Solid and Structural Mechanics

​The graduate school is organised within the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.

Director of Graduate Studies: Lennart Josefson


(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on May 17, 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/604)
(revised January 1, 2007)
(revised September 6, 2007)
(revised November 9, 2012)

1 Subject description and purpose

Mechanics comprises the study of material systems, in particular statics and dyna-mics and phenomena coupled to this. The scientific basis is composed of general principles of mechanics, of constitutive relations between internal forces and de-formations, and of computational techniques. Important engineering areas that are subject to current research are dynamic behaviour including wave propagation, vibrations and noise, and constitutive modelling including fatigue and failure in engi-neering materials.
The main thrust of the programme is towards theory and general methodology. The aim is to give qualifications for advanced engineering work as well as proficiency and competence for performing independent research.

2 Admission requirements

The PhD programme in Solid and structural mechanics is mostly theoretical in nature and requires good knowledge in theoretical and applied mechanics as well as in mathematics.
The prerequisites for admission to the programme are a MSc in Mechanical engi-neering, Engineering physics, Civil engineering, or similar. Anyone who within Sweden or abroad has acquired equivalent qualifications may also be admitted.

3 Programme organization

An examiner, an advisor and at least one co-advisor are assigned to the student. The examiner is one of the professors of the department and can be identical with the advisor or co-advisor.
The advisor and the student establish a "thesis proposal", which must be approved by the examiner and the leader of the research group. The thesis proposal consists of a course plan and a short outline of the proposed research project. Twice every year a revision should be made of the thesis proposal.
The student must be enrolled in the graduate school in Solid and structural mechanics and can also belong to an additional graduate school within Chalmers or nationally.

4 Courses

For the licentiate degree 60 higher education credits (hp, 1.5 hp amounts to one week of work) of courses are required. For the PhD degree an additional 15 hp are required. The courses can be national or international courses, interdisciplinary courses within Chalmers, and intradisciplinary courses offered by the departments. Courses from the master programmes, primarily in Applied mechanics and Engineering mathematics, are usually also included.

4.1 Compulsory courses

The following courses are compulsory to the licentiate degree:
  • General introduction for doctoral students (0 hp)
  • Introductory course at the department (1.5 hp, including the General introduction for doctoral students)
  • Teaching, learning and evaluation (3 hp), common Chalmers course
  • Research ethics and sustainable development (3 hp), common Chalmers course
  • Career planning – your personal leadership (1.5 hp), common Chalmers course
  • Mechanics of solids, master programme in Applied mechanics (7.5 hp)
  • Elective course in dynamics (7.5 hp)
  • Elective FEM course (7.5 hp)
  • Elective course in mathematics (7.5 hp)
Doctoral students admitted after 1 September 2012 are required to take 15 hp from the area of Generic and Transferable Skills. Of these, 9 hp in the form of the first five courses on the list above are mandatory to the licentiate degree. For the PhD degree another 6 hp are mandatory. The elective courses in dynamics, FEM and mathematics are chosen together with the examiner. For the student belonging to an additional graduate school other courses may be mandatory.

4.2 Elective courses

The elective courses are usually intradisciplinary. Master courses may be included. Examples of PhD courses offered by the department are:
  • Computations in nonlinear continuum mechanics (7.5 hp)
  • Advanced fatigue (7.5 hp)
  • Analytical mechanics and nonlinear vibrations(7.5 hp)
  • Contact mechanics (7.5 hp)
  • Dynamics of rigid and flexible bodies (7.5 hp)
Also PhD courses offered by other departments may be included.

4.3 Credit for courses

The master courses given by the department and in mathematics that a student has taken before being admitted to the PhD programme can give credit of at most 30 hp, i.e. if the courses have been taken on the master level they can still give higher education credits as a PhD course. Similar courses from other educations can also give higher education credits.

5 Thesis work

5.1 Licentiate thesis

The licentiate thesis should be of such quality that it (possibly after proper editing) can be accepted for publication in an international journal with a peer review system. The thesis must be written in English and presented at a publically advertised semi-nar. An external discussion leader will be invited to ask pertinent questions after the presentation.

5.2 PhD thesis

The PhD thesis may comprise a number (usually 3-5) of papers preceded by a sum-mary. Of these, at least two must be of such quality that they have been (or are expected to be) published in an international journal with a peer review system. As an alternative, the thesis can be written as a monograph with the same quality requirements. The thesis must be written in English.

6 Requirements for degrees

For the licentiate degree the requirements are at least 60 hp of courses according to above, as well as a thesis corresponding to at least 60 hp.
For the PhD degree the requirements are at least 75 hp of courses according to above, as well as a thesis corresponding to at least 165 hp.

7 Other

General Chalmers instructions for the PhD programmes, thesis requirements, and the defence of a PhD thesis can be found on the web pages.

Published: Wed 17 Jun 2020.