Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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Characterization and thermal treatment of sewage sludge

The focus of the PhD project is to investigate thermal treatment methods of sewage sludge and how this process can be optimized to increase resource cycling and also produce materials that could be used in various applications. The PhD student position is part of the Industrial Graduate School (IDS) at Umeå University which aims at increasing the collaboration between Umeå University, companies and public organizations. The application deadline is 2018-08-06.

The project is based on a collaboration between Umeå University and Water and Waste Competence in the North (VAKIN). The research focuses on thermal pretreatment and characterization of organic and inorganic composition of sewage sludge. The goal is to evaluate how waste sludge should be handled in order to optimize resource recycling, of primarily phosphorus, and to develop potential new products for water purification. Current processes include hydro-thermal carbonization (HTC) and various types of combustion studies. In the research, infrastructure at the Department of Chemistry and the Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory (TEC Lab) will be used, which provides an excellent access to all necessary instrumentation. Research in the field is important for the VA industry, as the management of the sludge is currently not optimized.

Umeå University Industrial Doctoral School for research and innovation
The Industrial Doctoral School (IDS) is a multidisciplinary research school where the projects are based on collaborations between Umeå University and external organizations. The PhD students in IDS form an interdisciplinary group that, in addition to each scientific specialization, is given a tailor-made course package providing a solid basis for future work within research and development. A PhD position in IDS also includes a three-month internship at the external organizations for each doctoral student.

Admission requirements
The applicant are required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in chemistry, the applicant are required to have completed first-cycle courses of at least 90 ECTS credits within the field of chemistry, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialization in question. Of those 90 ECTS credits, at least 15 ECTS credits shall have been acquired at second-cycle level within the specialization in question, or an equivalent subject.

The applicant should have a higher education in bio resource technology, chemical engineering, chemistry, biotechnology, or a comparable discipline. Experience from the water and sanitation industry is a merit. It is important to have a good ability to work independently as well as in a group. Good command of the English language, both written and spoken, is required. Language skills in Swedish or in another Scandinavian language is a merit but not a requirement.

About the position
The position is intended to result in a doctoral degree and the main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies which include both participation in research and postgraduate courses. The position will include three-month internship at the external partner and other duties can include teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%). Employment is limited to four years full-time, or up to five years when including other duties part time. Salary is set in accordance with the established salary ladder for PhD position.

A complete application should contain the following documents:

  • A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of BSc and/or MSc theses and, if applicable, research publications
  • Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
  • Electronic copy of BSc and/or MSc thesis
  • Contact information of at least two reference persons

The application can be written in Swedish or English. Applications must be submitted via our e-recruitment system. The last day to apply is 2018-08-06. For more information please contact Jerker Fick, e-mail:, Telephone: +4670-2616556 or +4690-7869324.

About us
Information about the Department of Chemistry, see: Information about the postgraduate education can be found on the Faculty of Science and Technology website: For more information about working at Umeå University,

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1172-18
  • Jerker Fick, 090-7869324
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 14.Jun.2018
Last application date 06.Aug.2018 11:59 PM CET

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