PhD student position in Vehicle Aerodynamics


The Department of Applied Mechanics at Chalmers is a leading research environment in the field of vehicle engineering. Its six research divisions conduct world-class research in close collaboration with national and international vehicle manufactures and other universities. Both fundamental and applied research questions are addressed. The Department of Applied Mechanics also offers a wide range of courses at Ph.D. level. The department has approximately 180 employees.

Information about the project
Project title: Improved Energy Efficiency by Control and Reduction of the Induced Drag.

Project description: Energy efficiency is a central issue in our sustainable society, and through both legal and customer demands all car manufacturers (OEM) are forced to improve the energy efficiency in their fleets. In this process the aerodynamic drag (Cd) is a significant parameter to optimize, and consequently, all major OEMs have invested large development costs to reduce Cd. However, so far very little of these efforts have been devoted to the reduction of the induced/vortex drag that constitute a significant part of Cd.

The main research challenges of the project are:

• To build up a knowledge on how the induced/vorticity drag depends on wheel rotation, wheel-houses flows, flow along the under- and upper-body and in the separated wake area behind the vehicle.
• Identify patches on the vehicle with high vorticity generation, examine the potential of modifying these, and simultaneously investigate possibilities for the creation of low vorticity generating surfaces.
• Study the coupling between generated vorticities on the vehicle body and the “toroidal ring vortices” formed in the near wake behind the vehicle.
• Introduce active-flow control devices with the aim to suppress the vortex generation
• Develop numerical and experimental tools for interaction studies of the vehicle vorticity fields and their development into the wake. Verification of the achieved computational accuracy will be made in the full-scale wind tunnel at Volvo Cars.
• Promote cooperation between industries and universities, and contribute to internationally competitive research and innovations. This project is a strategic cornerstone for maintaining the competitiveness of the Swedish vehicle industry and thereby ensuring jobs in the vehicle industry.

Project participants:
- Chalmers University (Vehicle Aerodynamics & Thermal Management group at the VEAS division)
- Volvo Car Corporation.

Major responsibilities
As a PhD student the major responsibilities are to pursue the doctoral studies. The student is also expected to develop his/her own scientific concepts and communicate the results of the research verbally and in writing. Other duties are:

- Achieve at least 67.5 course credits
- Department duties of 10% to 20 % each year
- Spend the necessary time at the OEM

Position summary
Host Institution/Division/Research group: Applied Mechanics/VEAS/Vehicle Aerodynamics & Thermal Management

Project objectives: The main objective is to increase the knowledge on induced drag in order to control it and reduce it, passively and actively, for lower Cd values. The project is an important step on the way towards improved energy efficiency and towards an increased knowledge on vehicle aerodynamics.

Supervisor name: Ass. Prof. Simone Sebben

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to 4,5-5 years depending on the percent of the departmental duties where 10 % is a minimum.

- The applicant must have a master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits or equivalent in a relevant field.
- Good knowledge in Fluid-Mechanics, Thermo-Dynamics, Mathematics and Mechanics.
- Good knowledge in numerical engineering tools and commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics softwares.
- Good experimental skills
- Experience of working in aerodynamic wind tunnels
- Good oral and writing skills in English
- The applicant should be able to work independently and in group

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20160487 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically via Chalmers webpage.

Application deadline: 23 December 2016

For questions, please contact:
Ass. Prof. Simone Sebben
phone: +46703891176

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***


  • Arbetsplats: Chalmers Tekniska Högskola AB Göteborg
  • 1 plats
  • Tillsvidare
  • Heltid
  • Enligt kollektivavtal
  • Heltid/ Ej specificerat
  • Publicerat: 21 november 2016


412 96 Göteborg 41296 Göteborg


Chalmersplatsen 4
Göteborg, 41296

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