KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Chemical Science & Engineering

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as in architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The School of Chemical Science and Engineering includes the areas Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Fibre and Polymer Technology. It encompasses both fundamental and applied Chemical sciences and seeks sustainable development through scientific excellence. Many research activities are interdisciplinary across the borders from Chemistry to Materials science, Environmental science, Biochemistry, Biology and Medicine. The School offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Chemistry, Degree Programs in Engineering Chemistry, Technical Preparatory Year and three international master programs: Chemical Engineering for Energy and the Environment, Macromolecular Materials and Molecular Science and Engineering. We also cooperate with the master programs Energy and Environment, Materials Design and Biotechnology.

Job description

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate different alternatives to meet the need for energy on-board the vessel during long-term underwater missions. Fuel cells in combination with batteries is an attractive solution. Key issues to be studied are how to store the needed hydrogen and oxygen in an optimal way, how to combine the fuel cell with a battery and to integrate the system onboard and adapt it to the different applications. In this project fuel cell systems will be developed, implemented on demonstrators and optimized for various underwater applications. Hybridization with rechargeable batteries will also be evaluated, as well as different options for bringing fuel and oxygen.

The research is funded by the Swedish Maritime Robotics Center (SMaRC), which was created to promote innovative research in the area of maritime robotics. SMaRC is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, as an Industrial Research Center. The research focus is on three target application areas: ocean production, using the oceans for food, energy and raw materials; safeguarding society, knowing what is happening on- and in our waters; and environmental monitoring including missions in unexplored polar marine environments. We will develop technologies for increased autonomy and endurance of marine robots (typically denoted AUVs or ROVs) to reduce the reliance on ships and crews, and thereby drastically reduce costs of operation in all these areas.

SMaRC brings together researchers, specialists and end users from KTH, FOI, SAAB, MMT, Stockholm University and Gothenburg University. KTH (AE and RPL), SAAB and the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) will be responsible for most of the technical development. MMT has 40 years experience in underwater operations for ocean production as well as security applications. The Industrial Ecology department at KTH is deeply involved with blue growth projects, such as SEAFARM. The environmental and climate science partners from the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm University require data from hostile regions in the polar oceans, which are of acknowledged importance for the global climate system, and which may be accessible through autonomous underwater vehicles only. Finally, SAAB is a major supplier of underwater technologies for both civilian and military applications.

Within SMaRC you will belong to a multidisciplinary research team collaborating with other post-docs and PhDs from fields such as robotics, underwater communication, electrochemistry, marine ecology and biology, and polar science. There will be funding for regular traveling to conferences, workshops and sea trials in realistic conditions (e.g. Baltic Sea, Swedish west coast, Svalbard, Antarctica).


A suitable background for the project is a master of science in chemical engineering, engineering physics (engineering science), vehicle engineering or a related field. The project is to a large extent multi-disciplinary and broad technical background is an advantage. Good oral and written communication skills in English and Swedish are an advantage. The candidate should be highly motivated for doing scientific research and should have well developed analytical and problem solving skills as well as an interest and curiosity for electrochemical applications.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH:s web page.


Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

The application must include following documents:

  1. Cover letter with motivation
  2. Curriculum vitae including the applicant’s degree(s), a list of previous courses, and laboratory experience, etc.
  3. Official record of transcripts and a copy of degree certificate
  4. The names and full contact information for two personal/professional references (preferably previous supervisors or course lecturers/tutors)


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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As soon as possible / According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH´s Ph.D. student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number K-2017-0304
  • Carina Lagergren, Associate Professor, +46 8 790 65 07, carinal@kth.se
  • Göran Lindbergh, Professor, +46 8 790 81 43, gnli@kth.se
  • Ivan Stenius, Assistant Professor, +46 70 288 82 63, stenius@kth.se
Published 13.Apr.2017
Last application date 12.Jun.2017 11:59 PM CET

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