The graduate school is organised within the Department of Industrial and Materials Science.
Director of Graduate Studies: Göran Gustafsson
Research into the subject of Product and Production Development deals
with the creation of industrial products and production systems. It is mainly carried out in the following areas:
Approved by the Pro-Vice-President on May 17, 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/604
Revised November 9, 2012
Revised 31 May 2016
Revised on 2020-06-01, reference number IMS2020-0080. This revision applies to doctoral students admitted as of 2020-08-01.
For the most recent version of all regulatory documents referenced in this syllabus, see Chalmers' internal website.
1 Subject description and objectives of the programme
- Product development
- Design of production systems
The subject comprises the development of ways of working, methods
and tools for the development and design of products, and techniques for
the integration and rationalisation of the product development process.
Information technology is both important and necessary in this respect,
and analysis as well as synthesis aspects are stressed. The goal is to
reach an understanding of how to develop system products starting from
the criteria in an industrial product development process. Systems
Engineering, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and Robust Design and
Geometry Assurance are important themes.
Product and Production Development also comprises the development
of models as well as methods and tools for the modelling, simulation,
visualisation and design of production systems. The subject applies a
system perspective to the development, operation and maintenance of
semi-automated production systems. The goal is to achieve an
understanding of how the combination and design of all components in the
production system (i.e. machines, people, robots, information systems
and transport systems etc.) influence overall behaviour in terms of
robustness, level of automation, efficiency etc. The production system
concept is not limited to mechanical engineering production but can also
be used in the process and the food industry, for example.
graduation the former PhD student should be well prepared to continue
undertaking independent, high-quality academic or industrial work in
research, development and education in this field, both nationally and
2 General admission requirements
A person with a Swedish university education comprising at least
180 higher education (HE) credits in subjects relevant to the PhD
subject or an equivalent foreign university qualification is eligible
for PhD studies in Product and Production Development. In addition there
are particular requirements corresponding to at least 60 HE credits of
course work within the PhD subject. The requirements are the same for
both categories of applicants. An applicant who does not have either
English or a Scandinavian language as his/her mother tongue will
normally also have to pass a test in English to be admitted.
who do not fulfil the requirements in the study plan can be admitted in
accordance with a special procedure. This decision is made by the
person who is responsible for the PhD education in cooperation with the
3 Structure of the graduate programme
Two degrees can be earned: a licentiate degree and a PhD degree.
Regardless of which the candidate aims for, the studies are initially
directed towards a licentiate degree and then towards a PhD degree. The
PhD programme comprises 240 HE credits, corresponding to four years’
full-time study. The licentiate degree comprises 120 HE credits,
corresponding to two years’ full-time study.
The studies consist
of a course element and a thesis element. Each PhD student has his/her
own individual study plan which is based on his/her background and
goals. The plan is devised together with the main supervisor and is
approved by the examiner.
The study plan should be revised and
followed up at least once a year during the programme period. The
Director of Studies of the Chalmers Graduate School in the subject
concerned is responsible for the follow-up, which must be carried out in
cooperation with the examiner and the main supervisor.
The course element consists of a mandatory part and an individually
designed element which is tailored to the PhD student’s research work,
interests and knowledge profile.
4.1 Mandatory courses and activities for all PhD students at Chalmers
Generic and Transferable Skills (GTS) is an umbrella term for
development activities and courses which are not directly associated
with the research subject and which are geared to the professional and
personal development of Chalmers’ PhD students. PhD students admitted on
1 September 2012 or later must take GTS courses corresponding to 15 HE
credits: 9 HE credits before the licentiate degree and another 6 HE
credits before defending their doctoral thesis.
must also attend an introductory day before they earn a licentiate
degree, carry out an oral popular science presentation of their research
work and write a popular science presentation of the work on the back
cover of their doctoral thesis.
4.2 Compulsory courses in the Chalmers graduate school
It is mandatory to take courses in Product and Production
Development corresponding to 7.5 HE credits and courses in Scientific
Theory corresponding to 7.5 HE credits.
4.3 Optional courses
The examiner and the PhD student will agree on suitable courses to take
from different graduate schools at Chalmers or other universities.
4.4 Other courses
In addition to the mandatory and optional courses at Chalmers and
the Chalmers graduate school, self-study courses within the research
subject can also form part of the studies. They are selected and
designed in each individual case by the PhD student in consultation with
his/her main supervisor and examiner.
The examiner can also decide that the PhD student can be credited with a maximum of 30 HE credits for undergraduate courses.
5.1 Licentiate thesis
In order to obtain a licentiate degree the PhD student has to carry
out a research project and write a thesis which describes it.
the education leading up to the licentiate degree, the PhD student’s
own research work has a limited scope, but it should nevertheless lead
to results of such a quality that they can be published internationally.
licentiate thesis can take the form of a ‘monograph’, but it is more
commonly a compilation of a number of scientifically reviewed articles,
bound together in what is known as a ‘kappa’ or short summary. The
‘kappa’ contains a discussion and overall conclusions. In either case
the thesis should consist of the equivalent of 2-3 articles of normal
length which could be presented at international conferences and/or in
international journals. The individual articles can have been written
together with others, including the main and assistant supervisors, but
the PhD student should be the primary author of the majority of them.
All articles should have undergone peer review and either have already
been published or submitted for publication to conferences and/or
journals covered by Scopus. At least one article must have been
submitted to an international journal. The thesis is normally written in
English so that the work can reach an international audience and
contribute to international research in the field.
The licentiate thesis is presented in English or Swedish at an open seminar and graded as either failed (UK) or passed (GK).
5.2 Doctoral thesis
In order to obtain a PhD degree the PhD student has to perform a
research project and write a doctoral thesis which describes it.
The requirements for the PhD thesis are the same as those for the licentiate thesis, except that:
thesis should consist of the equivalent of 4-5 articles of normal
length which could be published internationally, at least two of which
have already been accepted for publication in international journals.
- The research work is defended orally in English or Swedish at a
public defence of the doctoral thesis and graded as either failed (UK)
or passed (GK).
6 Examination requirements
6.1 Licentiate degree
At least 120 HE credits are required for a licentiate degree, 45 of which are course work and 75 research work.
6.2 Doctoral degree
At least 240 HE credits are required for a doctoral degree, 60 of which are course work and 180 research work.
Every PhD student should have an examiner, a main supervisor and at
least one assistant supervisor. The main supervisor and the assistant
supervisors make up a supervisory group. The assistant supervisors come
from the Chalmers graduate school, from other academic institutions or
from industry or the public sector.
The supervision consists of
general guidance on how to organise and carry out the studies, but also
of recommendations on specific courses to take and advice in connection
with the thesis work. Supervision within a specific course is generally
given by the person who is responsible for the course.
examiner has overall responsibility for the direction of the studies,
approves the individual study plan and decides on any revisions. He/she
takes part in the follow-up of the studies and may also be the main
The main supervisor is responsible for the PhD
student’s research assignment and for ensuring he/she receives
sufficient supervision. The assistant supervisors are also involved in
8 Knowledge tests
The examiner decides on how to test the PhD student’s knowledge.
The student normally takes part in the examination by the method
announced for each course. His/her knowledge can be examined through
written or oral tests, assignments or seminars.
9 Other guidelines
PhD students in the research subject Product and Production
Development are members of the Chalmers graduate school of the same
name. In addition, they can also be members of national, Nordic or other
international graduate schools.
PhD students who were admitted
to older, related research subjects can choose to be examined in the
subject Product and Production Development instead after approval by the
examiner and main supervisor.