PhD student position in geomechanics: genesis and failure of quick clay

Become part of an active and diverse research group at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) at Chalmers, Sweden, that offers excellent opportunities to develop your academic skills and international networks, whilst scientifically contributing to the fundamental understanding of quick clays.

Project description
We are looking for a highly motivated and talented individual to fill a PhD student position linked with a research project funded by Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish research council). The project is conceived as fundamental experimental research on the genesis and failure of quick clays using a combination of physical model tests, rheology experiments, and miniature hydro-mechanical tests with simultaneous 4D monitoring of the internal structure using optical and X-ray based scattering and imaging methods.

The ultimate aim of the project is to link the unique response of natural quick clays at engineering scale to physico-chemical and micro-mechanical processes during formation (sedimentation, consolidation) and failure. In addition to the main supervisor (Prof. Jelke Dijkstra) and a local co-supervisor (Dr Angela Casarella) at ACE, Dr Stephen Hall at the Division of Solid Mechanics at Lund University will co-supervise the project with his expertise on advanced X-ray and neutron based methods. The project will be embedded in a larger constellation of projects at the department that focus on the fundamental behaviour of (natural) clays, ground improvement and sustainable materials in Civil Engineering. 

Information about the division and the department
The Geotechnics Research Group (GRG) in the Division of Geology and Geotechnics (GEO) primarily focuses on modelling and characterisation of complex geomaterials, such as natural and stabilised soils. The research activities aim to bridge fundamental understanding and advanced modelling & testing capabilities with application in engineering practice. GRG is an internationally leading group in experimental testing and modelling at laboratory and field scale. The group has unique laboratory facilities to study the hydromechanical response of geomaterials in climate-controlled conditions, and computational facilities incorporating the latest in-house software developments for computational work. Those facilities are further complemented with those at Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory and 4D imaging lab at Lund University.

Major responsibilities
In addition to research and doctoral courses, the applicants are also expected to contribute to the education at undergraduate or MSc level and/or other activities within the Division and GRG (up to 20% of their time).

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a Master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 ECTS credits in Civil Engineering or another relevant topic. You need to be numerate, and proficiency in programming (e.g. Python) and the ability to process large amounts of data in an automated manner is an advantage. The applicants are expected to be fluent in English (both verbal and written communication) in order to work efficiently in a mainly English speaking research environment. Fluency in Swedish would be an additional merit.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20220729 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

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
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

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

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Application deadline: 15-03-2023

For questions, please contact:
Professor, Jelke Dijkstra, GEO
Phone: +46317722120

*** 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 six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, 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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