PhD Research Fellow in Industrial Signal Processing

Trondheim, Norway
Friday, 23 August 2019
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for up to two positions as PhD in industrial Siganl processing

The position reports to Head of department

Main duties and responsibilities

The framework Industry 4.0 (based on the integration of cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing) pushes towards new enabling technologies for data collection from heterogeneous sources coupled with increased capacity for data communications and processing. Within Industry 4.0, digital twins are used to create digital replicas of physical assets equipped with tools from advanced analytics and machine learning for operation and maintenance optimization. Digital twins are expected to provide unprecedented capabilities, and operate by (i) merging model-based system design and distributed real-time data collection, (ii) providing engineering analysis capabilities, and (iii) supporting decision-making.

International standards for risk-management require (i) improvements in real-time data collection, (ii) capability to evaluate the performance of safety barriers and the overall impact on the system risk, (iii) capability to monitor and predict risk changes and related decision support. The interaction between industrial IoT design (and related data-fusion) with the novel framework of dynamic risk analysis is largely unexplored both practically and theoretically, although it may represent the natural solution to the impelling requirement for security and safety improvements expected with the deployment of digital twins. The research plans focus on safety issues and lies within the general area of anomaly detection.

The PhD candidates will have the opportunity to be affiliated with the NTNU IoT lab and with the Norwegian Open AI lab, and to collaborate with research scientists from international partner institutions.

PhD Position N.1 – Distributed Detection and Localization

This project is related to the monitoring capabilities of digital twins, which are expected to detect, predict and localize critical events to allow for necessary counteractions and safety measures. The project aims to develop signal processing and machine learning algorithms for detection and localization, and investigate the impact of diversity and redundancy in the measurements and the main tradeoffs between accuracy and complexity. Examples of interest are: detection and localization of leaks in oil platforms or gas distribution systems or water systems, detection and localization of stress and cracks in tanks or bridges.

PhD Position N.2 – Sensor Validation in Non-Stationary Scenarios

The project is related to the reliability of the measurements in a digital twin. Data from sensors represent the fuel for digital twins and apparently sensors are prone to failures. Corrupted data from faulty sensors may negatively affect both simple and more advanced functionalities of digital twins, ranging from performance degradation to safety issues. The project aims at investigating signal processing and machine learning algorithms for sensor-fault detection, isolation, and accommodation in non-stationary scenarios investigating the impact of diversity and redundancy in the measurements and the main tradeoffs between accuracy and complexity. Examples of interest are: sensors on ships, sensors on wind turbines, sensors on hydro power plants (all subject to different weather and operational conditions).

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background inElectrical Engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

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, postdoctor and research assistant

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

We seek two highly-motivated individuals having

  • Master's degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, or other relevant disciplines;
  • Strong mathematical background and research-oriented master thesis in a related field (e.g., signal processing, statistical machine learning, applied mathematics);
  • Significant experience with programming (preferably Matlab and/or Python).

The successful candidates should be

  • Creative and innovative;
  • Independent and self-motivated;
  • Excellent with verbal and written communication in English.

Publication activity in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage but is not a requirement.

Applicants must be qualified for admission to a PhD study program at NTNU.

See for information about PhD studies at NTNU.

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language should provide evidence of good written and spoken English language skills. The following tests can be used as 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 accepted);
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

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

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 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 4 years (with  required duties). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electronics and Telecommunications (

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

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 criterias 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.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Pierluigi Salvo Rossi (email:

About the application:

The application must include the following:

  • Application letter describing your motivation, relevant experience, skills and qualifications;
  • CV including information about education background and work experience;
  • Certified copies of relevant transcripts and diplomas (candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or similar documentation, which describes in detail the program of study, the grading system, and the rights to further studies associated with the degree obtained);
  • Brief research vision for the position (maximum 2 pages);
  • Contact information for two references;
  • Documentation of fluency in the English language.

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.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2019/25321when applying.

Application deadline: 15.10.2019

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 Electronic Systems

The digitalization of Norway is impossible without electronic systems. We are Norway’s leading academic environment in this field, and contribute with our expertise in areas ranging from nanoelectronics, phototonics, signal processing, radio technology and acoustics to satellite technology and autonomous systems. Knowledge of electronic systems is also vital for addressing important challenges in transport, energy, the environment, and health. The Department of Electronic Systems is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

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