KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Postdoctoral scholarship – Computer modeling of hydrated cellulose interfaces

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health

Stockholm, Sweden

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The workplace

Division of Biocomposites, Dept. of Fiber and Polymer Technology: https://www.kth.se/fpt/biocomposites. The focus of the group is nanostructured composite materials, in particular with nanocellulose as one component. The scientific questions are concentrated on relationships between processing and structure, and between structure and properties. Activities in the group are dominated by experimental work, but through this position we seek to strengthen our computational modeling capabilities. The postdoctor will work directly with Dr Jakob Wohlert and Professor Lars Berglund.

Project Description

The postdoctor, funded by Knut and Alice Wallenberg’s foundation, will focus on structure-property relationships in cellulose materials, which will be studied systematically by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations.

Cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) are isolated structural building blocks of naturally occurring fibers found in, e.g., wood. They have high aspect ratio, with lengths in the micrometer range and just a few nanometers thick. These fibrils can be re-assembled into man-made materials, such as cellulose nanopaper films. The mechanical properties of CNF-based structures depend on nanoscale details. Of particular importance are the interfaces between CNF, with properties highly affected by the chemical- and physical structure of the fibrils, and by the presence of moisture.

In this project, atomistic models of hydrated CNF interfaces will be constructed, and simulated with MD to address questions related to relationships between nanostructure, moisture content, and deformation mechanisms.


The applicant must have completed a doctoral degree in polymer science, mechanical engineering, biophysics, or a related field. The degree must have been obtained within three years from the application deadline.

We seek a candidate with a background in atomistic computer simulations, with an understanding of the mechanics of materials. Previous experience of modeling cellulose and/or other wood biopolymers is advantageous but not necessary.

You should be structured and creative, be able to work independently at high pace, meet agreed deadlines, with good abilities in critical thinking and have previous high impact reports in this field. You should have good communication skills, with ability to have deep scientific discussion in English. Great emphasis will be placed on personal competence and suitability.


Apply to this scholarship by e-mail to kajsau@kth.se. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad. Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than 2019-11-22. Mark your application with reference number C-2019-2015.

The application must include the following documents:

- Curriculum vitae
- Cover letter (detailing both your previous scientific work experience and your interest in this position)
- Contact information for two references

Please observe that you apply for a scholarship, not an employment.

About the position

Period: 1 year (with possibility to extend to 2 years)
Extent: Full-time
Amount of scholarship: According to agreement
Location: Stockholm


Jakob Wohlert, Researcher
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH)
E-mail: jacke@kth.se

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Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Postdoctoral scholarship – Computer modeling of hydrated cellulose interfaces