PhD student position in life cycle optimisation of building design
Chalmers University of Technology

PhD student position in life cycle optimisation of building design

Sweden 15 Jan 2021


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Nonprofit organization
Host Country
15 Jan 2021
Study level
Opportunity type
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The built environment is central to the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption and the building sector is one of the least digitalised of all sectors. Furthermore, the built environment has a big influence on people's wellbeing and social interactions. However, in early design phases, little information is available and decisions are mostly guided by intuition. Therefore, the newly established research stream Computational Design within the research group Sustainable Building focusses especially on digital approaches to support the early design phases of sustainable buildings and cities.

Project description
This PhD position is part of a Formas project with the aim to develop stakeholder-specific decision support for environmental and economic optimization of buildings in early design phases. The three main objectives include 1) combining Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) into a consistent framework for the Swedish context, 2) implementing it into a design-integrated tool and linking it with computational optimisers, 3) developing intuitive and stakeholder-specific visualisations of the results. Furthermore, the potential links to Social Life Cycle Assessment and the applicability of Artificial Intelligence for decission support should be explored. A close collaboration with the Digital Twin City Centre (DTCC) at Chalmers ensures an integration with the digital platform and access to latest technological developments.

The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) represents a broad field of knowledge theory ranging from natural sciences and engineering to social sciences, humanities and design-based artistic research. These different perspectives enable strong interdisciplinary development and a broad research approach to different aspects of sustainability.

The Division of Building Technology brings together knowledge from Building Physics, Building Materials, Infrastructure Physics and Sustainable building. Sustainable building deals with concepts, tools and strategies to enhance the sustainability performance of construction materials, building products, road infrastructures, and entire cities.

Major responsibilities
The successful candidate for this position has the qualifications and abilities to contribute to the research area of Computational Sustainable Design on an international level. A major part of the work includes developing novel methods based on a life cycle perspective and implementing these in tools. Benefits of novel digital methods will ultimately be tested with stakeholders in a real-life project. Interdisciplinary collaboration with other PhD students and collegues at Chalmers, for example in the DTCC, is expected. The position may include teaching or other departmental duties up to a maximum of 20 %.

Contract terms
You will be employed by Chalmers on a full-time temporary contract. The employment is limited to four years’ effective time on the PhD project, plus additional time spent on teaching and other departmental duties up to a maximum of five years. The employment is tied to successful progress of the doctoral studies, as evaluated throughout the project.

You should have a Master’s degree in Architecture, Civil or Environmental Engineering, or a similar field, preferably with a strong interest in sustainability and digitalisation of the design process of buildings. We are seeking an innovative, self-motivated candidate with brilliant analytic and computational skills, who will be able to work independently in interdisciplinary teams and pursue new ways for digital design solutions. Previous experiences in the field of life cycle engineering and expertise in programming and computational design are therefore very important. The position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills in English. The person assigned to the position is expected to acquire sufficient knowledge to be able to communicate in Swedish in two years. As important merits will be considered design skills and expert knowledge of digital tools such as Grasshopper/Rhino or Dynamo/Revit and common formats in the built environment, e.g. IFC, gbXML, cityGML, etc.

You are a person who takes initiatives, works independently when needed and takes responsibility for your work. Furthermore, the project interacts closely with adjacent disciplines and industrial partners. Thus you need to have significant 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 you
Chalmers 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 20200593 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 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. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 15 January, 2021

For questions, please contact:
Assistant Professor Alexander Hollberg

*** 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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