PhD student position in Solid and Structural Mechanics

Information about the research and project
You are hereby invited to apply for a PhD student position in the project “Tread braking limits, life and wear processes”.

Railway vehicles are often braked using mechanical friction brakes in the form of tread brakes that act directly onto the tread of the wheels that are at the same time in rolling contact with the rail. The tread brakes should provide braking capacity of the train for everything from normal serivice braking to extreme braking conditions. For this braking system a minimum of components are added to the vehicle and it thus has the capacity of being the low-cost and low-maintenance braking system of choice for the industry. However, the utilisation of the wheel as a friction-heated component that also is worn by the brake comes at a cost in the form of complex loading situations in which elevated temperatures resulting from braking are interacting with the wheel-rail rolling contact loads.

The objective of this project is therefore to find the limits for the tread braking system so that it can be utilized broadly in a safe and maintenance efficient way. To this end, three main areas are investigated 1) extreme braking situations and the safe limits of the railway wheels 2) temperature effects and rolling contact fatigue of wheels, and, 3) wear of the braking components with a focus on temperature effects.

In the project, knowledge building will be based on a combination of numerical simulations and experimental campaigns. The intention is that the results from the project should be accurate enough such that safety measures and maintenance decisions can be taken based on its results. Modeling and simulation in the areas of high-temperature material behaviour, thermomechanical fatigue, wear of materials and model calibration are forseen to be employed in these efforts together with optimization methods.

This research will build on previous investigations in European and in-house CHARMEC projects. It will be run in close cooperation with industrial partners – especially Faiveley Transport, Bombardier Transportation and Lucchini Sweden.

Information about the division and CHARMEC
The project will be at the Division of Dynamics, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. The Division of Dynamics currently has 15 faculty members and 8 PhD students. The present research activities are focused on mechanical systems, structural dynamics, wave propagation, and railway mechanics. Areas of interest relate to various problems in solid mechanics such as vibrational problems, fatigue, wear, contact mechanics, wave propagation, optimization and dynamics of smart materials and structures. The research activities range from basic research to applied projects, including theoretical and numerical modelling, and experimental activities.

Experiments are performed either at the department’s laboratory, at industrial partners or through field measurements. The division is host for the National Centre of Excellence in Railway Mechanics (CHARMEC).

Your project will be part of the activities within the Swedish National Centre of Excellence in Railway Mechanics CHARMEC – CHAlmers Railway MEChanics. CHARMEC was established in 1995 and is supported by Chalmers, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and an Industrial Interests Group comprising ten partners. All research at CHARMEC is carried out in an international context with overall objectives to reduce the railway’s costs for production, operation and maintenance, and to decrease the environmental footprint while improving safety, reliability and transport quality. Currently, some 25 research projects are carried out within CHARMEC.

Information about the DepartmentThe Division of Dynamics is part of the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, which conducts fundamental and applied research in all modes of transport to achieve sustainable technological solutions as well as research to achieve environmentally-friendly process techniques and a sustainable energy supply. M2 holds one of Sweden’s most extensive simulator centre for navigation and propulsion of ships, and world class laboratories within combustion engineering and wind tunnels. The department continuously strives to establish a cooperation between academia, industry, and society, with a strong focus on utilisation.
The details of the departmental research activities may be found here.

Major responsibilities
Your major responsibilities as PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. This includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results. The position is a full-time temporary employment with a time limited to a maximum of 4.5 years including teaching or other duties corresponding to 15% of working hours. You will be employed by Chalmers and will receive a salary according to current salary agreements.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of 4.5 years.

A suitable background is a Master of Science (Swedish: civilingenjör) in mechanical engineering, civil engineering or engineering physics with emphasis on solid mechanics and computational methods. The position requires oral and written communication skills in English and Swedish. Swedish is not required, but you will be encouraged to learn Swedish during employment.

You are expected to take initiatives, work independently when needed and to take responsibility for your work. Further, the project interacts closely with adjacent disciplines and industrial partners. Thus you need to have high collaborative skills. Finally, you need to be able to disseminate results and knowledge within existing and new networks. This includes academia, industry and society at large.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to youChalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20190519 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

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 research fields and main research results
• 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, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 11 November 2019

For questions, please contact:
Associate Professor Tore Vernersson, Dynamics, +46 31 772 8501

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 eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, 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!   

Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Monday November 11th, 2019