KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Engineering Sciences

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Applied physics specialization Biological and Biomedical Physics

In this project we focus on the three-phase contact line, where a substrate, liquid and gas meet. When a droplet moves along a surface or when a gas bubble detaches from a surface, the contact line needs to move. At this line the particle nature of the liquid becomes apparent. When the liquid is water, it can not slip along the surface; molecules need to attach to or detach from substrate. The friction caused by these processes can significantly affect the speed of the contact line and thereby the macroscopic dynamics of the system. Furthermore, to assess the stability of air or gas bubbles in liquids, in particular under flow or boiling conditions, the stability of the contact line is of critical importance. Molecular dynamics simulation is the appropriate tool for studying this, since continuum models break down here and experiments can not access the required length and time scales. The fundamental physical processes need to be identified and modeled. The resulting models will be used in continuum simulations to study drag and boiling, in close collaboration with other members of the INTERFACE project. Analysis of the results will enable systematic improvement of desired fluid behavior by tuning surface properties at the nano-scale.

This position as a PhD student is within INTERFACE, a research environment funded by the Swedish Research Council using multiscale methods to study boiling, friction and synthesis of biomaterials. A major goal of this environment is developing multiscale methodology for understanding and improving how topological and chemical structure on surfaces affects drag and boiling. The INTERFACE environment is a collaboration between several groups at the departments of Applied Physics and Mechanics and the Wallenberg wood science center at KTH. The environment is multi-disciplinary, international and includes main developers of the popular GROMACS molecular simulation package, which will be used in this project.   

What we offer


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.


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.

A suitable background for this position is a Master of Science in physics. The candidate should have a strong interest in computer simulations. Experience with statistical mechanics and fluid mechanics is valued.

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.

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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
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 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number S-2019-0283
  • Professor Berk Hess, hess@kth.se
Published 21.Feb.2019
Last application date 25.Mar.2019 11:59 PM CET

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