Postdoc in Urban Water Engineering focusing on Microplastics in Urban Runoff

Lulea University of Technology
Lulea, Sweden
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Ref 1918-2019

The Urban Water Research Group at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering at Luleå University of Technology seeks a driven and committed Post doc with focus on microplastics in urban runoff.

The Urban Water Research Group has a strong position in research and education within the area of urban water systems, mainly regarding stormwater, wastewater and sewer systems. Being a part of the Urban Water Research Group implies working in an international and creative environment. The group consists of a number of senior researchers, international adjunct and guest professors and 20 doctoral candidates. The group has an extensive inter-national collaboration network.

Subject description 

Urban Water Engineering encompasses the entire urban water system (storm drains, drink-ing water supply and waste water) with respect to collection, transport and treatment, as well as organisation and planning. The research aims to encourage a strong economy, clean environment and the wise use of resources, while preserving the public’s health and safety.

Project description

Lately, urban runoff has been recognised as one of the major transport routes of microplastics from sources in the urban environment to the surrounding environment. Besides that microplastics can be seen as pollutants themselves, they may also adsorb and transport other harmful substances which has been released to the environment. This post doc position is offered with funding from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and InterReg Baltic Sea Region in the projects named Urban Plastics and FanpLESStic-Sea. Within these projects, we will investigate for example the transport pathways of microplastics in the urban environment. This will done by conducting sampling of stormwater and sediment from stormwater treatment facilities and analyse for microplastics. Furthermore, we will study how plastic litter are degraded from macro plastics to microplastics in order to understand how littering may contribute to the release of microplastics. The research will therefore be based on laboratory as well as field work. The postdoc will also conduct parts of the sample preparation for microplastics analysis while other project partners carry out the analysis.


The work as a post doc are varied, postdoc independently plan and carry out laboratory and field work. Further tasks include the writing of scientific papers and the participation in Swedish and international conferences. You may also have the opportunity to teach in undergraduate courses and administrative tasks may be included.


The applicant shall hold a PhD in sanitary/urban water engineering, environmental engineering, environmental chemistry or equivalent. Primarily, the applicant with a PhD degree not older than three years will be selected.

Experience in lab and/or field work as well as statistical data analysis are mandatory for this position. Experience and/or education in the field of sanitary/urban water engineering and microplastics analysis are meritorious as well as experience in teaching.

Further skills needed are the ability to work independently and take own initiatives as well as independently penetrate new research areas. Moreover, English language skills are required to facilitate presentation of research outcomes in international conferences and scientific papers. Swedish language skills are meritorious since there are many contacts with Swedish municipalities and companies. It is preferable if you hold a driving license to facilitate fieldwork.

The applicant should be able provide two referees on request. We prefer that you can start as soon as possible.


The position includes a fulltime fixed-term employment for two years located in Luleå.

For additional information, please contact:

  • Bitr. lektor Heléne Österlund, +46 920 492294,
  • Prof Maria Viklander, +46 70 3301486,

Union representatives: 

  • SACO-S Christer Gardelli, (+46)920-49 1809
  • OFR-S Lars Frisk, 0920-49 1792

Luleå University of Technology is actively working on equality and diversity that contributes to a creative study- and work environment. The University's core values are based on respect, trust, openness and responsibility.

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below. The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.