Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other's successes.

We are recruiting up to two PhD students in sustainable built environment. The successful applicants will participate in research activities in the research group “Energy Efficiency” at Umeå University. The start date of successful candidates is up for negotiation, but we expect the new PhD students could join the group between August and November, 2021. Application deadline is 14 May 2021.

Project description
Large databases of building characteristics and energy use are becoming more widely available across the buildings industry, indicating the potential use of on big-data analysis and machine learning for achieving a sustainable built environment.

The purpose of the PhD study is to investigate how big-data analysis together with machine learning can be used to evaluate building energy savings and emission reduction of retrofitting measures at different scales.

The PhD study is to (1) develop and demonstrate a method for evaluating life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions of building’ retrofit measures in representative case studies; (2) project emissions pathways of building stocks and quantify the robustness of retrofitting measures and strategies under climate change scenarios and alternative local contexts.

Studies will be performed in close collaboration with municipalities and researchers from other countries.

Terms of employment
The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be active in research, study doctoral courses, and possibly participate in teaching of courses at undergraduate level. The employment is limited to the equivalent of four years at full time or up to five years if teaching or other departmental work (max 20 %) is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students at Umeå University.

To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level the applicant is required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in energy technology with specialization in energy efficiency or energy technology with specialization in thermal process chemistry, the applicant is required to have completed course requirements of at least 120 credits within the field of energy technology, closely related areas of application or other subject areas considered to be directly relevant for third-cycle studies.

Applicants who in some other system, either within Sweden or abroad, have acquired largely equivalent knowledge are also eligible.

Documented knowledge and experience of big-data analysis, machine learning, BIM, building energy retrofitting and bottom-up urban energy modelling are required, as is very good knowledge of the English language, both in speech and in writing.

As a PhD student, the applicant should have the ability to work systematically, thoroughly and independently, as well as in collaboration with others. Further, the applicant should be familiar with theoretical engineering science tools and have good working knowledge of the research area.

A complete application should contain the following documents:

  1. A cover letter with a brief description of your qualifications, research interests, the motivation for applying, and your contact information (2 pages maximum);
  2. Curriculum vitae;
  3. Describe the future research plan relevant to the project mentioned above (3 pages maximum;


  1. Certified copies of degree certificates.
  2. Certified list of university courses with grades. Note that for international applicants the grading system should be explained in brief;
  3. A copy of master thesis and publications (if any);
  4. Contact information of two references;

The application is made through our electronic recruitment system. Application deadline is 14 May 2021.

For more information contact:

Professor Weizhuo Lu,, +46 73 836 9536

Or Professor Thomas Olofsson,, +46 90-786 67 10

Welcome with your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2021-07-01 or as agreed
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-539-21
  • Weizhuo Lu, 0907866257
  • Thomas Olofsson, 090-7866710
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 08.Apr.2021
Last application date 14.May.2021 11:59 PM CET

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