PhD scholarship in Digital twins for sustainable underground constructions

Monday 03 May 21

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Apply no later than 17 May 2021
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DTU Civil Engineering Department invites for applications for a 3 years PhD position. The start date is flexible and expected within June 2021. This project gives you the opportunity to become a leading figure in driving sustainable development and construction of underground infrastructure. This will be achieved by coupling existing monitoring data and advanced numerical simulations in digital twins, contributing to digitalization of the industry as well as improving its sustainability record. The project is anchored in the Section for Geotechnics and Geology and will be performed in close collaboration with Technion University (Israel) and Metroselskabet, giving you the chance to collaborate with a diverse and rich research team.

Responsibilities and qualifications
We seek a PhD candidate with self-driven attitude and a solid geotechnical background, who is highly skilled in soil characterization and ground modelling. This involves good theoretical understanding of soil and rock mechanics and solid knowledge regarding interpretation of in situ testing and laboratory experiments. The candidate should also have experience in numerical modelling of soil-structure-interaction problems.

As a PhD student in this project you will engage in:

(a) fundamental and advanced soil and rock characterization,

(b) advanced analytical and numerical modelling of soil-structure interaction problems,

(c) evaluation of the field monitoring of underground structures

(d) cost-benefit and sustainability analysis

(e) oral and verbal communication with partners and in scientific fora

(f) teaching and co-supervision of BSc and MSc students

The following skills will be considered an advantage:

(a) prior knowledge of constitutive modelling

(b) previous experience in programming

(c) prior knowledge or willingness to learn about sustainability, cost-benefit analysis and LCA

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

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.

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 upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Varvara Zania (email: tel: +45 4525 5092.

Please do not send applications to these e-mail addresses, only online applications as described below will be considered.

You can read more about DTU Civil Engineering Department  at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1May 2021  (Danish 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 out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • One page research statement describing the role of sustainability in underground constructions (as envisioned in the current project)

You may apply prior to obtaining your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

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

The Department of Civil Engineering is a university department engaged in building and construction. DTU Civil Engineering has more than 180 employees, including 95 academic staff members and approximately 30 PhD students

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.