PhD Candidate in Structural Design and Optimization of a Novel Wind Turbine Concept

Trondheim, Norway
Monday, 7 September 2020
End of advertisement period
Thursday, 15 October 2020
IV 179/20
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

Are you interested in designing a better, cheaper and more efficient wind turbine one that might actually be built and tested? Can you imagine working with us in Trondheim to become an expert in structural design and analysis of wind turbines? Do you have an engineering background, a professional mindset, and an interest in science?

We have a vacancy for a 3-year research position as PhD candidate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on Structural design and optimization of a novel wind turbine concept.

This position will be part of the international EU Horizon 2020 project XROTOR: X-shaped radical offshore wind turbine for overall cost of energy reduction, a 3-year project coordinated by the University of Strathclyde with a budget of nearly 4 mEUR. The aim of the project is to develop a highly innovative hybrid between a horizontal-axis (primary rotor) and vertical-axis (secondary rotor) wind turbine, to determine its performance and levelized cost of energy, and to ratify the concept work with a OEM (wind turbine manufacturer).

NTNU is responsible for WP4 on the design of the mechanical structure and analysis of the XROTOR concept. As part of the design team in WP4 you will contribute by helping to develop the assumptions that should be used for the design (e.g. the environmental conditions at a relevant site), by implementing a parametric model that allows to perform load simulations with wind turbine simulation software, by finding a feasible design that is best possible given the constraints, and by documenting the final structural design in enough detail that it can be ratified for possible further development by an OEM.

The starting date of the position should not be later than 01.01.2021.

You will report directly to the project manager at NTNU.

Duties of the position

  • To develop, in consultation with all project partners, a relevant design basis that documents all assumptions (e.g. about site conditions) and the criteria and design rules to be used when designing the wind turbine
  • To develop, based on computer simulations and in cooperation with other partners, a feasible design that fulfils these criteria
  • To optimize the structural design of the wind turbine
  • To provide drawings, models and other necessary data to project partners
  • To undergo structured PhD training (e.g. coursework)
  • To develop new knowledge (e.g. about the design approach and the performance of the design) in a scientific way and publish the results in international peer-reviewed journals
  • To contribute to dissemination activities (e.g. presenting at international conferences, preparing technical reports, writing scientific papers)
  • To contribute to communication activities (e.g. project news in social media)

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in structural engineering, wind energy engineering, offshore engineering, aerodynamic engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable 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, post doctor and research assistant.

Other required selection criteria

  • A background in a relevant engineering discipline (preferably offshore engineering, structural engineering or wind energy engineering)
  • A professional and scientific mindset 

Preferred selection criteria

  • Basic skills in one or more programming languages (e.g. Python, Matlab, or similar)
  • Work experience in industry
  • Interest in wind energy
  • Knowledge of (structural or design) optimization
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

Personal characteristics

  • You should be enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • You should have the ability to work independently, but also with other researchers in a team
  • You need to take responsibility for your own work
  • You must be able to work with fixed deadlines

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 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 Civil and Environmental Engineering (Link to website) 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.

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 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
  • Research plan or project proposal
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (e.g. master thesis and up to 2 scientific publications)
  • Name and address of two referees

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 suitability.

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

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. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Michael Muskulus, telephone +47-735-93113, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Hege Johansen, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via 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).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV 179/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 15.10.2020

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 Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees in both the public and private sectors – with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 15th October 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Jobbnorge ID 192271