PhD student-optimal transport management of electrified freight fleet

Two Industrial PhD student positions within transport management - optimal transport management of electrified freight fleet

The Volvo Group stands out when it comes to heavy vehicles. With a legacy spanning decades, we have consistently set the gold standard for excellence in the industry. We're dedicated to a sustainable future. Our heavy vehicles are engineered to be more environmentally friendly, reducing emissions and carbon footprints. Our objective is to offer a net-zero emission product range by 2040. Electrification will play a key role.
But we do not stop there. 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 I: Optimal transport management of electrified freight fleet

The doctoral candidate focusing on the closed business system perspective will study scheduling, routing, and transport planning problems. A concrete example is an operator delivering goods for grocery stores in a mid-sized Swedish city. The operator is assumed to have full electric trucks only. Example research questions are: In what order shall the stores be visited? How many vehicles shall be involved? When and where shall the vehicles charge? Where shall charging stations be located? Shall the charging stations be few and the batteries large, or the opposite? The research will include the development of mathematical models of problems arising from such questions, as well as the development of efficient solution methods for solving the resulting large-scale combinatorial optimization problems.

The studies will be conducted together with the other PhD candidate in close collaboration with AB Volvo and its partners as well as with other researchers within the research field of Mathematical Optimization at Chalmers.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg has about 200 faculty and staff and is the largest department of mathematical sciences in the Nordic countries. Internationally high-level research is pursued in both pure and applied mathematics, as well as in mathematical statistics, and we also teach a broad spectrum of courses across programs at the two universities. The department comprises three academic divisions, and the PhD student will belong to the Division of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. The research at the division is diverse, and includes relevant fields such as mathematical optimization, mathematical statistics, data science, and machine learning.


You must have a master's degree (or equivalent) in mathematics, applied mathematics, or other relevant field, or be expected to complete such a degree by the time the employment starts. Fluency in English is required, as well as good communication and presentation skills in oral and written English, results are expected to be disseminated through interactions with professionals as well as through publications in highly ranked journals within the subject area. Good team-working skills are also a requirement.

Experience in some of the following areas (in alphabetical order) is meritorious: combinatorial optimization, machine learning, nonlinear optimization, scheduling problems. Good programming skills are also meritorious, as well as experience of working in interdisciplinary projects.

Contact persons: Ann-Brith Strömberg,; Axel Ringh,

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,
  • describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities), and
  • describe your future goals and future research focus.
Other documents:
  • copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis;
  • other relevant documents, e.g., potential publications, patents, etc.;
  • 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.

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Resan har startat! Du kommer att motta en bekräftelse via email så snart du har skickat din ansökan. Du kan fortsatt uppdatera din personliga profil genom att logga in på ditt konto. Det rekryterande teamet kommer nu att titta på din ansökan tillsammans med den rekryterande chefen. Utvalda kandidater kommer därefter att kontaktas med information om nästa steg.


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