Industrial PhD position: Stability Assessment of In Situ Railway Embankments

Do you want to contribute to the green transition? Sustainable and resilient railways are part of the answer. You can obtain a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) while working for Banedenmark - the Danish Railway company. We offer a PhD position in collaboration with DTU Sustain and Banedenmark that aims to bring us a step closer to building the future of railway: resilient and sustainable.


The objective of this project is to develop new procedures that would optimize assessment of existing railway embankments and design of new ones, reducing construction and maintenance costs thereby advancing the competitiveness of rail as a transportation means. This effort will be directed towards the quantification and identification of uncertainties that are introduced in current design practices, while developing efficient and simple design analysis tools for geotechnical stability assessment. The implementation and validation of a probabilistic approach in the design of embankments, is expected to improve sustainability indicators in railways. The PhD candidate will use the research infrastructure of Banedenmark and DTU Sustain and receive support from industry experts. Academic supervision will be given by Associate Professors Varvara Zania, Irene Rocchi and Yuepeng Dong from DTU’s Section for Geotechnics and Geology.

Main place of work: Banedenmark, Carsten Niebuhrs Gade 43 1577 København V.

Secondary place of work: DTU Sustain Section for Geotechnics and Geology, DTU Lyngby Campus Building 119.

Candidate profile: We are looking for a curious, creative, friendly, ambitious, and hard-working candidate with some experience in geotechnical engineering and numerical modelling and/or slope stability and probabilistic methods. The candidate must be self-driven, capable of working independently and in teams, and possess excellent communication skills in English.

Required qualifications: The candidate must hold an MSc degree in Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering.

Preferred qualifications: (i) background in working with finite element modelling for geotechnical problems; (ii) background in slope stability assessment; (iii) experience within railway engineering; (iv) pedagogical skills; and (v) previous industry/work experience.

Enrolment approval: the candidate will be subjected to academic approval by DTU; please refer to DTU's rules for the PhD education.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Banedanmark is a governmental body under the Ministry of Transport. We keep the trains on track 24 hours a day, all year round. Together, we work to develop, manage and operate 3,500 km of railway, so that 180 million travellers can reach their destination safely each year. We offer a workplace filled with dedicated people with different skills, nationalities and backgrounds who collaborate across the board with an informal tone, strong collegiality and a common identity linked to the railway and public transport.

Salary and appointment terms

The salary for the PhD position will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is three (3) years. The preferred starting date is September 1 (2024) or soon thereafter.

Further information:

DTU: Varvara Zania (  

Banedanmark: Thomas Vejrup (

You can read more about the department at and

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at “DTU – Moving to Denmark”. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup“ Zoom seminar for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.


Please send a single PDF file containing (in English) all relevant information and documentation; this file must include: (i) a cover letter; (ii) curriculum vitae; (iii) BSc and MSc diplomas with full grade transcripts and an official description of the grading scale; (iv) at least one reference letter; and (v) one authored (or co-authored) scientific manuscript, e.g., journal article, conference paper, or MSc thesis.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion, or ethnic background.

Vær med til noget stort i Banedanmark

I Banedanmark skaber vi forudsætningen for, at hundredtusindvis af danskere hver dag kan tage toget, og transport af mange tusind tons gods.

Lige nu bygger vi en helt ny attraktiv, grøn jernbane, mens vi holder den gamle kørende. Vi sætter strøm til banen, så der kan køre klimavenlige tog. Vi indsætter nye, digitale signalsystemer og bygger en højhastighedsbane til Europa. Og vi styrer togtrafikken og informerer om den på stationernes skærme og højtalere på fjernbanen.

Banedanmark er en styrelse under Transportministeriet med mere end 2.700 medarbejdere. Hovedkontoret ligger på Carsten Niebuhrs Gade 43 i København, men vi har dygtige og dedikerede medarbejdere i hele landet.

Vil du også være med til noget stort?

Position type

Region Hovedstaden

Application due

Thomas Vejrup