phd candidate position in electric power engineering within multi-megawatt electric propulsion...
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

phd candidate position in electric power engineering within multi-megawatt electric propulsion...

Norway 15 Jan 2021


NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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15 Jan 2021
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This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 400 employees and 42 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the position

The Department of Electric Power Engineering (IEL) at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time 100% position as a Ph.D. candidate within the field of Electrical Machines and Drives – “Multi-Megawatt Electric Propulsion Technologies for Future Zero-Emission Aviation”. The prospective candidate will be part of a project team that works in close collaboration with Rolls Royce Electrical Norway, and will be a member of IEL's research group Electrical Machines and Electromagnetics (EME) .

The main supervisor of the Ph.D. candidate will be Associate Professor Jonas Kristiansen Nøland.  The project will be co-supervised by Professor Ole-Morten Midtgård . 

The work of this Ph.D. study will be associated with the Clean Aviation  EU initiative that is currently being embraced at NTNU. It is intended as a consortium of several Norwegian industrial partners, including SINTEF and Rolls Royce. 

Project description

The aviation sector is currently at a crossroads. Several international agencies have recently restated their ambitions to bring the first-ever zero-emission passenger aircraft to the market already before 2035. This bold commitment implies that all technologies needed, must be ready to be selected already by 2025. 

Until recently, it has been a challenging task to clean up the aviation industry and make it more resilient and sustainable. This is because conventional aircraft rely on energy-dense fuels and strict weight requirements. However, a paradigm shift is now occurring, where aerospace industries are switching their attention from heavy batteries to lightweight hydrogen fuel as a renewable surrogate. The idea is that green hydrogen can be combusted directly in modified gas turbines or converted to electric energy using fuel cells. Alternatively, its energy can be harnessed, combining both approaches onboard the aircraft. 

The successful implementation of hydrogen fuel implies a bright future of zero carbon emissions.  Moreover, the achieved level of electrification will be essential, as it will be the key player to reduce non-carbon emissions (mainly from water, NOx, SOx, soot, contrails, and contrail cirrus), as well as reducing onboard fuel consumption and noise. In fact, the electrification component is projected to be increasing by a factor of 50 to 100, compared to today’s solutions. However, to save additional mass due to the electrification, higher power densities will be required.  

The Ph.D. project will focus on the design of lightweight electric propulsors and ultra-efficient propulsion system configurations for future climate-friendly aviation.  In particular, the student may focus on the following tasks: 

  • Target disruptive solutions for a future revolutionary multi-megawatt electric propulsion system in the regional segment (20-80 PAX, 500-2000 km).
  • Investigate the proposed power system configuration in a virtual digital twin platform to validate the conceptual design.
  • Perform experimental and numerical validations of individual segments of the full-scale propulsion components and evaluate their modularity and scalability. 
  • Assess the airworthiness (i.e., aircraft safety) and how new technologies can fulfill the specialized certification requirements (CS-23/25).
  • Regularly publish results in scientific journals and conferences and present the project to international actors involved in the future of clean aviation.

You will report to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

Job description

The objective of the Ph.D. education is to qualify for scientific research of high international standard. The Ph.D. education has a nominal duration of three years of full-time study and includes required coursework or similar academic training comprising a minimum of 30 credits. The most important component of the Ph.D. education is an independent scientific research project carried out under academic supervision, which results in the Ph.D. thesis. The Ph.D. degree is conferred based on these two elements and the doctoral examination, which consists of a trial lecture and a public defense of the scientific thesis.

The candidate is expected to fully complete the course work and the Ph.D. thesis within the period of employment, which could be 3 or 4 years. The doctoral examination may take place after the period of employment. The option of 4-year employment would imply 1 year of duties as Teaching Assistant for the Department and may be offered to a candidate with clear motivation and ability for such work, if the Department sees the need. This will be clarified during and after any interview.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. Applicants must hold a M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) within electrical engineering (or engineering physics) with specialization in electrical machines or another relevant discipline, with a M.Sc. thesis relevant for this Ph.D. topic. Applicants with experimental experience and/or experience with finite element analysis will be preferred. Scientific publications in international journals and at conferences will give merit. 

Applicants must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. If your first language is not English, the following tests can be used as documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge. Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

•    TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)

•    IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)

•    CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for all applicants.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant .

Personal characteristics

•    The ability to work in a team and good communication skills will be emphasized in the employment process.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience, personal suitability, and motivation in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement. We look for candidates who show clear signs of independence, original thinking, and a scientific mindset.

We offer
Salary and conditions

Ph.D. candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and the salary is NOK 482 200 before tax per year. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.

Appointment to a Ph.D. position requires admission to the Ph.D. program in Electrical Power Engineering. Applicants must be qualified for admission as Ph.D. students at NTNU. See for information about Ph.D. studies at NTNU.

As a Ph.D. candidate, you will have to successfully complete the Ph.D. academic training program; the training includes mandatory course work and other obligatory activities. Within the first three months of your employment, you must formally qualify for admission to the Ph.D. program at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment, you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The Department of Electric Power Engineering works closely with key players in the Norwegian electricity supply sector, who manage critical infrastructure. A comprehensive risk assessment of the candidates' research interests and potential activities related to national threat assessments will therefore also form basis for the final selection of candidates.

About the application

The application must contain: 

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation and relevance with respect to the requirements of this advertisement.
  • A project proposal (1-2 pages).
  • CV, including information pertaining to the given qualifications.
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates (both Bachelor and Master diploma).
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.
  • Publications relevant to the research scope and any other work that the applicant wishes to be taken into account. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.
  • Emphasis will be placed on the quality of the cover letter in the shortlisting of candidates.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

According to the Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Jonas Kristiansen Nøland , , or to Head of Department Ole-Morten Midtgård , .

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

Application deadline: 10.01.2021.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Electric Power Engineering

The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

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