Phd position in Engineering Materials with the specialization life cycle assessment

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 21 Apr 2024

Luleå University of Technology is in strong growth with world-leading competence in several research areas. We shape the future through innovative education and ground-breaking research results, and based on the Arctic region, we create global social benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are conducted in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has a total turnover of SEK 1.9 billion per year. We currently have 1,840 employees and 17,670 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

As a PhD student, you will be a part of a dynamic and international research environment, closely collaborating with industry and leading universities worldwide. The research field of materials engineering encompasses ongoing studies covering a wide range of research areas within metallic and ceramic materials. We are part of the Department of Materials Science, which is a division of the Department of Engineering Science and Mathematics.

Subject description
Engineering materials includes the composition, structure, properties and production of materials, mainly metallic and ceramic materials, as well as aspects of their use.

Project description
The project Green steel for a fossil free future, is an interdisciplinary research project funded by the Just Transition Fund and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. The project contributes to the green transition and a carbon dioxide-neutral steel industry through research efforts in collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and Royal Institute of Technology. The research activities are focused on both the process chain downstream from steelmaking and deal with fossil-free steel properties and performance, as well as fossil-free steelmaking with a focus on using hydrogen and new alloying elements.
As a doctoral student in the Green steel for a fossil free future project, you will work in an interdisciplinary research environment, in close collaboration with research institutes and industry, and contribute to the steel industry's transition towards carbon neutrality.
The aim of this project is to use life cycle assessment (LCA) as a main tool to identify where in the steel’s material value chain the greatest environmental impact lies. The assessment can be used as a tool to systematically identify the process changes that contribute to a reduced environmental impact. How is LCA applied today? How can the LCA method be improved to value the outcome of research projects, lab-scale versus industrial scale? Examples of results from such an analysis could be how the carbon footprint is affected by minimizing the number of times the steel is heated in the metal working process, or how the hydrogen content in the steel affects the properties of the green steel or how alloy additions are made and are added as well as their effect on the subsequent processes.

Job duties
This doctoral position includes both theoretical and experimental work. An important part will be to build a framework for applying LCA to the processes in the material value chain. This includes close and continuous communication with all project partners to identify and map how we can work to reduce environmental impact using LCA as a tool. Furthermore, it means problematizing about how the tool can be applied as well as its limitations and opportunities within sustainable development. Another important part of the project is the understanding of the steel’s material value chain and its critical processes.

A doctoral position also involves practice in scientific work in the form of publishing scientific articles in journals and at international conferences. A doctoral student also takes compulsory and voluntary doctoral courses. Project planning and execution under own responsibility is also included as an important part of the doctoral project. In addition, you have the opportunity to be involved in teaching.


The position requires a perspective in environmental science, specifically in life cycle assessment, that will be integrated with a materials science perspective. Therefore, we see that you have a solid background in environmental science. The materials science perspective can be developed during the project. We are seeking candidates with a master’s degree in environmental science, focusing on sustainable development, or an equivalent field, and preferably with knowledge of materials science. Experience in applied life cycle assessment is advantageous.

We are looking for motivated and enthusiastic candidates with the ability to conduct leading research and being able to work independently as well as in group. You must have very good communication skills and be fluent in spoken and written English.

-During evaluation, special emphasis is placed on:
-Knowledge and experience relevant to the current research project
-Communication and collaboration skills
-Quality of Master thesis
-Personal characteristics relevant to research work

Employment as a doctoral student is time-limited to 4 years, teaching and other department duties can add up to 20% of full-time. Place of employment is Luleå. Intended entry in spring 2023.

For further information, you are welcome to contact:
Pia Åkerfeldt, Associate Professor +46 920-49 1770, [email protected]
Linn Berglund, Senior Lecturer +46 920-49 3381, [email protected] 

Union representative:
SACO-S Kjell Johansson, +46 920-49 1529 [email protected]
OFR-S Lars Frisk, +46 920-49 1792 [email protected]

We prefer that you apply for the position via the application button below, where you attach a personal letter as well as a CV/curriculum vitae and copies of verified diplomas and thesis. Please mark your application with the reference number below. Both the application and degree certificate must be written in Swedish or English.

Application deadline: 21 April 2024
Reference number: 1082-2024

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