KTH Royal Institute of Technology

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: Building materials

Unbound granular layers are major components of road structures and their performance controls to a great extent the length of roads service life. Accordingly, understanding the parameters controlling unbound road layers performance is a key factor for pavements durability and for sustainable use of crushed rock materials in road construction. In order to achieve this, there is a need to increase the knowledge on granular material characteristics and degradation mechanisms, and to develop efficient and rapid methods for prediction of their influence on unbound layer performance in the field.

The ultimate goal of this project is to address this need for new analysis tool linking quantitatively unbound material parameters, such as gradation, stone’s shape and mechanical characteristics, to materials performance. This problem will be addressed in this project by developing a discrete element method (DEM)-based approach to evaluate the effect of unbound materials characteristics on its performance with respect to elastic and permanent deformation. In order to calibrate and validate the models, the mechanical behavior of several typical unbound materials will also be investigated experimentally with tri-axial tests. The main intended outcome of the project is a set of improved performance prediction models for unbound road layers.

The Swedish Transport Administration is funding the project for four years. The project will be performed jointly by KTH and The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI). The student will spend several longer research periods at VTI.

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • 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.
  • A postgraduate education at an institution that is active and supportive in matters pertaining to working conditions, gender equality and diversity as well as study environment.
  • 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 be settled in Sweden and at KTH.


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.

A suitable background for this position is a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Material Physics, Computational Mechanics or Civil Engineering (with a focus on mechanics).

Basic knowledge in solid mechanics, computational modelling and materials is required and a specialization in solids and structures, solid mechanics and/or composite materials is an asset. Numerical modelling (in particular Discrete Element Method) and programming skills are of a great advantage for this position. Previous experience with experimental mechanics is a plus, though not a requirement. In addition to traditional academic merits, a relevant degree project, international experience, and language skills are regarded as advantageous qualifications.

The candidate should be highly motivated for doing scientific research and should have well developed analytical and problem solving skills as well as an interest and curiosity for different types of computational and advanced experimental methods.


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.

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctor, 4 years

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 there after 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 As agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number A-2019-1597
  • Denis Jelagin, universitetslektor, +46 (8)790 86 98, E-post: denis.jelagin@abe.kth.se
Published 12.Sep.2019
Last application date 03.Oct.2019 11:59 PM CET

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