. Our methods are an important contribution to the sustainable development of a range of high-tech areas. How should the surfaces of vehicles, pipes, batteries, microfluidic systems, etc be designed in order to control friction, heat transfer, mixing and evaporation?

We want to expand our research team with two PhD students with a background in physics, mechanical engineering or materials science. We seek one PhD student with a keen interest for mathematical modelling and scientific computing. The student will develop physical models of porous, viscous and elastic materials and incorporate these models into computational fluid mechanics codes. We seek one PhD student to design and manufacture complex surfaces and characterize their interaction with liquids using a range of experimental tools.

The projects will be carried out in collaboration with supervisors, other members of the research group as well as with international collaborators. It is expected that you can network both within and outside the group; it is therefore important that you are able to communicate and interact with others. The projects are part of a larger multidisciplinary effort at KTH, financed by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. A doctoral degree in this area will open up oppurtunies both within academia and industry.


What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • Life-long network through KTH's Alumni organization.
  • A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement.
  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe´s fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.
  • Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH.
  • The School of Engineering Sciences at KTH provides a unique, dynamic and international research environment in close collaboration with leading research institutes and universities.
  • The possibility for a longer research visit to a leading university abroad during the doctoral studies.


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

Background in physics, applied mathematics, engineering mechanics, materials science. Specialization in scientific computing and/or experience of experimental work is of great merit.


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.
  • skills in communicating and writing English

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about Processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 2
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number S-2018-1721
  • Docent Shervin Bagheri, e-mail: shervin@mech.kth.se
  • HR Jonna Holmlund, e-mail: jonnahol@kth.se
Published 06.Dec.2018
Last application date 01.Feb.2019 11:59 PM CET

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