School of Industrial Engineering and Management at KTH

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Energy and Environmental Systems, Energy Technology

Global thermal demands cover 50% of final energy use, largely based on fossil fuels. Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is thus crucial for decarbonizing energy systems. Latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) is gaining momentum as a compact TES. Heat pumps, together with TES enable flexible coupling of electrical and thermal sectors. This project aims to develop, design, construct, operate and optimize a pilot-scale LHTES in combined operation with heat pumps at a real heating application (KTH Live-in-Lab). The project includes: phase change material characterization in bench-scale; numerical design and optimization of pilot-scale LHTES (and heat exchanger) configurations; the construction and commissioning of the optimal LHTES; its installation in-combination with heat pumps in KTH Live-in-Lab; and the control and techno-economic optimization of this LHTES-heat pump solution. This is within a European project collaboration, also including internal collaborations between ITM and ABE schools at KTH.

Project details: The project covers all the three TES design phases: material, component and system, and combined operation of TES and heat pumps for real heating applications. The results are expected to bring contributions in Swedish as well as European contexts, to elevate the state-of-the art of LHTES technology as well as its combined operation with heat pumps.

Supervision: The proposed supervisor is: Dr. Saman Nimali Gunasekara, Assoc. Prof. Justin Ningwei Chiu and Assoc. Prof. Samer Sawalha. Decisions are made on admission.

What we offer

Admission requirements

  • 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 second cycle degree (for example a master's degree), or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 second-cycle higher education credits, or
  • acquired, in some other way within or outside the country, substantially equivalent knowledge
  • Completed coursework or course modules in engineering thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics is required in accordance with admission criteria for the specified third cycle studies.
  • Knowledge in environmental engineering and engineering economics is a merit.

In addition to the above, there is also a mandatory requirement for English equivalent to English B/6, read more here


In order to succeed as a doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. During the selection process, candidates will be assessed upon their ability to:

  • independently pursue his or her work
  • 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 competency. 

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as a doctoral student. The total length of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education in four years ' time. An employed doctoral student can, to a limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. training and administration. A new position as a doctoral student is for a maximum of one year, and then the employment may be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time.

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)
  • Copies of diplomas and grades from previous university studies and certificates of fulfilled language requirements (see above). Translations into English or Swedish if the original document is not issued in one of these languages.Copies of originals must be certified.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

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
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 M-2023-0330
  • Saman Nimali Gunasekara,
Published 09.Feb.2023
Last application date 01.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CET

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