PhD Student in Urban Water Engineering focusing on Micro-Plastics in Urban Runoff

Lulea University of Technology
Lulea, Sweden
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Ref 1917-2019

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 PhD student 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 international collaboration network.

Subject description

Urban Water Engineering encompasses the entire urban water system (storm drains, drinking 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 PhD project is carried out with funding from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and InterReg Baltic Sea Region in the projects named Urban Plastics and FanpLESStic-Sea. Within these project we will investigate for example the transport pathways of microplastics in the urban environment. This will done by conducting sampling 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 PhD studies will therefore be based on laboratory as well as field work. The PhD student will also conduct parts of the sample preparation for microplastics analysis while other project partners carry out the analysis.


The work as a PhD student are varied. The PhD candidate independently plan and carry out laboratory and field work. Further tasks include the writing of scientific papers and the doctoral thesis as well as the participation in Swedish and international conferences. Two supervisors support the PhD candidate during the research studies. Third-cycle education also includes courses that the PhD candidate attend. The PhD studies are 4 years, fulltime. Upon this, you may also have the opportunity to teach in undergraduate courses and administrative tasks may also be included, all together up to one year which will be added to the 4 years. The majority of your working time will be devoted to your own research studies.


The applicant shall hold a second-cycle degree (MSc, fully completed course requirements of at least 240 ETCS of which at least 60 ETCS on advanced level, or equivalent) in environmental or natural resources engineering, or equivalent. English language skills are required to facilitate the candidate’s presentation of research outcomes at international conferences and in scientific papers. Further skills needed are the ability to work independently and take own initiatives as well as independently penetrate new research areas. Experience and/or education in the field of sanitary/urban water engineering, lab and field work, statistical data analysis as well as Swedish language skills are meritorious. It is preferable if you hold a driving license to facilitate field work.

Initial interviews are planned to be carried out during week 24. The applicant should be able provide two referees on request.

For further information about a specific subject see; General curricula for the Board of the faculty of science and technology


Employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years, teaching and other department duties may be added up to maximum 20 % of fulltime.

For further information about the position, please contact

  • Dr. 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.

Reference number: LTU-1917-2019
Last day of application: June 12, 2019

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