PhD student position in Computational Sustainable Design

Updated: 3 months ago

The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering has about 290 employees encompassing a broad theoretical knowledge base, from engineering science to the social sciences to the humanities, as well as design-based, artistic research. The combination of all of these perspectives allows for great interdisciplinary advancement in the field and a broader discussion of various aspects of sustainability. Together, we provide a comprehensive environment for architecture and civil engineering, well equipped to take on the common challenges of building a sustainable future.

Information about the research
The built environment is central to the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption and the building sector is one of the least digitalised of all sectors. Furthermore, the built environment has a big influence on people's wellbeing and social interactions. However, in early design phases, little information is available and decisions are mostly guided by intuition. Therefore, the newly established research stream Computational Design within the research group Sustainable building focusses especially on digital approaches to support the early design phases of sustainable buildings and cities.

The PhD project will be part of the research stream Computational Sustainable Design. The objective is to propose novel, digital solutions that support different stakeholders to take well-informed decisions in the most influential early design stages. Research topics include quantitative and qualitative methods for sustainability assessment, application of optimisation algorithms, and machine learning, amongst others. Furthermore, the interactions in virtual design environments, both between computers and humans but also between different human stakeholders, such as architects, engineers, clients and future users could be included. Finally, the objective is to implement the newly developed methods in digital tools and test them with stakeholders in real projects. The research builds on previous projects and knowledge within the research group.

The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) represents a broad field of knowledge theory ranging from natural sciences and engineering to social sciences, humanities and design-based artistic research. These different perspectives enable strong interdisciplinary development and a broad research approach to different aspects of sustainability.

Major responsibilities
The successful candidate for this position has the qualifications and abilities to contribute to the research area of Computational Sustainable Design on an international level. A major part of the work includes developing novel methods and implementing these in tools. Benefits of novel digital methods will ultimately be tested with stakeholders in real-life projects. Interdisciplinary collaboration with other PhD students and labs at Chalmers, such as Virtual City@Chalmers or the BIM lab as well as external partners is expected. The position may include teaching or other departmental duties up to a maximum of 20%.

Position summary
You will be employed by Chalmers on a full-time temporary contract. The employment is limited to four years’ effective time on the PhD project, plus additional time spent on teaching and other departmental duties up to a maximum of five years. The employment is tied to successful progress of the doctoral studies, as evaluated throughout the project.

Applicants should have a Master’s degree in Architecture, Engineering, Computer science or a similar field, preferably with a strong interest in sustainability and digitalisation of the design process of the built environment. We are seeking an innovative, self-motivated candidate with brilliant analytic and computational skills, who will be able to work independently in interdisciplinary teams and pursue new ways for digital design solutions. Expertise in programming, computational design and software development are therefore  important. The position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills in English. The person assigned to the position is expected to acquire sufficient knowledge to be able to communicate in Swedish in two years. As important merits will be considered design skills and expert knowledge of digital tools such as Grasshopper/Rhino or Dynamo/Revit and common formats in the built environment, e.g. IFC, gbXML, cityGML, etc.

You are expected to take initiatives and take responsibility for your work. Furthermore, the project interacts closely with adjacent disciplines and industrial partners. Thus you need to have significant collaborative skills. Finally, you need to be able to disseminate results and knowledge within existing and new networks. This includes academia, industry and society at large.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to you
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20190331 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV:(Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
• 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
• Previous research fields and main research results.
• Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 30 July 2019

For questions, please contact:
Assistant Professor Alexander Hollberg,

Professor Holger Wallbaum, ,
+46 31-772 1994

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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