PhD project: Electroosmosis in Masonry

DTU Civil Eng
Monday 08 Apr 19

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Apply no later than 20 May 2019
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DTU Civil Engineering is inviting applications for a 3-year PhD position starting July 2019, jointly funded by The Landowners' Investment Foundation, Denmark and DTU Civil Engineering. The overall aim of the project is to map the potential for use of electroosmosis to dewater moist masonry.


Electroosmosis is the transport of water in a porous material under application of an electric DC field. Electroosmosis as phenomenon has been known for more than 150 years, and has been utilized for e.g. dewatering of fine-grained soils. The possibility of using electroosmosis for drying of moist masonry is much debated in Denmark. This PhD study is based on the question: In which types of bricks, porous stones, mortars and masonry as composite can significant electroosmosis be obtained? The necessary theoretical background and documentation to answer this question is currently lacking, but are the major deliveries of this PhD project. An experimental methodology will be developed during the project for mapping of the relation between material characteristics and electroosmotic transport. The influence from interphases between materials with different characteristics on electroosmosis will be determined. The experimental work will be simultaneous to numerical modeling in order to develop the theoretical framework, which finally will be related to the possibility for dewatering masonry of different types and environments by electroosmosis.

The candidate should have a two year master's degree
(120 ECTS points) in civil engineering or chemical engineering, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree. Further desirable qualifications are work experience in an academic context, interest in material science and electrochemistry. A good command of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential. The candidate is expected to be self-motivated and to publish the project results in international peer-reviewed journals.
Approval and Enrolment 
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the 
DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Section for Materials and Durability.


We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. 

The period of employment is 3 years.

The main workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus, but the project will require travel and exchange in Greenland and at relevant Arctic universities. 
You can read more about 
career paths at DTU here.


Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Professor Lisbeth M. Ottosen,

Please submit your online application no later than 20 May 2019.


Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf fileThe file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
DTU Civil Engineering develops and utilizes science and technical knowledge for the benefit of society through a sustainable development of construction and the built environment. As part of a strong university, the department provides research, study programmes, innovation and research-based consultancy of the highest quality in civil engineering. The Department develops new knowledge and solutions for the challenges facing the construction industry based on classic disciplines of building research, as well as the monitoring and decoding of physical phenomena,—we combine theory and practice.
DTU Civil Engineering has a special role in researching, educating and developing new construction engineering solutions for Arctic settings, for the benefit of society in both Denmark and Greenland. The department has a scientific staff of about 80 persons, 60 PhD students, and a technical/administrative support staff of about 50 persons.
DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.