Post Doc in Damage Modelling in Rolling Contacts

Royal Institute of Technology School of Engineering Sciences


Postdoc in Damage Modelling in Rolling Contacts

School of Engineering Sciences at KTH

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Job description

As part a cross-department initiative, the department of Engineering Mechanics announces a postdoc position within the thematic area Advanced Materials and Structures on the topic of Damage Modelling in Rolling Contacts.

In railways, wheel and rail maintenance is estimated to be 1/3 of the total operational costs. Maintenance actions are undertaken based on different degradation mechanisms such as profile variations due to wear, Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF), or rail squats. Successfully addressing damage in wheels and rails is very valuable for ensuring safety, reducing waste, and rising operational availability of vehicles and tracks. This project aims at estimation of wheel and rail life by developing rolling contact damage models. To be successful, the modelling work needs to be based on relevant micromechancial damage mechanisms, which is only possible by using a high-fidelity constitutive relation. A physically sound modelling of material deterioration in the wheel-rail interface accounting for vehicle-track interaction will enable optimized maintenance strategies with minimal maintenance disruptions and material removal.

Rolling contact in railways has the particularity of linking effects of different length scales such as vehicle-track dynamics (macro-), contact mechanics (meso-) and damage mechanisms (micro-scale). In this project you will work with the development of the required constitutive models, determination of model parameters, and the connection of microstructural changes with macroscopic contact geometry. In the work you will be supported by the Rail Vehicles unit and the Solid Mechanics unit, with their respective expertise in vehicle dynamics simulations for wheel-rail damage prediction, and constitutive modelling, contact mechanics, and fatigue and fracture.

This position is one of eight postdoc positions in the thematic areas 
Biomechanics, Health and Biotechnology
Advanced Material and Structures, Energy
Transport and Future Mobility, and 
Advanced Computing and Machine Learning.

What we offer

  • A position at a leading technical university that generates knowledge and skills for a sustainable future
  • Engaged and ambitious colleagues along with a creative, international and dynamic working environment
  • Works in Stockholm, in close proximity to nature
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH
  • Be part of a new strategic multidisciplinary research collaboration programme within the department of Engineering Mechanics under the Advanced Materials and Structures thematic area.

Read more about what it is like to work at KTH



A doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline (With some exceptions for special reasons such as periods of sick or parental leave, kindly indicate if such reason exists in your resume).

Preferred qualifications

  • Research expertise within the field of Continuum Mechanics, Fatigue and Fracture or similar.
  • Teaching abilities
  • Awareness of diversity and equal opportunity issues, with specific focus on gender equality
  • Collaborative abilities
  • Independence
  • Good English skills, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to develop and apply models from solid mechanics and interpret the result

Great emphasis will be placed on personal competency

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH's webbpage.


Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

The application must include:

  1. CV including relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  2. Copy of diplomas and grades from your previous university studies. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents have not been issued in any of these languages.
  3. Brief account of why you want to conduct research, your academic interests and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. Max two pages long.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

About the employment

The position offered is for, at the most, two years.

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research, intended as a first career step after a dissertation.


Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

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 Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number S-2021-0380
Associate Professor Carlos Casanueva,
Professor Mårten Olsson,
Published 19.Mar.2021
Last application date 15.Apr.2021 11:59 PM CET

In your application, please refer to