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Volvo Group accelerate ICE hydrogen research

Volvo Group are initiating two PhD scholarships dedicated to hydrogen combustion engine technology
Volvo Group are initiating two PhD scholarships dedicated to hydrogen combustion engine technology

Company initiates PhD scholarships for internal combustion engine using hydrogen propulsion technology 

VOLVO Group are further developing the internal combustion engine with hydrogen as a propulsion technology by initiating PhD scholarships dedicated to hydrogen combustion engine technology. Two PhD students will be chosen to conduct their research at Chalmers University of Technology and at Lund University, Sweden, while being employed by  the Volvo Group. Recruitment will start during the first quarter of 2024.

Volvo Group are using a range of the latest propulsion technologies in their ambition to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emission-enabled products, solutions, and services by 2040. The company is already offering battery-electric solutions and is investing heavily in the field of hydrogen – both for fuel-cell applications and as a renewable fuel for combustion engines.


Volvo Group are also one of few automotive companies who advocate for the continued research and development of the internal combustion engine to help reach net zero across trucks, buses, construction, marine and industrial solutions. Combustion engine technology has been continuously developed and refined throughout the history of the Volvo Group and is still relevant in today’s and tomorrow’s landscape, alongside new technologies.

‘We believe that the future will demand varied propulsion applications to meet our customers’ needs and environmental demands. This is why we are taking a three-pronged approach to propulsion. I see the internal combustion engine running on green hydrogen as another solution of high interest which we are currently testing in our engine labs and test vehicles,’ said Volvo Group’s chief technology officer, Lars Stenqvist.

Volvo Group are establishing the Volvo Internal Combustion Engine (VICE) Scholarship to secure continued competence of internal combustion engine technology because of the reduced public funding for academic research in this field of technology and, therefore, reduced interest among students.

‘Hydrogen research at Chalmers, not least with the TechForH2 centre, is an exciting and collaborative environment that will be further enriched with the new PhD scholarship,’ said Martin Nilsson Jacobi, president and chief executive officer of Chalmers University of Technology. ‘The technology being developed represents further steps in the transition to a fossil-free society. Hydrogen combustion can create robustness and thereby help us cope with many global transition scenarios.’

‘In the last few years, funding for research into internal combustion engines has been reduced and national competence centres have disappeared,’ added Professor Annika Olsson, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University. ‘But in order to contribute to reduced dependence on fossil-based fuels and at the same time increase growth for Swedish companies, we need strong education and research on future propulsion technologies, in close collaboration between industry and academia. Hydrogen from surplus electricity is an example of an area where we together have the opportunity to achieve a technological leap for the benefit of the climate.’

Once recruited, the successful candidates will become industrial PhD students and will conduct their research from 2024 to 2029. The students will be employed by Volvo Group, who will also finance research, supervision, and experimental expenses.

‘Our scholarship is an initiative to not only safeguard the education of researchers but also to aid the transition to sustainable transportation with one of the three propulsion technologies of the Volvo Group. It’s important for industry and academia to have a strong partnership and we welcome more initiatives to secure long-term knowledge of the internal combustion engine,’ said Lars Stenqvist.


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