PhD Position in Combustion Engines

Lund University


Ph.D. student position in Combustion Engines studying “compression ignition engine operation on methanol”


Faculty of Engineering, LTH, The Department of Energy Sciences

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

The Division of Combustion Engines is a world leading engine research facility focused on engine control, alternative fuels, novel combustion concepts, and fundamental studies in optically accessible engines. It hosts a state-of-the-art engine lab with 12 test cells, and about 20 employees of which 12 are Ph.D. students. The engine research cluster in Lund involves staff from Combustion Physics, Fluid Mechanics, Automatic Control and Heat Transfer totalling more than 50 scientists.

Job assignment
This PhD position is within a EU Horizon 2020 project called FASTWATER. The project focuses on methanol, as a clean fuel for shipping. Methanol is available in large quantities in most ports today and offers a pathway to a climate-neutral synthetic fuel produced from renewables. As a liquid fuel, it is easily stored on board, which is advantageous to ship design, and enables relatively simple retrofitting. FASTWATER aims to start a fast transitionary path to move waterborne transport away from fossil fuels, and reduce its pollutant emissions to minimal impact, through the use of methanol fuel. The FASTWATER consortium has a strong track record with methanol projects (particularly for waterborne transport) and includes shipyards, a ship owner, engine manufacturers, an equipment supplier, a classification society, a methanol producer, a major port and research institutes. Specifically, FASTWATER will develop and demonstrate an evolutionary pathway for methanol technology, including retrofit solutions as well as next generation systems. Universal, scalable retrofit kits, medium speed and high speed methanol engines will be developed, demonstrated and commercialized. The demos include a harbour tug, a pilot boat and a coast guard vessel. A complete design for a methanol-powered river cruiser is also included.

Besides coordinating the project, LU focuses on the development of the next generation of compression ignition methanol engines, that fully exploit methanol’s beneficial properties as an engine fuel, for increased efficiency and even lower emissions. The LU objectives are to 1) experimentally develop the engine concept used in one of the demos, using ignition enhancer, to a concept that can reduce or eliminate the use of ignition enhancer; and 2) to evaluate alternative concepts and provide recommendations on which methanol engine concepts to invest in for market introduction.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or 
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Combustion Engines if he or she has:

  • at least 90 credits of relevance to the subject, including at least 60 second-cycle credits, and a second cycle degree project of at least 30 credits of relevance to the field, or
  • a second cycle degree in a relevant field.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria
The selection for admittance to the postgraduate studies will be based on the judged ability to successfully finish the same. The assessment is based on results of studies at undergraduate and graduate levels, with particular emphasis on the candidate's ability to present, explain and defend his thesis in an interview. Special attention is paid to the following: 

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis work and education topic.
  • Ability to work independently and ability to formulate and solve scientific problems.
  • Skills in written and oral communication.
  • Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

The candidate should have a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, electromechanical engineering or a degree in engineering physics, science or other similar competence. Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply
Apply for the position via the link at the bottom of the vacancy notice. Applications shall be written in English, and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).


Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

To apply, please click the button "Login and apply"

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment June 1st 2020
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2020/457
Sebastian Verhelst, 046-222 79 00;
Union representative
OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 10.Feb.2020
Last application date 16.Mar.2020 11:59 PM CET


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