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PhD Candidate in NTNU, Norway – Tailoring the adhesion of the paint coatings, Mechanical Engineering

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU


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Oct 22, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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NTNU Nanomechanical Lab, Department of Structural Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is seeking a PhD Candidate in the field of interfacial adhesion mechanics – Norway, Oct 2021.

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: October 22, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: Jan, 2022
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: NOK 491 200 per annum

NTNU Nanomechanical Lab
Department of Structural Engineering
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU

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Qualification Details

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in mechanical/structural engineering, material science, physics or nanotechnology
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a 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.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • Good written and oral English language skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and 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  

Personal characteristics

  • Motivated and ambitious
  • Ability to work both individually and in a team environment and a high level of personal responsibility
  • Excellent  written and oral communication skills
  • Eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences

Responsibilities/Job Description

  • Perform excellent and independent research on the topic attached to the position
  • Publish in top-ranking journals and conferences
  • Collaborate with the project team at Jotun AS, SINTEF Industry and NTNU
  • Interact with the research group where this position will be hosted and with international leading groups in the same field

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: -IV-218/21
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

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

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on 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:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Academic works – published or unpublished – that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Name and address of three referees

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.

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.

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.

About the Position

The PhD project is part of the innovation project for the industrial sector Tailoring Adhesion (TailAd) co-partnered by Jotun AS, SINTEF Industry and NTNU, and co-funded by Jotun AS and the Research Council of Norway.

Understanding adhesion properties of the paint coatings, both to the substrate and between the different layers within the coating, is of crucial importance to their performance. When the substrate to be coated is a metal, adhesion of the coating to it is referred to as direct-to-metal adhesion. In most commercially important cases, multiple layers of organic coatings are applied on a metallic substrate and in such cases inter-layer adhesion also plays a crucial role in determining the performance of the whole coating system. Therefore, direct-to-metal adhesion and inter-layer adhesion are both commercially relevant but involve different interfacial mechanisms of adhesion. Adhesion of coatings is a complex phenomenon depending on surface free energy, chemical bonds, surface roughness, cleanliness, and mechanical strength, etc. As a result, the interfacial parameters determining the direct-to-metal adhesion and inter-layer adhesion are different.

Furthermore, a good initial adhesion may not always guarantee a good long-term adhesion since all organic coatings will age with time and interact with their surrounding conditions by e.g., water absorption, UV degradation, biocide leaching, etc. during service-time. Ageing (physical and/or chemical) can degrade coating layers allowing easier diffusion of (for example) water to the interface between the substrate and the coating, consequently leading to the failure of an individual coating or the whole coating system. Thus, developing a robust characterization methodology and establishing a new knowledge platform for adhesion properties of coating films on metals and between polymers will enable us to predict and optimize the design and performance of the paint coatings.

The PhD candidate will contribute to the development of new adhesion characterization methods, correlations of adhesion strength between layers to surface morphology, chemical bonding and coating process, prediction and optimization of durable adhesion strength of coatings. The work will be carried out at laboratories of NTNU, SINTEF Industry and Jotun AS.

The PhD candidate will work at NTNU Nanomechanical Lab, chaired by three full time professors and two adjunct professors from the industry. In 2021, it is 16 PhD students, 1 post-doc fellows, and 1 senior researcher working at the NTNU Nanomechanical Lab.

The PhD candidate will report to the supervising team with main supervisor Professor Jianying He at NTNU and co-supervisors Professor Zhiliang Zhang at NTNU and Research scientist Naser Esmaeili at Jotun AS

About the Employer: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU

Note or Other details

Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-218/21 when applying.

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Contact details

If you have any questions about the position, please contact professor Jianying He, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Elin Pedersen Nystuen, email

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