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To accelerate the electrification of forest transports, Skogforsk is looking for a PhD student in mathematical simulation of sociotechnical systems.


The world's transport system is facing a huge transition as fossil fuels are phased out. Already by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions from Sweden's transportation are to be reduced by 70 %. Electrification will play a key role. For forestry, with its long and heavy transports, this poses particular challenges, but the world's first battery-powered timber truck put into operation last year has shown that it is technically possible. However, large-scale use of battery-powered logging trucks puts new demands on the entire transportation system, where vehicles, charging infrastructure and users will form a complex system with many actors. Decisions on the technical design of the vehicles will affect logistics arrangements and business models, and vice versa.

Issues and tasks

The size of the battery is a key parameter - a large battery provides long range but is also a large investment, leads to increased resource use, and loss of cargo weight. The design of the vehicle, and specifically the choice of battery and charging strategy, will affect how transportation can be carried out and where charging infrastructure needs to be built. At the same time, these choices are closely linked to strategic and tactical decisions in organizations.

The PhD project aims to develop new methods and models to describe how the technical choices affect - and are affected by - the rest of the system and analyze how battery-powered timber trucks should be designed as part of a sustainable transportation system.

The PhD student will create simulation models based on qualitative and quantitative data/information. Methods that may be used are Agent-based simulation and/or System Dynamics models.

Our offer

We offer the opportunity to do a PhD in a dynamic research environment in collaboration with industry and prominent research institutions. The project is a collaboration between Skogforsk and the Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL) at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Both Skogforsk and ITRL lead and participate in several research projects to accelerate the transition to fossil-free heavy transportation, and the PhD student will be part of two active research environments.

Skogforsk is a workplace with many employment benefits and monthly salary according to Skoforsk's agreement for doctoral salaries.

Eligibility for admission

Applicants must have (or be in the process of obtaining) a master's degree with emphasis on systems analysis, mathematical modeling, and simulations.

To be admitted to doctoral studies, the applicant must have basic eligibility:

  • completed a degree at second-cycle level, or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level, or in some other way acquired essentially equivalent knowledge within or outside Sweden.

Selection process

To succeed in your doctoral studies, you need to be goal-oriented and persistent in your work. In selecting the applicants, the emphasis will we put on the ability to:

  • independently drive their work forward,
  • cooperate with others,
  • have a professional approach,
  • analyze and work with complex issues, and
  • communicate orally and in writing in English, as it is needed in the daily work.

Following the eligibility requirements, strong emphasis will be placed on personal qualities. Applicants have the ability and interest in systems thinking, and to describe a complex socio-technical problem using a mathematical simulation model.

Terms and conditions

Only those admitted to doctoral studies may be employed as doctoral students. The doctoral program is four years of full-time studies. Provisions regarding employment as a doctoral student can be found in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), Chapter 5, sections 1-7.

How to apply

Submit your application as soon as possible, selection is ongoing. However, we want your application no later than 2024-04-15.

Send a personal letter and your curriculum vitae to skogforsk@skogforsk.se. Mark the email with PhD student, Electrified Transportation in the subject line.

Published 3/14/2024 7:49 AM