Alliance PhD opportunity on governance of major infrastructure projects (in collaboration between DTU, NTNU, and the national road authorities in Denmark and Norway) - DTU Engineering Technology

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Alliance PhD opportunity on governance of major infrastructure projects (in collaboration between DTU, NTNU, and the national road authorities in Denmark and Norway) - DTU Engineering Technology
Job Description

Do you want to shape the future governance of major infrastructure projects for sustainable change?

Are you a passionate PhD candidate looking to improve our abilities to deliver projects successfully? 

Join our project and contribute to the development and implementation of state-of-the-art governance practices in major infrastructure projects. With the alliance collaboration between DTU, NTNU, and the road authorities in Norway and Denmark, this is a unique opportunity to work on cutting-edge governance practices based on in real-world settings. Don't miss out on this chance to transform how we deliver projects.

Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Norwegian University of Science (NTNU), seeks a PhD candidate to research governance practices for major infrastructure projects in collaboration with the national road authorities in Denmark (Vejdirektorartet) and Norway (Statens Vegvesen). 

Denmark is committed to being at the forefront of tackling global sustainability challenges through significant investments in engineering megaprojects, from transportation networks, offshore wind and the energy islands to the development of Power-to-X infrastructure and fuels, to decarbonize shipping.

However, we currently do not have the capabilities to reliably deliver major projects at this scale and cadence successfully with the necessary consistency. Current challenges suggest that our ability to govern, plan and execute projects and manage risks across their lifecycle needs to be dramatically improved.

The PhD project will target this challenge by engaging best-in-class engineering project organizations in both Norway and Denmark in partnership with a complementary PhD project in Norway. The Norwegian partner project is integrated with the Norwegian national benchmarking program (“Concept Program”), while the DTU project will work with the Danish Road Directorate and leverage other existing networks in Denmark.

Over the past 20 years, Norway has built national capabilities to design and implement large-scale public engineering projects through a state project model and a national engineering project governance research program. Despite not having a similar national governance program in Denmark, Vejdirektoratet is considered to have the best-performing public engineering project governance in Denmark. 

Through this jointly supervised PhD project, we investigate success factors for engineering project governance frameworks in general, and specifically for public client organizations in the context of large-scale, transformative engineering projects.

The team behind the project:
As a PhD student, you will be employed at DTU Engineering Technology while simultaneously being enrolled in the PhD program at DTU Civil and Mechanical Engineering and supervised by a team of professors from DTU, NTNU and manager from the Danish Road Directorate.

At DTU, the Departments for Engineering Technology and Civil and Mechanical Engineering and the affiliated ProjectLab ( and RiskLab ( will be the "academic home" of the alliance PhD. This creates an inspiring interdisciplinary environment for the project under the supervision of experts within management of projects and systems engineering.

  • Christian Thuesen, Ph.D. is an associate professor at DTU Engineering Technology, where he is chairing a newly established research group on Sustaining the Built and Natural Environment. With a primary offset in the construction sector, his research focuses on the roles of engineering projects in addressing societal challenges.
  • Josef Oehmen, Ph.D., MBA, is an associate professor at DTU Civil and Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on designing and managing large-scale (systems) engineering programs, especially on how to deal with risk, uncertainty and ignorance.

From NTNU the PhD project will be supervised by professor Ola Lædre from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Ola is also supervising the other recently started alliance PhD project with Norwegian Public Road Administration with the ambition to strengthen capabilities for governing engineering project portfolios to support the vision of the National transport plan to create an effective, sustainable and safe transport system. Thus it will be possible to take advantage of synergies with the DTU project connected to the The Danish Road Directorate.

The Danish Road Directorate plans, constructs and maintains the Danish national roads. This means motorways, dual carriageways, a large part of the regional roads and many of the bridges across the country. A total of 3,800 kilometers. They improve the national trunk network and prepare analyses, preliminary investigations and reports about future projects for roads and bridges. The project will be supervised by the Head of Construction Erik Stoklund Larsen and risk specialist Line Lynge Fuglsang.

Responsibilities and qualifications
As the success of the PhD project depends on the successful development and implementation of governance practices, we are looking for a candidate who has several years of relevant experience in the industry. We see this experience as a strength in ensuring that the research remains application-oriented. 

In addition, we expect you to have a basic knowledge of relevant management theories from your educational background. In addition to strong theoretical knowledge and experience from the industry, we also expect you to be systematic and structured and able to work with complex tasks that can extend over a longer period of time. You will have wide interfaces to many stakeholders. Therefore, it is important that you are accommodating and able to collaborate, engage and balance between several different disciplines.

More specifically, we would like you to:

  • have completed a relevant master's degree*. Relevant master's degrees can, for example, be in strategic management, leadership, engineering management, project management, operations management, or other areas with relevant qualifications for the PhD project
  • have work experience from working with infrastructure projects
  • be process-oriented, and manages to transform complex theoretical knowledge into application-oriented solutions
  • have communication skills both in writing and in speech, as you must, among other things, publish articles, give lectures and pass on your knowledge to other stakeholders
  • have English-language skills, as you will be in an English-speaking academic environment
  • have good skills in processing and analysis of large amounts of data

Please note that the responsibilities may still vary based on individual circumstances and project requirements.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in fields such as Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, or a related discipline. 

Approval and Enrolment 
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education . 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Christian Thuesen ([email protected]). You can read more about DTU Engineering Technology at .

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark . Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar ” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU. 

Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 4 April 2024 (23:59 Danish time).

We are looking forward to receiving your expression of interest. As we have been granted the funds for the PhD project, we will initiate interviews with potential applicants as soon as possible. 

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter) 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale
  • A short description of how you see that the PhD project can be successfully delivered (approx. 2 pages)
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, in case you have any publications
  • 1-3 References (names and e-mails)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

About DTU Engineering Technology
We work at the forefront of university-industry collaboration and develop tools and methods for technology implementation. We are organized in 9 research groups all focused on technology implementation, engineering technology and engineering education within a wide range of engineering fields.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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Job Info
  • Job Identification 3385
  • Job Category Phd
  • Posting Date 03/21/2024, 05:17 AM
  • Apply Before 04/04/2024, 05:59 PM
  • Locations Lautrupvang 13A, Ballerup, 2750, DK

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    Lautrupvang 13A, Ballerup, 2750, DK

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