Jobbet "PhD scholarship in advanced numerical methods for time-dependent topology optimisation" er udløbet.
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What we offer 

The PhD project is part of the research project “Breaking the time barrier: COmputational Morphogenesis FOR Time-dependent Problems (COMFORT)” funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) through a Sapere Aude Starting Grant. The goal of the project is to reduce the time-to-solution of topology optimisation by at least one order-of-magnitude for time-dependent thermal diffusion and incompressible fluid flow. The leader of the research project and PhD supervisor is Assc. Prof. Joe Alexandersen.

The PhD project will focus on the development of advanced numerical methods for high-contrast diffusion based on space-time formulations and multigrid methods. Your primary focus will be method development through mathematical derivations, numerical analysis, and programming. You will assist in developing a general methodology and a numerical implementation, that will subsequently be extended to incompressible flow by another project participant. During the 3-year PhD project, you will visit KU Leuven in Belgium for 4 to 6 months.


Research environment 
You will join the ‘Multiphysics Simulation and Optimisation’ (MSO) research group lead by Assc. Prof. Joe Alexandersen at SDU Mechanical Engineering (SDU-ME) in Odense. The research of the MSO group is focused on development of advanced simulation and optimisation methods for multiphysics, fluid flow and conjugate heat transfer problems, but also covers thermomechanical process simulations such as casting and welding. The research activities at SDU-ME spans widely from fluid mechanics, condition monitoring, machine learning, fatigue, maritime structures, to multiphysics simulation and optimisation. SDU-ME is part of the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which is a multidisciplinary department covering high-frequency electronics, super-capacitors, additive manufacturing, and energy technologies, in addition to the aforementioned. The department is an exciting environment, where you will be exposed to many different fields and have your general academic curiosity stimulated.

What we expect
The scholarship is full-time and the position is in-person only, where you are expected to work primarily on-campus. Foreign candidates are expected to relocate to Denmark for the duration of the employment.

Prior to the application date of 1st of March 2024, you must have fully graduated a Masters degree in a relevant discipline (applied/computational mathematics, simulation technology, computational mechanics, mechanical/aerospace engineering, physics, etc.). If you have not received your final diploma by the application date, please include a grade transcript including final thesis grade. It is not possible to apply with only a Bachelor degree.

You are expected to be proficient in the theory, derivation and implementation of numerical methods, as well as have experience with three or more of the following:

  • Galerkin finite element methods
  • Iterative linear solvers and preconditioners
  • Multigrid methods
  • Space-time methods
  • Mathematical optimisation theory
  • Topology optimisation
  • Mathematical analysis

Experience with programming in MATLAB and/or python is sufficient, but additional experience with C/C++ is a definite plus.

The working language of the MSO group is English, so you will be expected to have a documented working level of written and spoken English.

You will be expected to contribute to the teaching activities of the department through acting as teaching assistant, exercise instructor, and/or co-supervisor of students. Contributing to teaching of courses might be relevant depending on experience and conditions. 

Contact information
For information about SDU Mechanical Engineering, please see For information about the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which encompasses SDU Mechanical Engineering, please see
Further information about this position is available from Associate Professor Joe Alexandersen, phone: +45 9350 7244, email:, or Head of SDU Mechanical Engineering Dorte Smedegaard Schmidt, phone: +45 6550 7432, email:

If you experience technical problems, you must contact  

Conditions of employment
Applicants are required to have a Master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position.

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order), read more here

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process. Shortlisting may be used. 

Application procedure
The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students.

The application deadline is the 1st of March 2024.

The application must be in English and must include the following - the required forms must be found at the Faculty website:

  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants. Find the form at the Faculty website.
  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). Upload in the field called “Project description”. 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, describing research, publication and teaching experience, computational skills and including personal contact information.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams, both the original documents and in professional English translation.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Find the form at the Faculty website. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, in case you have any publications. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication.
  • Three names and emails of researcher, who can provide an informed reference letter at short notice/References, if any.
  • Reference letters may also be included/At least two signed reference letters. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Please do not enclose CPR number in any documents. 

Application and CV cannot exceed 10 Mb.

Please write in your application that you've seen the job at Jobfinder