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PhD Student in Railway Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology

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PhD Student in Railway Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology


The Department of Applied Mechanics conducts research in different areas of mechanical engineering including machine and vehicle design. The research is often carried out together with national and international academic and industrial partners.

The research at the Division of Dynamics of the Department of Applied Mechanics is directed towards various vibration and wave propagation problems, often with coupling to other physical phenomena such as wear or piezoelectricity. Both fundamental and applied research is performed, and although the main thrust is towards modeling and numerical treatment. Experimental activities also play an important role.

A large part of the applied research is performed within the competence centre CHARMEC.

Job description

The Division of Dynamics at the Department of Applied Mechanics is seeking a new PhD student to start in the autumn of 2011. The research will be conducted within the project described below.

PhD project: Improved availability and reduced life cycle cost of track switches
The project will generate increased knowledge to support product development of track switches (turnouts) with a more stable geometry and a better balanced elasticity. The aim is to reach reduced track geometry degradation by implementation of an optimised design of sleepers and resilient elements. Based on simulation, a critical assessment of different materials in rail crossings subjected to mixed traffic conditions will be performed. A numerical model for prediction of settlement in track switches will be developed. Available numerical models of dynamic interaction between vehicle and switch, and finite element calculations of strains and stresses in relevant switch components, will be used.

The project will be jointly supervised by Professor Jens Nielsen and Docent Magnus Ekh. Cooperating partners will be Chalmers University of Technology, Trafikverket, VAE GmbH, Vossloh Switch Systems Nordic AB and Abetong AB. The project will be run in cooperation with a parallel PhD project at the Division of Operation and Maintenance at Luleå University of Technology.

Required qualifications

A suitable background is a Master of Science (Swedish: civilingenjör) in mechanical engineering, engineering physics or civil engineering with emphasis on computational mechanics and structural dynamics. A strong interest in modelling, simulation and experimental validation of models is required. Knowledge of the Swedish language is desirable but not a requirement. However, all PhD Students are expected to be able to teach in Swedish as well as in English after two years of employment. Those who do not have Swedish as their mother tongue are offered courses in the Swedish language. You will be employed as a doctoral student by Chalmers and will receive a salary according to current salary agreements. A maximum of 20% of your working time will be devoted to duties at the department, mainly teaching of undergraduate courses. The remaining time will be devoted to your own research and education, where the aim is to complete your PhD examination within 5 years (nominal time without Department duties is 4 years). The doctoral student will have a main supervisor, associate supervisor(s) and a project supervision board which usually consists of representatives of the academy and industry. CHARMEC`s network at the University and in the industry will be available to the doctoral student.

Application procedure

The application shall be written in English and include the following items:

  1. An application of a maximum of one A4 page containing your specific qualifications for the position
  2. Attested copies of education certificates, including grade reports and other documents
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Letters of recommendation and name of reference persons (optional)

The application shall be sent electronically as pdf or zipped documents. Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. If any material is not available electronically or cannot be transferred to pdf format, the material can be sent as a hard copy to Registrar. The applicants name and the reference number (2011/118) must be written on the first page of the application. Address: Registrar Chalmers University of Technology SE-412 96 Göteborg Sweden

Further information

Jens Nielsen E-mail: jens.nielsen@chalmers.se Phone: 036-305952

Magnus Ekh E-mail: magnus.ekh@chalmers.se Phone: 031 772 34 79 Reference number 2011/118

Application deadline : June 7th 2011

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