Lund University, LTH, Building & Environmental Tech.

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Structural engineering deals with the principles and methods for the design and detailing of load-bearing structures. The objective in design is to create structures with adequate safety and serviceability under the influence of relevant loads and actions during the intended service life of the structure. The core of the subject considers the performance and design of concrete, masonry, steel and timber structures. Another important aspect is structural reliability; a systematic approach for considering risks and uncertainties in design to ensure structural components and systems perform as intended with a sufficient degree of safety against failure, damage or loss of functionality. A primary aim for research activities is that they should be driven by the development of rational and competitive systems for practical construction practices. Research areas currently focussed on include:

  • Risk/reliability based methods for engineered structures and systems
  • Timber and concrete structures subjected to climate loads and deterioration
  • Renovation and climate adaptation of buildings.
Work duties
The aim of the PhD project is to develop new knowledge for assessing the required level of maintenance and renovation of clay brick facades in a rational way, with focus on repointing of the mortar joints. The project’s main objectives include: 
  • Investigating the influence of the material properties (of bricks and mortar) as well as craftsmanship on the long term durability of masonry.
  • Assessing the effect of bond between bricks and mortar and its importance for moisture uptake as well as water penetration from wind driven rain.
  • Evaluating the extent to which erosion and cracking in the mortar joints and clay bricks may induce increased uptake of water/moisture in masonry.

The knowledge generated by the project will be used to develop recommendations concerning the design and choice of masonry components, including craftsmanship methods, for repointing as well as to evaluate the residual service life of masonry from a durability perspective. 

Furthermore, the project should contribute to the evaluation and development of practical investigation methods to assess the technical condition and durability of masonry with focus on aspects such as the strength of mortar joints, the bond between bricks and mortar joints as well as the influence of cracks and mortar joint erosion for uptake of water. 

In addition, the project should contribute to the evaluation and dissemination of improved repointing methods with respect to building technology, craftsmanship and working environment issues. The project will also provide input to the building materials industry to develop repointing mortars with more limited environmental (CO2) footprint. 

The objectives of the project must be addressed from a materials technology, environmental, economics and craftsmanship point of view. This requires an interdisciplinary approach involving expertise from structural engineering, materials science, as well as practical construction and preservation of masonry buildings. The work in the project will combine modelling with extensive experimental verification. 

Supervision of the PhD project will be provided by the Division of Structural Engineering at Lund University in collaboration with project partners from the Division of Building Materials, the Swedish National Heritage Board as well as industry representatives.

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 will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%). Exemples of courses where the doctoral student might be expected to be involved as a teaching assistant are Structural Engineering VBKF15, Building Systems VBKF01, Concrete Structures VBKN05, Steel Structures VBKN15. 

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she has:

  • been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements if he or she has:

  • at least 90 credits in subjects of relevance to the field of structural engineering including at least 60 second-cycle credits and a second-cycle degree project of at least 30 credits in the field of structural engineering, or
  • a second-cycle degree in a relevant field.

Additional requirements:

Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study; the following are highlighted as being especially relevant: a. Design of concrete and/or masonry structures, b. Moisture transport in materials, c. Durability of building materials, d. Assessment of existing Buildings
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills.
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

As the project involves experimental work, is experience from laboratory work, practical model construction or handicraft seen as a merit.

Other assessment criteria:

A basic understanding of Swedish is preferable. If lacking, the candidate is expected to learn Swedish during the first two years.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2018/3341
  • Miklos Molnar, +46462223453
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
Published 01.Nov.2018
Last application date 07.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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