PhD student position in building technology

Reference number: HR-2023/767

Welcome to Linnaeus University! We meet the societal challenges of today and tomorrow in a spirit of openness, curiosity and creativity. By creating arenas for exchange of knowledge from different subjects, fields and cultures, we open up for new ideas and create new opportunities for long-term sustainable societal development. Linnaeus University – where people grow.

The Faculty of Technology has a wide range of activities spanning nine different departments through which Linnaeus University provides education and conducts research. The courses in technology cover everything from short courses of a few weeks or months to five-year Master of Science in Engineering courses. The research responds to society’s needs in several broad fields – both in the short and long term – with basic research and applied research in collaboration with stakeholders.

The department of Building Technology has extensive collaboration with business partners in research and education. The department works together with the neighboring departments for a creative environment with challenging educations and outstanding research. Research in building technology includes wood building technology, steel, concrete and composite construction technology, building physics, historical structures, structural health monitoring, life cycle analysis and building materials. The department currently offers two bachelor’s programs and a two-year master’s program, the latter in Sustainable Structural Engineering, and is currently developing a Master of Science in Engineering program in Civil Engineering.

The research group of which you will be a part, has extensive experience of the type of research to which the doctoral student project relates, often driven in close collaboration with industry. Together we have written many scientific articles and doctoral dissertations, and developed innovations, patents and patent applications.

Admitted to: Building technology

Terms of employment: The employment as a doctoral student is limited according to chapter 5, section 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance. The total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent full-time postgraduate studies of four years

Location: Växjö

Start: Starting date as agreed upon.

Work description

One goal of the doctoral project is to develop new tools for identifying properties of wood and timber that provide a basis for grading and optimized material utilization. The planned strategy to achieve this goal is to combine mathematical modeling of tree trunks and timber, with a focus on knots and fiber orientation, with methods for machine learning. The doctoral student will therefore, together with his/her supervisors:

  • Collect and analyze measurement data from optical scanning and X-ray/computed tomography,
  • Develop mathematical and statistical models for the occurrence and geometry of branches in tree trunks and knots in timber boards,
  • Model fiber orientation in the surroundings of knots,
  • Using models according to the above, train algorithms for machine learning to reproduce internal properties of wood based on information from scanned surfaces.
  • Through the work, the doctoral student shall gain insight into and contribute to new knowledge regarding:
  • Three-dimensional structures inside wood material (mainly spruce) and mechanical properties of sawn timber,
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning with application to wood,
  • Opportunities to translate models and improved detection into value-adding grading and better industrial utilization of wood materials.

The work includes both theoretical studies on wood materials, mathematical modeling and programming and experimental investigations. The work is conducted in close collaboration with researchers within the supervision team and in collaboration with companies that are expected to utilize the new opportunities industrially. It is also included in the doctoral studies to take doctoral courses.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance, a person appointed to a doctoral studentship should primarily devote himself/herself to his/her own studies. An appointee may, however, work to a limited extent with education, research, artistic development, and administration. However, before a doctoral degree has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20% of a full-time position.


General requirements

A person fulfils the general entry requirements if he/she has:

  • An advanced level degree
  • A completed undergraduate program of at least 240 credits, including 60 credits at the advanced level
  • Or the equivalent knowledge obtained in or outside of Sweden

Specific requirements

A person fulfils the specific entry requirements if he/she has:

  • a minimum of 90 higher education credits in the subject Building Technology or in subjects related to the doctoral level studies, or equivalent knowledge acquired in some other manner either in Sweden or abroad.
  • You have good communication skills and can express yourself both orally and in writing in English.

Lastly, the applicant must be assessed as having the ability to pursue the studies.

Other requirements

In-depth knowledge in one or more of the areas of machine learning, wood materials, structural mechanics, mathematics/statistics and programming.

Desirable qualifications

In-depth knowledge in all areas as above. Furthermore, computational experience in various application areas is an advantage and a good ability to communicate orally and in writing in Swedish and/or another language in addition to English.

We are looking for you who are curious, analytical and always thorough in your work and who want to develop your ability both by taking personal responsibility and by utilizing results and insights that have been developed through the research group’s previous work.

Assessment criteria

The selection to third cycle studies is based on the assessed ability to pursue the studies. The assessment focuses mainly on study results from first cycle and second cycle studies. The following is considered: 

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis work and the subject, see Work description above. These can be shown via attached documents
  2. Assessed ability to work independently and ability to formulate and approach scientific problems. The assessment may be based on the degree project and a discussion about this at a possible interview
  3. Level of written and oral communication
  4. Other merits relevant to the third cycle studies, e.g. professional experience

The following will also be considered: ability to work with others, ambition, independence and personal aptitude, as well as the applicant’s assessed ability, based on their own experience and competence, to successfully complete the studies.

More information about assessment and selection criteria can be found in each subject’s General study plan for postgraduate education, please see

Application process

Applicants are expected to submit their application in English, which should include:

  • A personal letter which states the reason for being interested in the position and in which ways the research project corresponds to your interests, experience and educational background
  • A CV
  • Master’s degree transcripts/diploma, and copy, or link, to master degree project
  • Any other relevant documents (references, recommendation letter, transcript of records)

For further information, please contact

Main supervisor: Anders Olsson, +46 70 730 51 70,

Head of department: Thomas K Bader, +46 72 522 59 78,

Regarding the recruitment process, please contact Human Resources Officer Linda Wincent, 

You are very welcome to apply according to instructions until May 31, 2023.