Uppsala University, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy, Division of Applied Nuclear Physics, conducts research in the areas of nuclear reactions (for applications such as nuclear energy, cancer therapy, and transmutation of nuclear waste), nuclear fuel diagnostics and safeguards (encapsulation of spent nuclear fuel, the future needs of nuclear power plants, nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation issues), neutron diagnostics for fusion energy  and interaction of high velocity ions in various materials. The Division of Applied Nuclear Physics offers training and expertise in instrumentation; computer modeling and simulation of nuclear systems and nuclear interactions; machine learning and data analysis within the domain of applied nuclear physics; as well as nuclear measurement techniques.

The research  group  where you will be active focuses on measurement techniques, instrumentation, and analysis methods for the nuclear energy sector. We are developing techniques that utilize various radiation types to examine nuclear materials, e.g. neutron transmission tomography, gamma spectroscopy, and gamma tomography. The group also develops methods for machine learning, regression and uncertainties quantification in the domain of nuclear data, including  linking results to safety-cases for different parts of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Project description and duties: In most European countries, spent nuclear fuel disposal in a geological repository is envisioned. There is a great need to characterize the spent nuclear fuel in terms of its properties and behavior in order to understand implications for safety in transportation and storage conditions. Nuclear fuel disposal will be one of the largest industrial undertakings in Europe the coming years with investments in the order of 10 billion euros in Sweden alone. In this context, you will be part of a large European research program (EURAD program, http://www.ejp-eurad.eu/) that has recently started. 

In  particular, several techniques for non-destructively interrogation of  spent fuel already exists, based on the gamma- and neutron-radiation that is emitted. Within the EURAD program, we will:

  • Improve data analysis and uncertainty quantification procedures for non-destructive assay systems that have been tested at the central interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel (Clab) in Sweden.
  • Perform machine learning and multivariate regression analysis between the fuel irradiation parameters, (e.g., burnup, initial enrichment, cooling time, and source term strengths), and the experimental observables.
  • Based on the above and in collaboration with European partners, make final recommendations on procedures for characterization that shall ensure the safe and economic operation of the spent nuclear fuel facilities.

The research will primarily be performed at Uppsala University, but you are also expected to perform work at other European research facilities.

Specific duties: As a doctoral student, you will perform research individually and together with research colleagues. You will present your work and findings in academic and non-academic contexts, participate in seminars, workshops, and at national and international conferences. You will take responsibility for your research project and activities that relate to your work and the work in your research group. You will specifically report to your supervisors regarding steps taken and progress made. In parallel, you are a doctoral student, and as such you are required to take mandatory academic courses corresponding to requirements at the department.

You will perform modeling of, e.g., reactor systems and nuclear material compositions using Monte Carlo based codes such as Geant4, Serpent, or MCNP. You will also model detector responses and fuel properties, various detector systems and measurement signals from the chosen detector systems. You will analyze data from experimental measurements to validate models or to perform multivariate regressions and machine learning algorithms to infer nuclear fuel parameters. You may also participate in measurement campaigns for data collection.


  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in a field that is relevant for the research project, such as (but not limited to) Nuclear Engineering, Physics, Engineering Physics, Medical Physics, Computer Science or similar.
  • Programming skills in, e.g., MATLAB, Octave, Python,R, C or C++ or FORTRAN.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English.

In addition, before an employment, the university needs to ensure that the applicant can get access to nuclear facilities in Sweden and get a licence to use relevant software , e.g. MCNP.

Additional qualifications:

  • Experience of working with statistics and data analysis, including multivariate data analysis and machine learning algorithms.
  • Experience of nuclear or particle physics instrumentation, detectors, and data acquisition systems.
  • Experience in using different simulation environments.
  • Experience in using radiation transport simulation tools, e.g., Geant4, Serpent, MCNP.
  • Experience of working in a physics-based research environment, especially in applied nuclear physics or related subjects.
  • Ability to work effectively in a mixed-gender, multi-cultural environment and to promote team spirit.
  • The ability to work independently and take personal responsibility for the progression of the project is crucial.

Application: The application, written in Swedish or English, shall include

  • A personal application letter,
  • curriculum vitae,
  • a copy of your degree and your grades,
  • a copy of, or link to, your thesis work
  • two references, at least one from academia, and a letter of recommendation
  • personal circumstances that may affect our judgement of your qualifications
  • list of publication (if your work has been published), and
  • any other documentation that you want us to consider.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines http://regler.uu.se/?languageId=1.

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 17-02-2020 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Peter Jansson, +46184715841, peter.jansson@physics.uu.se

Please submit your application by 2 January 2020, UFV-PA 2019/3972.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at www.uu.se/joinus. You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at ifss@uadm.uu.se.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 20200217
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2019/3972
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 12.Nov.2019
Last application date 02.Jan.2020 11:59 PM CET

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