Phd Student in Urban Water Engineering With Focus on Stormwater Flows and Sensors

Updated: 6 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

The internationally-leading Urban Water Engineering research group at Luleå University of Technology has two exciting positions available in the area of stormwater management, at PhD (quote this REF) and post-doctoral (quote other ref) levels. Working within the VINNOVA-funded DRIZZLE Centre of Excellence for stormwater management provides an opportunity to work closely with companies, municipalities and researchers in undertaking needs driven research to reduce the risk of flooding in cities, minimise pollution loads discharging to receiving waters, and capture the opportunities that stormwater runoff can offer.

The Urban Water Engineering research group is a global leader in urban water systems research and education, with a particular focus on stormwater, wastewater and treatment using nature-based solutions. The overall aim of the group is to contribute to the development of sustainable urban water systems. Being part of the group involves working in an international and creative environment, with ca 45 staff members from 20 different countries including Swedish and international adjunct professors and 25 doctoral candidates.

Subject description

Urban Water Engineering encompasses the entire urban water system (storm drains, drinking water supply and waste water) with respect to collection, transport and treatment, as well as organisation and planning. The research aims to encourage a strong economy, clean environment and the wise use of resources, while preserving the public’s health and safety.

Project description

A key effect of a warming climate is changes in the magnitude, frequency and duration of rainfall events. As a result, cities face challenges related to both managing stormwater (i.e. increased flooding risks and need to protect receiving water quality) and increased periods of drought, with droughts now experienced for part of the year even in the relatively wetter Northern European climates. As climate change progresses and rates of urbanization expand, these challenges are expected to increase, with demand to close the water loop (collect and store stormwater for use in times of drought) increasing. Effective management and planning of stormwater systems requires detailed knowledge about the systems’ behaviour. Whilst different approaches exist to gain this information (including field measurements and computer models), each have their own advantages and disadvantages which have yet to be rigorously evaluated and their associated uncertainties (and methods for their reduction) developed. The aim of this project is to investigate novel field and model-based approaches to understanding urban stormwater processes, e.g. whether more types and/or locations of field measurements (and therefore less extrapolation using models) or vice-versa will generate more robust understandings of stormwater systems, together with implications on costs. The project will include investigations into different options for measurements in stormwater systems, as well as different options for modelling such systems, including the use of measurement data for model calibration.


You will work independently and with your supervisors to plan and carry out studies, write scientific papers and your PhD thesis. In between research tasks, you will take PhD courses and participate in national and international conferences and seminars. You will belong to two Research Schools: the national Water Research School offering a large number of courses and the department’s Research School, facilitating a strong start to your studies during your first year and increasing your network within the university and this dynamic international research field.


To be employed as a PhD student you need a MSc degree or equivalent in the field of water and environment, natural resources engineering or civil engineering. Candidates with a degree in machine learning or similar that are interested in applying their knowledge in the field of stormwater management are also welcome to apply. It is advantageous if you have knowledge of urban water engineering, hydraulic modelling, hydrological modelling, and/or machine learning methods and/or experience working with hydrological, meteorological, or environmental measurements.

Good oral and written skills in English are essential since the research results are presented at international conferences and in international journals. Furthermore, it is important to be able to work independently, be able to lead your project forward and have the capability to penetrate new areas and questions.  Swedish language skills are a merit. The applicant should be able provide two reference persons on request.

For further information about a specific subject see:

* General curriculum for PhD studies in Urban Water Engineering

Further information

Employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years (up to maximum of 5 years, depending on the amount of department duty). Teaching and other department duties may be added up to a maximum of 20% of fulltime employment.

For further information about the position, please contact

Associate Senior Lecturer Ico Broekhuizen,

Professor Maria Viklander,

Union representatives:

SACO-S Kjell Johansson (+46)920-49 1529
OFR-S Lars Frisk, (+46)920-49 1792

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button above. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

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