PhD student-business system perspective of electrified freight fleet

Two Industrial PhD student positions within transport management – a business system perspective of electrified freight fleet operation

In this research project, the focus is not just on a single truck. But how a fleet of trucks can productively work together and efficiently interact with other stakeholders, for example a charging infrastructure. To satisfy our future customers our products need to work as a system that aligns seamlessly with its environment.

We are now looking for two industrial PhD students who wish to join our journey to shape tomorrow’s society.

In this project we will explore the new conditions for optimised electrified road-freight transport. By studying the interplay between ‘open’ business systems involving many actors and ‘closed’ systems of vehicle fleets and other resources we aim at increasing the knowledge of new principles for business-oriented transport planning optimization. Research questions include how transport planning can be modelled and solved in different situations (‘closed’ systems), as well as how solutions to these problems relate to the business network contexts of the actors involved (‘open’ systems). It also includes questions related to how the business network contexts of the actors involved (‘open’ systems) affect the type of transport planning optimization problems that are relevant to solve (‘closed’ systems). The interdisciplinary approach chosen for this project contributes to problematize and advance optimization approaches to transport planning problems as well as to scrutinise the problems and solutions in a real-world business context. New business models, such as ‘transport-as-a-service’, will be addressed as important parts of the project.

The project will be run in collaboration between AB Volvo and Chalmers University of Technology.
Two industrial doctoral candidates will be recruited for the project. Both will be employed at AB Volvo and enrolled into postgraduate programmes at Chalmers, one at the department of Mathematical Sciences and the other at the department of Technology Management and Economics.

When you have finished your research studies, you will become Volvo’s leading expert in areas such as “transport-as-a-service” and mathematical methods for transport mission planning. In the year 2030 this expert knowledge will be highly needed in Volvo.

PhD position II: a business system perspective of electrified freight fleet operation

The PhD candidate focusing on the open business system perspective on the electrified road-freight transport planning complex will take a starting point in the business networks of today, including the OEMs and their customers/truck operators, the buyers of transport services and other actors in the transport system. These actors have different but interrelated needs to optimise the use of resources. Revisiting the operator delivering goods for grocery stores, many potential questions relate to the business models and interaction between stakeholders. How shall the use of charging infrastructure be controlled? One option is a fee proportional to the amount of charged electricity. Should this fee vary depending on the likelihood for new requests? How shall the charging station operator(s) maximise their income? Shall the operator pay a fixed fee to access any charging station? Should the operator buy or lease the batteries in their trucks? The study will apply the industrial network approach using a case study approach to analyse how various actors involved in transport planning address the new conditions following the electrification of heavy vehicles. In particular, the study will capture different perspectives on the needs to optimise the use of vehicles and other key resources, as well as the different situations in which optimisation is needed.

The study will be conducted together with the other PhD candidate in close collaboration with AB Volvo and its partners, as well as with other researchers belonging to the research group at Chalmers.

The Department of Technology Management and Economics broadly researches the interaction between technology development, industrial systems, society, people, and the environment. The department is organised in six divisions for research and teaching. The PhD candidate will be part of the Division of Supply & Operations Management, which deals with three related subjects: Production logistics, Operations management, and Industrial marketing and purchasing. The division also has a strong link to the Division of Service Management and Logistics. Our research is problem-oriented, empirical, and interdisciplinary, with a strong emphasis on industry and societal relevance and a high visibility in leading academic journals.


Master's degree in, e.g., industrial engineering and management, business administration or equivalent with a background in supply chain management, logistics and/or industrial marketing and purchasing. You must have obtained a master's degree (or equivalent) in the relevant field or expect to complete such a degree by the time the employment starts.
You are expected to conduct empirical research as primary activity, foremost applying a case-based qualitative research approach in close interaction with industry. Research results are expected to be disseminated through interactions with professionals as well as through publications in highly ranked journals within the subject area which require good writing and communication skills. Other merits include working experience from industry, collaboration, and management of relationships with stakeholders and project management.

Contact persons: Frida Lind,; Anna Dubois,

For both positions

Your main responsibility as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. To do this, you need to be highly motivated, be able to work independently, and be capable of engaging in collaborations involving different types of stakeholders from academia, industry, and society. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of the research verbally and in writing in English and preferably in Swedish as well.

You will spend approximately 90% of the time on research at AB Volvo and Chalmers. As an industrial PhD student, you will also be involved in teaching bachelor and master courses and/or perform other departmental tasks.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 2022XXXX and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV, including the following documents:
  • CV;
  • other, e.g., previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust;
  • two reference persons that we can contact.
Personal letter including 1–3 pages where you
  • introduce yourself, your future goals and future research focus.
  • describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
Other documents:
  • copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis;
  • attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades, and other certificates.

We value your data privacy and therefore do not accept applications via mail.

Who we are and what we believe in
Our focus on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity allows each of us the opportunity to bring our full authentic self to work and thrive by providing a safe and supportive environment, free of harassment and discrimination. We are committed to removing the barriers to entry, which is why we ask that even if you feel you may not meet every qualification on the job description, please apply and let us decide.

Applying to this job offers you the opportunity to join Volvo Group. Every day, across the globe, our trucks, buses, engines, construction equipment, financial services, and solutions make modern life possible. We are almost 100,000 people empowered to shape the future landscape of efficient, safe and sustainable transport solutions. Fulfilling our mission creates countless career opportunities for talents with sharp minds and passion across the group’s leading brands and entities.

Group Trucks Technology are seeking talents to help design sustainable transportation solutions for the future. As part of our team, you’ll help us by engineering exciting next-gen technologies and contribute to projects that determine new, sustainable solutions. Bring your love of developing systems, working collaboratively, and your advanced skills to a place where you can make an impact. Join our design shift that leaves society in good shape for the next generation.

Nous souhaitons mieux vous connaître

Processus de candidature


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