School of Engineering Sciences at KTH

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Applied physics

The energetics and dynamics of wetting are of high interest from both fundamental scientific and technological points of view. Often the macroscopic behavior of wetting is dominated by processes at molecular scale at the interface. Here in particular the three-phase contact line is of importance, where substrate, liquid and gas (or another liquid) meet. The scales involved can not be observed directly in experiments. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations can provide the required spatial and time resolutions. In this project will study how mixtures of two liquids or a liquid plus surfactant wet surfaces. The surfaces can be simple or have molecules attached to them that react to the liquid. In experiments non-trivial behavior has been observed. There can be several reasons for this, e.g. preferential wetting of the substrate by one of the liquids (energetics), but also differences in dynamic behavior of liquids at the contact line. Molecular dynamics simulations enable us to disentangle such effects and will allow to rationalize behavior observed in experiments. As a further step, we might be able to capture certain types of behavior as boundary conditions or extensions of continuum models, which are being developed together with collaborators at the department of Mechanics.

This position as a PhD student is within a collaborative environment that is shared with the department of Mechanics, where there is development of continuum methods as well as experiments. The environment is multi-disciplinary, international and includes the main developers of the popular GROMACS molecular simulation package, which will be used in this project.

Supervision: Berk Hess 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

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.
  • 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.

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.

The position may include security-sensitive activities. To become authorized, you therefore need to pass a possible security check.

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 S-2024-0362
  • Berk Hess,
Published 04.Apr.2024
Last application date 06.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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