Doctoral student (licentiate) in soil and rock mechanics (dam engineering)

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 28 Oct 2021

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Civil and Architectural Engineering (specialization in soil and rock mechanics).

We are searching for a doctoral student to the Soil and rock mechanics | KTH . The work tasks are related to doctoral studies leading to a Licentiate degree, if the study plan is followed. The studies are connected to the research project “Safe Dams – Description of pore pressure and alarm thresholds for probabilistic assessment of sliding stability for concrete dams”. In sliding stability assessment of concrete dams, the uplift constitutes an important parameter. However, this parameter is associated with significant uncertainties. Existing methods for evaluation of sliding stability are simplified and need to be further developed. The objective of the project is to identify how uplift under dams should be described for different geological conditions and to develop methods for improved assessment of the sliding stability for concrete dams. 

The work tasks include case studies of existing dams, evaluation of measurement data, analytical, numerical and probabilistic calculations, writing scientific articles, taking postgraduate courses, and teaching.

The project is financed by the Swedish Hydropower Centre (SVC) and will be executed in close collaboration with the hydropower industry. The main workplace is on KTH’s campus Valhallavägen. Supervisors are Dr KTH | Fredrik Johansson and Dr. Marie Westberg Wilde (technical consultant firm AFRY).

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),
  • 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.

The applicant shall have studied rock engineering and/or geotechnical engineering or other relevant subjects. Experience as a practicing engineer is a merit, in particular regarding dam engineering. Knowledge in statistics or risk and safety analysis is also a merit. The applicant shall have strong academic credentials and a good command of the English language, both written and orally. 

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal competency. 

Target degree: Licentiate degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as a doctoral student. For licentiate degrees, the total length of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education in two years' time. The employment offer can later be extended by KTH to target a doctoral degree, i.e. two years’ additional time. An employed doctoral student can also, to a limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. teaching 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 .


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.

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.
  • 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.

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