Doctoral student in Physics focusing on advanced optical measurement techniques for development of future aviation engines

Lunds universitet

30 Sep 2023
Job Information

Lunds universitet
Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Department of Physics
Research Field
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
19 Oct 2023 – 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

The Unit for Combustion Physics conducts extensive operations with emphasis on the development of laser spectroscopic techniques for both basic studies and applications in, among other things, combustion processes, gasification, catalysis, nanometer-fabrication, plasma and biology/medicine. A substantial part of the research activities is focused on the transition to a sustainable transport- and energy system. Within the unit’s operations, there are extensive national and international collaborations with both academia and industrial partners. The Department of Combustion Physics has since 2001 been located in the new and modern building called Enoch Thulin laboratory at the Department of Physics where currently about 60 people work at the unit.

Work duties

Optical and laser-based measurement techniques are often ideal for non-intrusive studies of complicated and difficult-to-access processes without negatively affecting the measurement object. The techniques enable, among other things, extremely high time resolution (high-speed visualization).
The doctoral project will be focused on development and application of laser-based measurement methods to study how carbon-dioxide neutral fuels perform in aircraft engines.
In the EU-funded project “MYTHOS” involving 5 participating organizations from 3 EU countries, we will develop a new ground-breaking design methodology for future civil aircraft engines. These engines are designed to be powered by a wide range of liquid and gaseous fuels, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and hydrogen.
In jet aircrafts, jet fuel is burned in a gas turbine, which in turn propels the aircraft. Depending on the chemical composition of the fuel, the combustion process will behave different. In order to be able to use a wide range of fuel, which is becoming increasingly important, it becomes essential to investigate whether we can improve the operation of the aircraft engine so that climate-neutral fuels can be used and that different fuels can be used in such an improved engine without the need to modify the design for each fuel. The Department of Physics’ work within MYTHOS focuses on combustion chamber studies and optimization using advanced measurement methods such as high-speed imaging of laser induced fluorescence, with the aim of increasing fuel flexibility. The work includes both detailed studies in laboratory environments, and tests in full scale aircraft engines.
The PhD candidate will work at the Department of Combustion Physics in a group that develops and applies advanced optical diagnostics for practical applications, such as gas turbines for aviation and power generation, as well as engines for heavy vehicles and shipping. Collaboration with colleagues at the Department of Energy Sciences, as well as with the international consortium partners in MYTHOS and other research groups, e.g. within the competence center CESTAP (fossil free aviation fuels), will form an important part of the research work.

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 also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

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

  • 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 Physics if the applicant has:

  • at least 30 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject, of which at least 15 credits shall comprise a second-cycle degree project, or 
  • an MSc in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme

Additional requirements:

  • Very good knowledge of English, in speech and writing, is a requirement.
  • Good theoretical and experimental knowledge in the fields of optics, laser and spectroscopy.

Other assessment criteria

  • Experience in experimental laser diagnostics and/or atom/molecular spectroscopy.
  • Experience in combustion, gas turbines,  and fuel chemistry. 
  • Experience from analysing experimental data.
  • Experience in Matlab/Python or similar tools for data post-processing and analysis.

Basis of assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems. This assessment could for example be made from the master’s project or a discussion about this project in an interview situation.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.
  • Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through 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

    Applications may be written in English or Swedish 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, a copy of your Master’s thesis  or equivalent (or a summary text if the thesis is not yet completed), and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

    You are also required to answer the job specific questions as the first step of the application process.


    Research Field
    Education Level
    Master Degree or equivalent

    Additional Information
    Work Location(s)

    Number of offers available
    Lunds universitet

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