Postdoc Position in Urban Water Engineering With a Focus on Stormwater Quality

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 12 Jun 2023

The internationally leading Urban Water Engineering research group at Luleå University of Technology has two exciting positions available in stormwater management, at Postdoctoral (ref nr 2002 - 2023) and PhD (ref nr 2001 – 2023) levels. Working within the VINNOVA-funded DRIZZLE Centre of Excellence for stormwater management provides an opportunity to work closely with companies, municipalities and researchers in undertaking needs driven research to reduce the risk of flooding in cities, minimize pollution loads discharging to receiving waters, and capture the opportunities that stormwater runoff can offer. 

The Urban Water Engineering research group is a global leader in urban water systems research and education, with a particular focus on stormwater, wastewater and treatment using nature-based solutions. The overall aim of the group is to contribute to the development of sustainable urban water systems. Being part of the group involves working in an international and creative environment, with about 45 staff members from 20 different countries including Swedish and international adjunct professors and 25 doctoral candidates. 

Subject description

Urban Water Engineering encompasses the entire urban water system (storm drains, drinking water supply and wastewater) with respect to collection, transport, and treatment, as well as organization and planning. The research aims to encourage a strong economy, clean environment, and the wise use of resources, while preserving the public’s health and safety. 

Project description

Urban water bodies are sources of drinking and technical water, transportation, and power generation, and also a disposal route for treated and untreated effluents and accidental spills. With over two-thirds of the world’s population predicted to live in urban areas by 2050, our approach to managing urban water systems requires a radical overhaul if the ability of this finite resource to deliver these ecosystem services is to be maintained. Urbanization is characterized by the conversion of greenspaces to impermeable roads and buildings, interrupting the functioning of the water cycle. Under rainfall conditions, surface runoff passes over these impermeable surfaces mobilizing pollutants deposited from multiple sources, for example traffic and industry, and is typically discharged to the closest receiving waters without treatment. However, awareness of the benefits of treating urban surface runoff prior to its discharge is gaining increasing attention, from both receiving water protection and opportunities for water reuse perspectives. If these opportunities are to be embraced, robust data sets on the sources, pathways, and treatment of a diversity of urban pollutants are urgently required. An open challenge in addressing this need is the current use of multiple sampling and analytical approaches which limits our ability to integrate and interpret knowledge sets. Involving field sampling, laboratory studies and modelling, your research will investigate the influence of alternative approaches to sample collection, storage, and analysis on stormwater quality data. This new knowledge will be used to optimize data collection, facilitate data analysis, and inform the development of sustainable stormwater management strategies to ensure the health of urban water bodies. 


As a Postdoctoral researcher you independently plan and carry out your research work. Further tasks include the writing of scientific papers and the participation in Swedish and international conferences. You may also have the possibility to teach in undergraduate courses and administrative tasks may be included, up to 20% of fulltime. You will have two supervisors who will support you. 


To be eligible for employment as postdoctoral researcher you must have a PhD or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD in in the field of water and environment, natural resources engineering, civil engineering or environmental chemistry. A doctoral degree awarded no more than three years before the application deadline provides a useful qualification. Candidates who have been awarded a doctoral degree at an earlier date may also be considered if there are special grounds, for example, different types of statutory leave of absence.

The applicant should have the ability to work independently and take own initiatives as well as being able to independently address new research areas. Good oral and written skills in English are essential to facilitate presentation of research outcomes in international conferences and scientific papers. It is advantageous if you have knoweldege of:

  • environmental chemcial behaviour / fate modelling
  • nature-based solutions for stormwater management
  • working with large hydrological, meteorological, or environmental measurement data sets

Swedish language skills are a merit since there are many contacts with Swedish municipalities and companies. The applicant should be able provide two reference persons on request. 

Further information

Full-time fixed term employment for two years with placement in Urban Water Engineering in Lulea. 

For further information about the position, please contact:

Associate Professor Helene Österlund (+46)920- 49 2294

Professor Maria Viklander (+46)920-49 1634  

Union representatives:

SACO-S Kjell Johansson (+46)920-49 1529  
OFR-S Lars Frisk, (+46)920-49 1792  

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence. 


We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

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