phd candidate within formal and informal methods for robust design, testing and verification of...
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

phd candidate within formal and informal methods for robust design, testing and verification of...

Norway 06 Jan 2021


NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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06 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

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate at the NTNU VISTA Centre for Autonomous Robotic Operations Subsea, Department of Marine Technology, NTNU.

The position is for four years, including one year of teaching assistant duties, and belongs to:

NTNU VISTA Centre for Autonomous Robotic Operations Subsea

The NTNU VISTA Centre for Autonomous Robotic Operations Subsea (CAROS)  is an interdisciplinary research centre between the NTNU Departments of Engineering Cybernetics and Marine Technology and Equinor on autonomous underwater robotic operations with focus on resident autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that are supported by subsea docking systems for energy charging and communication. The VISTA Center is awarded by Equinor and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, funded for 5 years in collaboration with host institution NTNU. 

Together with ground-breaking research on articulated underwater robots and autonomy we proceed towards a game changer in offshore oil and gas activities in terms of increased efficiency in marine operations and lower CO2 footprint. The proposed scope will contribute to higher uptime of subsea production units as well as higher marine environmental capabilities in case of incidents. The addressed research will also be of high relevance for ocean science and other marine industries such as maintenance and inspection of offshore wind installations and aquaculture. The methods will be demonstrated and tested on the NTNU snake robot Eelume, an articulated intervention-AUV (AIAUV), as well as the electric work class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with manipulator (Minerva).

The position will report to Supervising Professor.

Duties of the position

Formal and informal methods for robust design, testing and verification of autonomous control systems of subsea resident AUVs: AUVs for seabed and water column mapping have been a reality for a while. However, permanently submerged AUVs for inspection and manipulation work are new. Safety and efficiency for such operations require robust software designs that can be updated, tested and verified without bringing the vehicles out of water. Formal methods, e.g. temporal logics and model checking, are used to design and verify properties of control algorithms including finite-state logical behaviours. Even if the design methods may be sound, the implementation in terms of software code and the corresponding configurations may be wrong. Informal test and verification methods known as e.g. hardware-in-the loop (HIL) testing and software-in-the loop (SIL) testing have turned out to be efficient test methods of computer-controlled system. However, a challenge may be to test all possible combinations of failure methods in a reasonable time for complex control systems.

This position will address both formal and informal methods for robust design, testing and verification of autonomous control systems of the AUV from the design phase into operation phase that includes upgrades of software.

Required selection criteria
  • The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in [subject area] or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale . If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

Master students in their final year are also invited to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the master degree is finished.


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 .

Moreover, the engagement is to be made in accordance with 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.

Our research has civilian objectives. However, equipment restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is being used in the research project. Applicants that are citizens of Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, EU or NATO countries are eligible. Other applicants are required to provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment for their application to be considered/in their application.

  • Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language and do not have English as mother tongue, must document a thorough knowledge of English (equivalent to a TOEFL score of 600 or more).

Personal characteristics
  • Intrinsic curiosity and open-minded attitude to work in an interdisciplinary research environment
  • Independent working style
  • Very good communication and collaborating skills

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer
Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is four years, including one year of teaching assistant duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering  within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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

About the application

Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available by the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include:

  • A motivation letter (0.5-2 pages), indicating how the applicant envisages her/his contribution within the project
  • CV which includes information about education background and work experience.
  • Certified copies of transcripts from Bachelor & Master degrees. Candidates from universities outside Norway are expected to send a Diploma Supplement or similar documentation, which describes in detail the program of study, the grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.
  • Contact information for two references (including email addresses and telephone number)
  • English language proficiency documentation (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). This requirement is waived for applicants whose mother tongue is English, as well as for applicants from Scandinavian countries.

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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.

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.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Asgeir Sørensen, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Marit Gjersvold, e-mail:

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. 

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV 237/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 06.01.2021

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

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 Marine Technology

We develop methods and technology related to the blue economy: oil and gas extraction at sea, ship technology and the equipment industry, fisheries and aquaculture. We also have a strong commitment to the development of sustainable solutions for offshore renewable energy, coastal infrastructure, and marine robotics. Marine technology helps to solve major global challenges related to the environment, climate, energy, food and efficient transport. The Department of Marine Technology  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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