PhD student in Hydrology on Sustainable Reactive Media for Geo-Barriers

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 11 Dec 2023

Published: 2023-11-03

Would you like to be a part of the WISE – Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability network? Are you interested in working with the valorization of natural biopolymers into advanced materials for groundwater, soil and sediments remediation, with the support of competent and friendly colleagues in an international environment? Are you looking for an employer that invests in sustainable employeeship and offers safe, favourable working conditions? If so, we welcome you to apply for a Ph.D. student in Hydrology with a focus on Sustainable Reactive Media for Geological Barriers position at Uppsala University.

The Department of Earth Sciences, in particular the research program in Air, Water and Landscape Science (LUVAL), has a long tradition of research on contaminant transport, transport phenomena and remediation studies related to soil, groundwater and sediments, including close collaboration with partners in industry and society. Our activities are interdisciplinary and combine natural science and technology with social science. For more information: The Department of Earth Sciences  

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Ångström Laboratory has a strong scientific base built around designing, synthesizing and characterizing advanced materials for environmental and Clean Tech applications. The Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and hosts research on development and investigation on correlations between nanostructured functional materials structure, properties and performance. More information: The Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability (WISE) is a new research program of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) and the largest-ever investment in materials science in Sweden. WISE aims to create conditions for a sustainable society by researching the next generation of eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes, including the facilitation of better technologies for future materials to combat pollution and toxic emissions. Read more about WISE at

Project description
The main aim of the project is to understand how properties, in particular, the structure, porosity and functionality, of biomass-derived nanostructured materials are correlated with their performance as a reactive media for geological barriers to mitigate the spread of emerging pollutants, in particular per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. In order to be effectively applied at real contaminated sites, research of new functional materials for contaminant mitigation (by e.g. immobilization or degradation) will be combined with developing new knowledge about contaminant transport mechanisms coupled with new mitigation technologies.

This doctoral position is part of a newly started research project in frames of KAW-WISE-recruitment package, which involves close collaboration between the Department of Earth Sciences and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Uppsala University. The linkage to cross-cutting environments and programs provides a unique opportunity for access to knowledge and infrastructure of both departments opens possibilities to broadly collaborate with other research groups in Earth Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering, and within the KAW-WISE initiative through active participation in workshops and conferences organized by the Program office and as a member of the WISE Graduate School.

The project will be carried out both at the Air, Water and Landscape Science Program of the Department of Earth Sciences and at the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The Ph.D. student will be working under the main supervision of Assistant Professor Tetyana Budnyak and co-supervision of Professor Fritjof Fagerlund, Professor Maria Strömme and Professor Ian Snowball.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The work tasks will include the design and development of formulations of reactive media, investigation of their properties and performance in model groundwater and soil systems as well as simulated natural environments; and investigation of contaminants transport through the designed media of geological barrier.

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree in environmental engineering, environmental chemistry, materials science, hydrology, surface science or related fields, or
  • have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.

Applicants expecting to obtain their MSc in the near future are also encouraged to apply.

We attach great importance to personal qualities and are interested in individuals who are determined, structured, well-organized, possess strong analytical abilities, and have an interest in project planning and leadership. PhD student needs to be able to work effectively both individually and in groups, to manage and run scientific projects and to simultaneously interact with other researchers. We are looking for a PhD student who has a strong motivation to complete doctoral studies in this interdisciplinary subject, where he/she in a focused way takes on the tasks. We expect PhD student to be proficient in oral and written English in order to interact and communicate effectively with all employees as well as to publish internationally.

Additional qualifications
It will be an advantage, although not a requirement if the candidate has some experience in one or more of the following fields:

  • experience with water, soil or sediment remediation techniques 
  • physicochemical materials characterization
  • contaminant transport and modelling
  • science visualization skills (3D rendering skills, MatLab, etc.)

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

Your application should include the following:

  • A brief personal letter where you briefly describe yourself, why you want to become a PhD student and why you are suitable for the position
  • A CV/résume (max 2 pages)
  • Certified copies of your Master’s degree and course grades
  • Copies (or drafts thereof) of thesis work and other documents, such as publications, which you wish to invoke.
  • Name and contact information to two persons who have agreed to act as references for you, alternatively, letter(s) of recommendation. Your relationship to each of the references should be stated.
  • About the employment
    The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %.Starting date 01-03-2024 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

    For further information about the position, please contact: Assistant Professor Tetyana Budnyak ([email protected]), Professor Fritjof Fagerlund ([email protected]), Professor Maria Strömme (Maria.Strö[email protected]), Professor Ian Snowball ([email protected]).

    Please submit your application by11 December 2023, UFV-PA 2023/4013.

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    Uppsala University is a broad research university with a strong international position. The ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a difference in society. Our most important asset is all of our 7,500 employees and 54,000 students who, with curiosity and commitment, make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces.

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    Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

    Placement: Department of Earth Sciences

    Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position

    Pay: Fixed salary

    Number of positions: 1

    Working hours: 100%

    Town: Uppsala

    County: Uppsala län

    Country: Sweden

    Union representative: ST/TCO [email protected]
    Seko Universitetsklubben [email protected]
    Saco-rådet [email protected]

    Number of reference: UFV-PA 2023/4013

    Last application date: 2023-12-11

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