School of Industrial Engineering and Management at KTH

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Industrial Economics and Management

The doctoral project aims to study innovation strategies that promote long-term technological and operational development within Swedish water and wastewater sector. The focus is on how water utilities can improve their ability to adopt and use new technologies effectively. Using comparative case studies of innovation strategies of national and international forerunners in the sector, the aim is to develop new knowledge about how the industry can strengthen its long-term efficiency and technological development.

Innovation in the process industry of water and wastewater sector is challenging. In Sweden, the water utilities, with a few exceptions, are small and have limited research resources. They are public monopolies without competition and usually have a strong emphasis on stability and safety in day-to-day operations. The industry is conservative and has a limited ability to absorb technological innovations. At the same time, there are today a number of emerging digital technologies with the potential to radically improve the utilities’ efficiency and eventually change their business models. However, how this is to be done is unclear. Existing innovation research is dominated by theories developed for product companies acting on a commercial market and there is a lack of powerful concepts for understanding innovation within process industries such as water utilities.

As there is a strong technological development in the area, the doctoral student will work at the intersection between innovation management, business model innovation, and technical development. The project is part of the research program Mistra InfraMaint and the doctoral student is expected to collaborate with other doctoral students within the program, as well as with various representatives from industry and the public sector.

Supervision: Professor Mats Engwall is 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

Applicants must hold (or be in the process of obtaining) a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering and Management, or an equivalent degree. Furthermore, the applicant must have strong academic qualifications.

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
  • ability to write and perform oral presentations in Swedish and English

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.

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 During Fall of 2023, or 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-2023-1845
  • Mats Engwall, +46(8)7906116,
Published 05.Oct.2023
Last application date 10.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies