PhD Position in Development of Tribologically optimized 3D-printed Surfaces for Joint Implant Components

Uppsala University Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Marie Sklodowska-Curie PhD student position in development of tribologically optimized 3D-printed surfaces for joint implant components

Published: 2021-01-20

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

Admission to PhD education in Engineering Sciences with Specialization in Tribology.

The BioTrib Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network focuses on Advanced Research Training for the Biotribology of Natural and Artificial Joints in the 21st Century. It is a newly funded European project, co-ordinated by the University of Leeds, with the aim to develop a unique, bioengineering-based, integrated approach to the development of early career researchers as future research and innovation leaders across interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral domains. The network consists of 5 core universities in Europe, and another 11 partner organisations, from academia, industry as well as the healthcare sector.

You will be working with Urban Wiklund in the Tribomaterials group, a research group which specializes in tribology and surface engineering, and in cooperation with the groups that specialize in developing and evaluating new biomaterials.

Project description: As a result of long-term studies developing alloys with high strength and minimal negative influence on surrounding tissues during degradation several different alloys are today used in clinics. In this project we want to further improve the function of these types of alloys when used as implants by exploring how to tailor their microstructure and process their surfaces. Powder bed fusion techniques allows for local control of the alloy microstructure, and combined with suitable post processing the aim is to produce surfaces that are optimized to resist wear and reduce friction.

Cobalt-chrome alloys will likely first be targeted and both process parameters and post processing routes will have to be developed. Also development of suitable tribological test routes, both as fundamental and simplified laboratory tests and in tests closer to the application, are central parts of the project. Throughout the project, advanced materials analysis will be crucial for the analysis of the as-printed micro structures, the surfaces in post processed condition and the worn surfaces. The position includes secondments to other partners in the consortium.

Work Duties: 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%).

The PhD candidate is expected to:

  • conduct research focused on the development of novel, 3D-printable materials for biomedical applications
  • developing initiative, creativity and judgement in applying appropriate approaches to research activities
  • ensure good day-to-day progress of work in development and analysis, and maintaining good records
  • actively participate in all relevant research activities organized by the network as advised by the supervisors
  • writing up results for publication and attending suitable conferences for their dissemination, attend meetings as required to discuss the project which could involve occasional international travel

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

The research studies will be carried out in collaboration between the research institute Swerim AB and Uppsala University.

Qualification required:

  • MSc degree or equivalent in materials science / materials engineering, engineering physics, biomedical engineering or similar, with a strong focus on materials. Those getting their degree in Spring 2021 are also welcome to apply.
  • Ability to work both independently and also as part of a larger team of researchers, including interaction with the research group and BioTrib ITN and engaging in knowledge-transfer activities where appropriate and feasible
  • Self-motivation and good time management and planning skills
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Good presentation and communication skills
  • A commitment to your own continuous professional development

Additional qualifications: Experience in tribology or additive manufacturing will be considered a merit.

Admission requirements: A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs 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.

Rules governing PhD student candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala university's rules and guidelines

The eligibility criteria for this Marie Skodowska-Curie PhD position are as follows:

  • The applicant must, at the date of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when they obtained the undergraduate degree.
  • The applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

The advertised project will be carried out by a PhD student (“Early-stage Researcher”) at Uppsala University over a period of 42-48 months, in addition departmental duties at a level of at most 20% (typically teaching) will be expected.

Instructions for Application: Applications should include

  • cover letter, including a brief description of experience relevant to the position and motivation (max. 2 pages)
  • CV with list of publications (if any)
  • master thesis (or a draft thereof), copies of diplomas, certificates (including a list of courses and grades) and other relevant documents should be included
  • contact information to at least two reference persons. Letter(s) of recommendation are encouraged

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students

Starting date: To be negotiated, but at the latest September 2021

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7

Scope of employment: 100%

For further information about the position please contact: Dr Alexandra Davydova (

Please submit your application by April 30, 2021, UFV-PA 2021/24. 

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: According to local agreement for PhD students

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/24

Last application date: 2021-04-30

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