Project Researcher (PhD. Student), Energy Technology (engine control development)

At the University of Vaasa, we think out of the box in order to build a sustainable future. We are a university that invests in the quality of research and teaching in order to tackle the challenges of our time. We educate responsible and internationally-minded leaders and experts. We are well known for our high-quality education and inspirational teachers. Our expertise in the fields of business studies, technology, administrative sciences and communication forms the core of our university. Our discipline-based research is complemented by our phenomenon-driven research platforms.  

The position is offered initially for 2 years at earliest possible date as agreed. The position is located in the School of Technology and Innovation and under energy technology discipline (Efficient Powertrain Solutions research team, EPS) with close co-operation with the VEBIC Research Platform.

Your role

You will be part of an international Efficient Powertrain Solutions (EPS) research team working in multiple challenging projects, at the forefront of research and development of novel combustion engine technologies. The focus is on developing and implementing powertrain control solutions to support our industrial partners in conforming to straightening emissions regulation in marine and off-road sectors. Our goal is to have ultra-efficient, large-bore gas engines meeting restrictive China II/Stage V emission norms demonstrated in a relevant environment by 2025. We realize this goal by heavily relying on model-based hardware and control development verified on state-of-the-art experimental facilities. To this end, we are seeking motivated researchers with experience in at least two of the listed fields:

  • Engine/powertrain control design and implementation 
  • Engine/powertrain system control commissioning, test and troubleshooting        
  • Signal Analysis and Processing
  • Control-oriented modeling including physics-based models and artificial neural networks

You will also be supporting the development of new project proposals in your field attracting new funding opportunities. 

All tasks are agreed in more detail in the Annual Work Plan. The annual working time is 1612 hours. 

Requirements

  • You have a master’s degree in a relevant field. For example, automation, control engineering with a specialization in powertrains/automotive.
  • You have Excellent Skills with MATLAB /Simulink. Develop and test engine control system for different applications, such as diesel pressure control, injection control, combustion phasing control etc. Experience with rapid control prototyping is seen as a plus. 
  • Systematically knowhow of control development routine and laboratory testing. 
  • Familiar with different industrial communication protocols. 
  • PLC programming is preferred. FPGA and Model-based control design experience are seen as a plus. Knowledge of different sensor techniques and AutoCAD design are bonus. 
  • Very good analytical skills in addition to good academic writing skills are highly advantageous for your candidature. A proven track record in relevant projects and high-quality journals/conferences/projects, on the topics related to the position, is an additional advantage.
  • You enjoy developing innovative solutions to technically challenging problems and have the right mix of intellectual curiosity and practical pragmatism.
  • You have good communication skills and enjoy working both independently and as part of a team. You are open to sharing your knowledge with colleagues and ambitious to develop yourself as a researcher.
  • Fluent written and spoken English language skills are mandatory in the position.

To be eligible for a full PhD student position, the candidate is required to participate in a separate application process which is arranged at least twice a year in order to be admitted and enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Vaasa. For more information about eligibility and the application process, please visit the Graduate School's website: https://www.uwasa.fi/en/research/researcher/graduate_school/.

Inspirational work environment

Efficient Powertrain Solution (EPS) Research group (former Renewable Energy) is part of Energy Technology track in the School of Technology and Innovations. We need open-minded, creative and skilled individuals to explore and develop the future energy solutions. We continuously develop all of our operations in cooperation with companies and other partners. We are strongly networked and responsible actors in research, education and public relations. As a work community, our team is diverse, international and encouraging. The cooperation and support of colleagues promotes well-being and inspires working.  More information about the School and the team.

Our team works in close cooperation with the VEBIC Research Platform. At the University of Vaasa, we conduct combustion engine research focused on advanced energy concepts and alternative fuels. We have a special focus on large bore-marine and stationary engines, for which we have  unique, state of the art, research facilities at Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre (VEBIC). In close collaboration with industry, we are transforming the energy sector by bringing cutting-edge technology to real-world application. We welcome you to join one of the most fascinating energy innovation centres in the Nordic region as a researcher in combustion modelling and control. For more information about the facilities see:  More about VEBIC.

We offer 

We have a great value to both your personal and your professional development. Many opportunities exist for you to develop: conferences, courses, workshops, coaching, mentoring and international internships.

The salary is based on both the job requirement and the employee’s personal performance in accordance with the Finnish University Salary System (YPJ). The salary for a Project Researcher is based on demand levels 2-4 (approximately 2225-2775 euros/month). An additional personal salary component is paid based on work performance. 

How to apply 

To apply for this position, please use our online application system (using the “Leave an application” button below). The application, including appendices, has to be submitted using our online application database no later than 5th March 2024. 

The application should include the following annexes in English (See instructions concerning these annexes: https://www.uwasa.fi/en/open-positions/application-attachments): 

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Additional attachment 1. Single-page cover letter describing your motivation for this topic of research
  • Additional attachment 2. Transcript of study records in a PDF format

Further Information

Further information about the position:

  • Project Researcher Xiaoguo Storm. Tel. +358 29 449 449 8486 
  • Professor Maciej Mikulski; Energy Technology - Research Group Leader in Efficient Powertrain Solutions. Tel. +358 29 449 8591
  • Email: firstname.lastname (a) uwasa.fi

Inquiries about the online application system: careers (a) uwasa.fi

The employment is subject to a 6 month probationary period.

The application period for the position has been extended until 5.3.2024. Applications that have already been received will be considered.


The University of Vaasa is located on the West coast of Finland at the heart of Northern Europe’s largest energy and environment business cluster. The University of Vaasa is well positioned to interact actively with the surrounding society – internationally, nationally and regionally. Our community includes 5,000 students and 600 employees from 80 countries. As an employer, we focus on employee well-being at work by providing extensive occupational health care, flexible working time arrangements and opportunities for competence development. We have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research recognition. Read more about Working at the University | University of Vaasa (uwasa.fi) 

Application period starts: 2024-01-22 14:00Application period ends: 2024-03-05 23:59

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