PhD Position in Floating Offshore Wind Energy

Trondheim, Norway
Thursday, 24 October 2019
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 31 December 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 3-year research position as PhD candidate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on Advanced design and optimized cost of mooring systems for floating offshore wind turbines.

The position will be part of the EU Horizon 2020 MSCA ITN “Floating Wind Energy Network” (FLOAWER) – see for more information.

The starting date of the position can be negotiated but should be between April to August 2020. Two stays of 3 months each are required at the University of Rostock (Germany) and the industrial partner Vicinay Marine Innovaciòn (Spain) in 2021.

The successful candidate will benefit from joint supervision and multi-sectoral advisory committees. The candidate will be part of a network of 13 early stage researchers working on similar topics, and will benefit from an extensive and varied series of carefully designed training modules and transferable skills courses. He or she will participate in symposia, workshops and international conferences and will have meaningful exposure to the industrial environment through FLOAWER’s industrial partners.

In order to apply for this position, in addition to the submission via jobbNorge, it is mandatory to also submit an application here for position ESR4.

The candidate will be supervised by Professor Michael Muskulus

Main duties and responsibilities

The mooring system guarantees position keeping of floating wind turbines and has a significant influence on stability, survivability and energy production of the turbines. It also contributes substantially to the overall system cost. A challenge is the complex, dynamic coupling between mooring system and floater motion, where a stiffer mooring typically leads to better wind turbine performance, but also to higher loads and damage in both floater and mooring system. This compromise is especially challenging for the range of 50-150m (shallow water moorings) that is highly relevant for floating wind farms and which is mostly neglected by previous works in offshore engineering. Due to the high variability of the environmental loads, the evaluation of mooring system performance is nontrivial and optimal designs are site-dependent and asymmetric. Novel, computer-aided approaches are therefore needed to efficiently search for optimal mooring systems in the very large design space.

We are looking for a motivated PhD student with interest in optimization, statistical analysis, and engineering design of floating wind turbines.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To evaluate novel technological options such as synthetic fibre ropes, coupled multi-floater mooring systems and multi-segment moorings.
  • To develop a methodology for optimal, probabilistic mooring system design that takes into account mooring system reliability, wind turbine performance, and total system cost.
  • To develop much-needed guidelines for site-dependent mooring system design for floaters, with particular emphasis on the challenging range of 50-100m (shallow-water moorings).

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 in industrial mathematics, marine technology, wind energy, physics or similarly relevant 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, e.g. through previous publication of scientific papers.
  • The candidate must also fulfil the eligibility requirements of the European Union H2020 framework programme for Early Stage Researchers: he or she must not have lived for more than 12 months in Norway in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date, must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (i.e., after obtaining the master’s degree), and must not have obtained a doctoral degree yet. For more information on the eligibility criteria, please refer to the project website .
  • 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.
  • Good written and oral English language skills.

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

Other qualifications

  • Basic skills are expected in one or more programming languages (e.g. Python, Matlab, or similar)
  • Basic knowledge of statistics and probability theory is expected
  • Knowledge of dynamics, numerical optimization, wind energy, reliability, hydrodynamics or offshore engineering will be an advantage
  • Good written and oral English language skills are required

Personal characteristics

  • The successful candidate should be enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • Ability to work both independently and with other researchers in a structured manner

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 3 years. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering. .

The period of employment is 3 years and does not include teaching duties. The starting date can be negotiated but should be between April and August 2020. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering.

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

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. 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.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( . Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Michael Muskulus, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, e-mail:

About the application:

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

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and provide contact details for two academic references.

Important: In order to be considered for this position, in addition to the submission via JobbNorge it is mandatory to also submit an application for position ESR7 at the main project website:

The most promising candidates will be invited for a joint recruitment event taking place in Nantes (France) in February 2020, for which help with travel costs will be provided.

Please refer to the application number IV-252/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.12.2019

Deadline 31st December 2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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