PhD scholarship in Organisational Transition to Systems Thinking in Nordic Manufacturing

DTU, The Technical University of Denmark, Department of Management Engineering invites applicants for a 3-year PhD position on ”Uncertainty Perception in Organisational Transition to Systems Thinking in Nordic Manufacturing”, starting ideally on 1 September 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter in 2018. This PhD project will be based in the Engineering Systems Division and supervised by Associate Professor Melanie Kreye.

The Engineering Systems Division is growing fast and is characterised by a vibrant and supportive research environment with engaged staff and strong research collaborations with leading universities and industry worldwide. Our research focuses on understanding and improving the ways in which complex socio-technical engineering systems are designed, managed, and operated throughout their life cycles. Our research spans the boundaries of 1. interdisciplinary engineering design, 2. engineering project, program and portfolio management, and 3. related policy, public engagement and strategic processes. By focusing on the themes of complexity, human behaviour, and uncertainty, we develop understanding, knowledge, methods and tools for public and private organisations to be more effective in the design, construction and operation of large-scale socio-technical engineering systems.

The project focuses on how to ensure the transition from a product-based manufacturing company to a solution-focused company. Solutions are a seamless integration of product and services to fulfil customer needs and require system thinking. Specifically, the project targets the issue of uncertainty management in the transition process which arises from the need to integrate a large number of processes, stakeholders and organisational competencies. This project will focus on the perception of uncertainty by individual employees. Specifically, the objectives are to assess this uncertainty perception and identify suitable management approaches for navigating this uncertainty.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project is part of the Nordic Five Tech Alliance and will be carried out in collaboration with Aalto University. The project at Aalto is titled “Design thinking as a driving force in organizational change.” The project will further involve collaboration with one or more companies. Research tasks include theoretical work with systems theories to conceptualise the topic of uncertainty perception and systems thinking. Other tasks include empirical work in the companies including surveys, interviews and interactive workshops, and possibly small experiments.

The project work requires good understanding of management issues in a technology-focused company. Experience in Industry 4.0 and Nordic manufacturing industries would be of advantage. The work will require understanding of solutions provision including relevant theories and methodologies. Furthermore, a background in and understanding of practical psychology-related theories with respect to uncertainty management would be of advantage.

The student will be required to: 

conduct a literature review in uncertainty perception and management, systems thinking, and solution provision (including servitization),engage with Nordic industry partners to collect empirical data on solution provision processes,write high-level academic publications on an internationally leading level.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in Management, Engineering Management, Industrial Engineering, Innovation Management, Applied Psychology, Design and Innovation, Design Engineering, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Melanie Kreye, Associate Professor and Anja Maier, Professor and Head of Division.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The position will be based in the Engineering Systems Division at DTU Management Engineering in Lyngby, just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. The candidate will also engage in regular research visits at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Melanie Kreye, email: 

You can read more about the Engineering Systems Division on  

Please submit your online application no later than 15 June 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

    A letter motivating the application, including your research activities and ideas for the research project (cover letter, max 3-pages)Curriculum vitaeGrade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma, certificates, and lists of subjects with your results as well as their official translation into EnglishExcel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)Two reference contacts who may be contacted by the assessment committee

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Management Engineering contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimisation of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models and methods. Through our research and teaching we ensure an innovative, competitive and sustainable organisation and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 340 employees; including an academic staff of 190 and more than 70 PhD students. More than 20 % of our employees are from abroad and in all 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

Deadline: 15 June 2018
Unit: DTU Management Engineering
Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Friday June 15th, 2018