PhD student position in Computational Sustainable Design

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 30 Jul 2019

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.

Our offer to you
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.

Application procedure
To apply, please go to:

Application deadline: 30 July, 2019

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