PhD Candidate within the area of floating structures for the next generation of ocean industries

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

The Department of Marine Technology, NTNU has a vacancy for a PhD candidate focusing on floating structures for the next generation of ocean industries.This PhD project is part of the newly established Centre for Research based Innovation SFI BLUES. The centre aims to develop new knowledge and technology that will contribute to solving the industrial and societal challenges the world is facing. The ambition is to enable Norwegian industry to create new types of floating stationary structures, which will satisfy the needs and requirements from renewable energy, aquaculture, and coastal infrastructure. The Centre is led by SINTEF Ocean, with research partners NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET) and SINTEF Industry. The Centre involves more than 10 national and international industrial partners.

Job description

The focus of the PhD project is floating membrane structures for the support of solar panels or aquaculture closed cage systems. The membranes are made of flexible polymeric materials that will deform statically when exposed to current loads and dynamically when subjected to waves. The connections to buoyancy elements and stiff solar panels must be carefully designed as stress concentrations will be introduced, potentially violating the lifetime performance of such structures.

The objective of the PhD is to define a multiscale modelling approach that can accurately describe the connection behaviour between soft membrane and stiff components for application in offshore flexible structures with focus on:

  • describing and develop understanding of the critical failure mechanisms of the membrane connections
  • understand the mechanical behaviour of the membrane and develop numerical models that transform global load effects into local responses that can be applied to evaluate the governing failure mechanisms
  • develop constitutive models for the connections that can be applied for efficient global analysis

The above may require laboratory testing, detailed Finite Element (FE) analysis and formulation of constitutive models that e.g., by Artificial Neural Network (ANN) approaches.

The PhD will work in a group with other PhDs in SFI BLUES working on membrane structures with respect to global modelling approaches and hydrodynamic load models, laying the foundation for optimised design of membranes structures in the future.

You will report to Professor Svein Sævik, Department of Marine Technology and David Morin, Associate professor, Department of Structural Engineering.

Duties of the position

  • perform fundamental research on the above-mentioned topics
  • in understanding with the supervisors provide a detailed plan for PhD study that includes the mandatory courses, research activities, dissemination and milestones
  • report progress on a regular basis and in agreement with the supervisors
  • engage in the SFI BLUES activities as required

Required selection criteria

  • professionally relevant background in marine technology, ocean engineering, structural engineering or equivalent education
  • education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master’s level
  • strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master’s degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education
  • meet the requirements for admission to the faculty’s doctoral program
  • background in structural analysis
  • excellent English skills, spoken and written

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • background in marine hydrodynamics
  • research and/or engineering experience from related marine applications and/or marine operations
  • good programming skills

Personal characteristics

  • flexible and dependable
  • collaborative and independent
  • innovative and open minded
  • strong analytical skills

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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 3 years.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.

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 position is subject to external funding from the Norwegian Research Council.

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

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in either Norwegian or English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor’s and master’s degrees
  • a research statement (max 3 pages) including:
    • A short presentation of the motivation for a PhD study
    • Why the applicant is suited for the position
    • The applicant’s view of research challenges for the PhD position, as well as his/her theoretical and methodological approach to the challenges
  • academic works – published or unpublished – that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 3 works)
  • name and address of minimum two referees
  • applicants from universities outside of Norway are 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. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor’s and master’s education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates.

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

Application deadline: 20.02.2023

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.