School of Industrial Engineering and Management at KTH

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Materials Science and Engineering

Aluminum is one of the world's most widely used and recycled metals. Commercial primary aluminum manufacture involves reducing alumina to aluminium in a reduction/electrolysis cell. This process is achieved by running electricity between a negative cathode and a positive anode, both made of fossil carbon.  The process is highly energy intensive, requiring 13,500-15,000 kWh per ton of aluminium. For the gas-powdered aluminum smelters of Europe, the corresponding carbon emission intensity is estimated to be 4-10 tons of CO2 per ton of aluminium.  The secure supply of carbon anodes and the associated emissions from carbon anode consumption serve as the remaining major challenge for aluminium production.

Europe, especially the Nordic region, is rich in forest resources. Developing biomaterials derived from biomass as alternative sources of anode raw materials is ideal, which can avoid CO2 emissions from anode consumption.

The main scope of this position is to develop sustainable and highly efficient processes to upgrade bio-oil and biochar into high-quality carbon anode raw materials. Specifically:

  • To develop a sustainable process for bio-oil upgradation to produce a high-quality binder used for carbon anode production;
  • To develop a sustainable process for biochar upgradation to produce a high-quality dry material used for carbon anode production and as packing material;

Supervision: Weihong Yang, Docent, and Pär Jönsson, Professor, are proposed to supervise the doctoral student. 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

 The successful applicant should have documented knowledge of waste and/or biomass pyrolysis, or gasification , and well as experience of solid  materials characterization. Knowledge and experience on using all instruments, such as GC/MS, XRD, SEM are considered as 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.

 We are looking for a strongly motivated person. Good communication skills in English, by speaking and writing, is required to publish and present results at international conferences and in scientific journals.

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. In the case of studies that are to be completed with a licentiate degree, the total period of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education for two years.

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.

To apply for the position

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/Central 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-2023-1135
  • Weihong Yang, +46(8)7908402,
Published 08.Jun.2023
Last application date 18.Aug.2023 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies