PhD Fellowship position in Civil Engineering in Floating Structures

The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD) offers higher education and research and development (R&D) activities within technical subjects, arts and design. The Faculty has approximately 4.000 students and 400 staff members and is situated at Pilestredet Campus in downtown Oslo and at Kjeller Campus in Viken.

The Department of Civil Engineering and Energy Technology offers bachelors and master’s degree programs in engineering, in addition to research and development activities. The department has approximately 60 staff members and 850 students.

The Faculty of Technology, Arts and Design(TKD) at OsloMet announces one open PhD fellowship position in the area of civil engineering in floating structures. The position will be at the Department at Built Environment. The fellowship is planned for a period of three years. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at OsloMet to obtain the degree PhD.

About the Project

Due to the fast depletion of fossil fuels, the associated environmental concerns and the demand for clean and sustainable power sources, renewable energy has become a strong focus globally. Solar energy is nowadays one of the fastest-growing forms of renewable energy thanks to the advancement in technology that has led to more energy-efficient and cost-effective photovoltaic (PV) panels. So far, utility-scale PV systems of megawatt (MW) power capacity have been widely applied to rooftops and ground-mounted plants. However, the deployment of large-scale solar farms always suffers from complications arising from the lack of land space and environmental shielding effects. Floating solar panels on water surfaces, on the other hand, turns out to be an appealing alternative solution. Floating solar systems have several advantages over their land-based counterparts including the natural cooling effect, maximized reception of sunlight and thus higher power generation, reduced water evaporation loss, and so on. The benefits of floating solar systems have attracted great interest in the energy sector and a number of demonstration and commercial projects have been realized. However, most projects are deployed on inland water bodies only with calm water conditions. Very few studies and projects were carried out for a marine environment where more space is available for harvesting solar energy but at the same time the harsher environmental conditions make the deployment of large-scale floating solar farms more challenging. In this aspect, the Department of Built Environment at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, OsloMet is collaborating with the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, the National University of Singapore (NUS) on research activities on floating solar farms for use in marine conditions. The primary objective of this project is to develop the methodology and models for the global response analysis of modular floating solar farms in a marine environment. The developed theoretical/numerical model will be validated through scaled model tests. The secondary objective of this project is to develop a computationally efficient and reduced order or data-based model in the framework of digital twins for structural health and integrity condition monitoring and prediction. The global digital twin allows integration with the subsequent effort in the local digital twin on structural components. The project aims to develop competence and essential tools for future R&D works and provide useful information to guide the industry on the development of modular floating solar farms and similar projects. 

Area of research 

The fellowship will be for a period of three years with 100 % research, or alternatively, four years with 75 % research including 25% compulsory work (teaching and supervision activities or research administrative work). The decision on whether a 3 or a 4-year position is suitable will be discussed as part of the interview process. 

The successful candidate will conduct a state-of-the-art review and develop a computational model for the accurate prediction of the global responses of a modular floating solar farm in marine conditions. The numerical model will be validated and calibrated by scaled model tests at TCOMS. Next, a computationally efficient model for the global response evaluation will be developed by e.g., employing the reduced order model or data-driven approaches. Such a model will be used in conjunction with the instrumented prototype for the prediction of global responses and structural integrity in the framework of digital twins, e.g., for identification of critical measurement points and sensor deployment as well as structural health monitoring of the farm.

 The PhD candidate to be recruited at OsloMet will be co-supervised by academic staff at OsloMet, NUS, and TCOMS. The PhD candidate is expected to conduct numerical analysis with a focus on the global performance prediction of a modular floating solar farm in the framework of digital twins. During the candidature, the PhD candidate is expected to conduct experimental studies at the world-class wave basin at TCOMS. In this project, it is planned that another PhD candidate will be recruited at NUS to do research with a focus on the local behaviour of the floating solar structural components.

Qualification requirements

You must have: 

  • A relevant Master’s or degree or equivalent with good grades within civil engineering, structural engineering, marine/offshore engineering, mechanical engineering, or relevant disciplines. Applicants must have a B or better on the master’s thesis and an average grade B or better on the master’s degree.
  • Strong interest in floating structures and renewable energy
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

Admission to the doctoral program at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet, within 3 months after employment in the position, is a prerequisite for joining the position. Candidates who already hold a PhD in the same or similar field may not apply. General criteria for appointments to academic positions are covered by the Forskrift om ansettelsesvilkår for stillinger som postdoktor, stipendiat, vitenskapelig assistent og spesialistkandidat.

We are looking for applicants who have

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Capacity to work independently and systematically in a team
  • Knowledge in hydrodynamics and experimental skills
  • Knowledge in finite element method and other numerical methods
  • Excellent programming skills
  • Relevant research experiences
  • Relevant publication track record

It is important to OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavours to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to make adaptations to the workplace where required. You are also welcome to apply for a position with us if you have had periods where you have not been in employment, education or training.

Expert evaluation

An expert committee will assess applicants. You must upload the following documents together with your application by the final date for applications: 

  • Application letter, describing your motivations for applying to this fellowship as well as a short overview of the qualifications, technical skills, experience, and personal skills that make you a suitable candidate for a successful and productive completion of this work.
  • CV, reference letters and all pages of certificates/diplomas. The certificates/diplomas must include ECTS grades (A–F). Foreign diplomas must be translated into English by the degree-conferring institution. Education taken abroad should preferably be recognised in advance by NOKUT (www.nokut.no/en/), and a confirmed copy of the letter of recognition should be enclosed.
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, email, and telephone number).
  • A project description: maximum two pages. The project description must be written in English or a Scandinavian language. 
  • Master’s thesis (and any other scholarly work that the expert committee should take into consideration).
  • Applicants from countries where English is not the first language must present an official language test report. The following tests qualify as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, 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 is accepted)

The following applicants are exempt from the above-mentioned language requirements:

  • Applicants from EU/EEA countries.
  • Applicants who have completed one year of university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or USA.
  • Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

We only process applications sent via our electronic recruitment system and all documents must be uploaded for your application to be processed. The documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Translations must be authorised. Originals and ID must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document checks to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have documents that cannot be uploaded electronically, please contact hrtkd@oslomet.no

The application must state your reasons for applying to the project and what makes you particularly qualified to carry out this PhD work.

When assessing and ranking the qualified applicants, emphasis will be placed on

  • Past scientific work, where relevant
  • Experience from previous research activities and participation in research projects.

We can offer you

  • An exciting job opportunity at Norway’s third largest and most urban university
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Beneficial pension arrangements with the Norwegian State Pension Fund
  • Good employee welfare arrangements
  • Free Norwegian classes to employees
  • Working location in downtown Oslo with multiple cultural offers
  • Practical information about relocation to Oslo and living in Norway (oslomet.no/en/work)

The salary for the position is in accordance with the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, job code 1017 PhD, 501 200 NOK per year. 

Other informationIf you would like more information about the position, feel free to contact:

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 OsloMet.

OsloMet has adhered to the principles in the DORA declaration (sfdora.org/read/) and obliged the institution to follow the recommendations in this declaration.

If you would like to apply for the position, you must do so electronically through our recruitment system.

Deadline for applications:     March 3rd 2023

Ref.:  23/00337

OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commisson holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion. OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.  

  • Type of employment: FELLOW
  • Contract type: Full time
  • First day of employment:–
  • Salary: NOK 501 200 per år
  • Number of positions: 1
  • Working hours: 100%
  • City: Oslo
  • County: Oslo
  • Country: Norway
  • Reference number: 23/00337
  • Contact: Hallgrim Hjelmbrekke, +4767236220Jian Dai, +4767237018