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"To start PhD studies is the best decision I have made"

Published: 25 May 2015

Mattias Vesterlund is a doctoral student at the research subject Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. His research is part of the Kiruna city move where he looks at how the city's district heating network looks today and how it should be built in a smart way to provide the new town with heat.

What benefit do you think your research can lead to?

– When it comes to the design of the district heating system with a complex management network there is no previous research. Part of my research are building blocks for creating new models in this area. The models are graphical, consisting of four blocks, which means that it is easy to make changes and see how these changes affect the district heating network. In the end, I hope that small and medium-sized energy companies and consultancies use my research to make network studies.

What is your educational and professional experience?

– At senior high school I studied the electrical program in Piteå and worked for three years as an electrician at ABB Contracting in Luleå. 2007, I completed an MSc in Energy Systems at Uppsala University. I did my final thesis at a consulting firm in Luleå and also got employed there. Three years later, I started as a PhD-student at Luleå University of Technology.

How is it to work as a PhD student, what is the most difficult and what is most fun?

– To start doing research is the best decision I have made, to get to do and study  things that nobody has done before. Working as a doctoral student is more varied than I thought and it is evolving to combine research and teaching. What is most fun is being curious, and to have the privilege of working with student projects and students who are as curious as me. The hardest thing is to not work too much when you have exciting and fun projects.

For one considering working as a PhD student after their studies, what is your advice?

– If you are offered a doctoral student position with a project you think is interesting, do not hesitate to go for it! Also take the opportunity to teach, it is very evolving as a person. If you go in with a humble and grateful attitude and take advantage of the opportunities that the university offers, the time as a graduate student will be something nice to look back on.


Vesterlund, Mattias - Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Energy Engineering, Energy Science, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics