University West, Department of Engineering Science

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is University West’s overarching profile and basic principle applied to learning, the exchange of ideas, and educational development. The government has assigned the distinguished task of developing WIL to University West. Work integrated learning in education and research develops new, relevant and advanced knowledge both within the academy and among its partners, which also benefits society in general. University West offers a wide variety of study programs, has a good number of applicants and the students show a high entry rate on the labor market. The main research environments at University West are Production technology, Learning in and for the new working life and Child and youth studies and is conducted in collaboration with the surrounding society. Campus is centrally located in Trollhättan with about 15,000 students and 625 employees.

PhD Studentship in Production Technology –  Specializing in Wear Resistant Coatings for Automotive Applications

University West has carved out a particular niche for itself in the sphere of Production Technologies. Production Technology West (PTW) has been a prioritized research environment at the University since 2008, with an emphasis on development of production processes in the manufacturing industry and has grown from just a handful of researchers at inception to nearly 90 researchers, PhD students and other technical staff at present. Currently, the vibrant research portfolio at PTW spans the areas of Industrial Automation, Machining, Welding, Thermal Spraying and Additive Manufacturing.

Thermal Spraying (TS) has always been a cornerstone of production technologies’ research at HV, consistent with the fact that it is the first and the most active academic group in the country with a focus on thermal spraying. The group is located at the Production Technology Center (PTC), which is jointly run by Innovatum Technology Park, GKN Aerospace and HV, and houses a very well-equipped engineering laboratory. The group’s current position as a global leader in TS research is facilitated by the availability of a high power axial suspension plasma spray (SPS) system, which bears promise to open new vistas in TS by enabling efficient and high-throughput deposition, and a High Velocity Air-Fuel (HVAF) facility, which permits deposition of very dense and well-bonded coatings with minimal thermal damage to coating feedstock. These lend a rare uniqueness and versatility to the group’s processing capabilities that are available at few TS groups worldwide. The spray facilities are also complemented by a range of allied equipment for process monitoring (in-flight particle characterisation, and in-situ coating property sensor), coating characterisation (optical & scanning electron microscopy, image analysis, residual stress, hardness, bond strength, 4-point bending strength, etc.) and performance assessment (thermal cyclic furnace and erosion testing) in diverse environments. The group has not only established close relationships with the premier international universities and institutes that pursue thermal spray research, but also has a history of undertaking and promoting cutting-edge research that dovetails with the technological needs of the Swedish industry.

This doctoral student position is in the field of thermal spray coatings for automotive applications. The study will mainly focus on development of wear resistant coatings for brake discs for meeting diverse automotive industry aspirations that could result in reduction in dust emissions and/or vehicle mass through utilization of lighter materials. The research is application-oriented and conducted in close collaboration with industry.

The scientific work in the project

The broad aim of the project is to target development of a new generation of coatings involving the emergent HVAF and SPS processes, designed materials and unique function-specific microstructures/architectures to address specific existing problems that affect particulate emissions and light-weighting capability by vehicle manufacturers. While both methods involve a distinct philosophy to enhance coating performance depending upon functional demands, the methods together will introduce the Swedish automotive industries to a robust coating platform suitable for long-term utilization by companies for continued future developments to achieve their sustainability goals.

Examples of specific research questions that could be addressed in this project are:

  • What are the relationships between coating process parameters and microstructure of wear resistant coatings for automotive applications?
  • Which microstructural features would result in improvements in performance of wear resistant coatings for automotive applications?

PhD degree program: Production Technology

Research center: Doctoral students in Production Technology become members of the research group PTW (Production Technology West). The group collaborates with the engineering industry in the region at the Production Technology Centre, which houses an advanced research laboratory. For more information about our research center, go to  

Job description: The research program includes, in addition to participation in third-cycle courses and other activities, implementation of an independent thesis work. Doctoral students shall primarily devote themselves to their own education. A doctoral student may, however, be engaged to a limited extent in education, research and administration, mainly within Production Technology. Such duties, before a doctorate has been conferred, may not occupy more than 20 per cent of full-time working hours. (Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100) Chapter 5 section 2).

Qualification requirements: The basic eligibility requirements for doctoral programs as set out in the Higher Education Ordinance are as follows:

  • A degree at master’s level,
  • completed courses totaling at least 240 university credits of which a minimum of 60 at master’s level or,
  • substantially equivalent knowledge gained in some other way whether in Sweden or abroad.

To fulfil the special eligibility requirements for a doctoral degree in Production Technology, a student must hold a degree at master’s level in a subject relevant to the doctoral degree subject. This degree may be in Production Technology or some related discipline. The eligibility requirements may be fulfilled by studies in Sweden or abroad.

For more information please read 3.1 and 3.2 in General syllabus for the third-cycle programme in Production Technology, Ref. No 2015/1343 B 25:

Selection: The basic factor for selection from among qualified applicants is the ability to profit from such a program. For more information please read 3.3 in General syllabus for the third-cycle programme in Technology in Production Technology, Ref. No 2015/1343 B 25.

To be successful in this project the applicant should be highly motivated, independent, and have good communicative and collaborative skills. The applicant should have a strong aptitude for analysis and problem solving of physical problems that relate to the industry.

Qualifications of merit for this position:

  • Master of Science (or equivalent level) in Material Science, Mechanical Engineering or equivalent
  • Experience in material- and property characterization of wear resistant coatings (SEM, XRD, TEM, porosity analysis, and wear testing)
  • Experience of thermal spraying (specifically SPS and HVAF)
  • Good knowledge of materials used for wear resistant coatings in automotive industry
  • Experience of research work and scientific writing
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing in English (documented)

Duration and terms of employment: Employment as a doctoral student shall be on an open-ended basis but not for longer than to a specific point in time and never for a period extending more than one year after receiving the doctoral degree. The initial appointment must not be for more than one year. The appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. A person may be employed as a research student for a total of not more than eight years. The total period of employment, however, may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study at the third level of higher education. (Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100) Chapter 5 section 7).

Applications are to be submitted electronically through the University West web-based recruitment tool, MyNetwork. Go to

The application must include:

  • CV/Personal qualifications
  • Personal letter containing: - Interest in the research topic. - Previous experience regarding the proposed research topic and its research methods. - Motive to pursue Doctoral studies.
  • Degree project of second level of higher education
  • Degree certificate of first and second level of higher education
  • Other documents which the applicant wishes to invoke

Approved written languages regarding papers, diplomas, grades and other relevant documents are the Scandinavian languages and English, or translations into those languages. Attach the original when submitting translated documents.

The application should reach University West no later than 2018-11-20

Documents that cannot be sent digitally, should be sent to:

University West
HR department
461 86 Trollhättan

Mark the application with R 2018/221

Type of employment Visstidsanställning längre än 6 månader
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Trollhättan
County Västra Götalands län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2018/221
  • Shrikant Joshi, Professor in production technology, +46520-22 33 36,
  • Chamara Kumara, PhD Committee at Uni. West, +46520-22 33 59,
Union representative
  • Stig Johansson, SACO, +46520-22 32 12
  • Victoria Sjöstedt, OFR, +46721-60 01 57
Published 31.Oct.2018
Last application date 20.Nov.2018 11:59 PM CET

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