Postdoctoral Position in Energy System Optimization of Zero Emission Neighbourhoods

Trondheim, Norway
Friday, 14 May 2021
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 8 June 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

Applicants are invited for a two-year position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Electric Power Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. The candidate will be part of an Electricity Market and Energy System Planning (EMESP) research group. 

The available position is part of The Research Centre on Zero Energy Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN Centre, which is a Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) funded by the Research Council of Norway and the consortium partners. The main objective of the ZEN Centre is to develop knowledge, competitive products and solutions that will lead to realization of sustainable neighbourhoods that have zero emissions of greenhouse gases related to their production, operation and transformation. The FME status enables long-term research in close collaboration with trade and industry, as well as other research partners.

The research is carried out in six work packages (WPs): WP1 Analytical framework for design and planning of zero emission neighbourhoods, WP2 Policy measures, innovation and business models, WP3 Responsive and energy efficient buildings, WP4 Energy flexible neighbourhoods, WP5 Local energy system optimization within a larger system, and WP6 Pilot projects and living labs. 

The Research Centre is organized as a joint NTNU/SINTEF unit, hosted by the Faculty of Architecture and Design, NTNU. The Centre encompasses the value chain of market and public players needed in order to realize zero emission neighbourhoods, including municipalities, governmental organizations, Norwegian construction business and energy companies.

The postdoc will be part of the NTNU/SINTEF research team in WP5 Local energy system optimization within a larger system, and in particular conduct research in the following areas:

  1. Develop and utilize methods for optimization of neighbourhood energy systems with particular consideration of handling of short-term and long-term uncertainty and stochasticity. 
  2.  Analysing the value of flexibility offered by neighbourhoods and buildings in power markets, hereunder market products for grid services, power reserves and balancing power.

Duties of the position

The expectations of the position include the following items:

  • During the employment period, the candidate will be part of research teams within the ZEN Centre and the EMESP research group, and therefore good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams is expected.
  • The candidate is expected to work with computer models for energy system optimization. This can include expansion of existing energy system models as well as development of novel methods and models.
  • The results of the project are expected to be published in high-quality scientific journals and conferences and presented to research partners and user partners in the ZEN Centre.
  • The candidate may be involved in teaching duties, and supervision of Master and PhD students upon mutual agreement if required.

Required selection criteria

A postdoctoral research fellowship is a qualification position in which the main objective is the qualification for work in academic positions. 

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in electrical power engineering, managerial economics, energy engineering or physics and mathematics, technical cybernetics or similar. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and public defence are eligible for appointment.
  • Applicants must demonstrate research ability in electricity markets, smart grids, and operations research or optimisation of related fields.
  • Excellent programming sand modelling skills.
  • Experience from interdisciplinary research can be advantage.
  • Academic results, publications, relevant specialisation, work or research experience, personal qualifications, and motivation and a desire to make an impact on critical societal problems will be considered when evaluating the applicant.
  • Applicants must have excellent English language skills, written and spoken. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and 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).

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for the shortlisted applicants.

If for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognising that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

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.

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

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

  • Be structured, targeted and solution-oriented;
  • The successful candidate will be a team player in a group with the project consortium, professors, researchers, PhDs and scientists from the industrial sector.
  • Self-driven with a strong ability to work independently when required.
  • Proven ability to work with an interdisciplinary team.
  • Have good dissemination skills.
  • Personal skills like a positive and friendly attitude, and contributing to a sustainable social environment will also be valued.

We offer

Salary and conditions

The employment period is two years. 

Postdoctoral candidates are placed in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 545 300 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 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. A career plan will be prepared with focus on activities which should later qualify for a permanent academic position.

The position is fully funded by ZEN Centre, coordinated by NTNU.

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:

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes the personal motivation, summarising scientific work, and how the applicant sees her/his background suitable.
  • A draft research proposal (1 or 2 pages) for the postdoctoral career, where the candidate presents her/his ideas for the postdoctoral work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • CV (summarising education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity).
  • Copies of all educational certificates, academic transcript of records and letters of recommendation. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • A publication list, including citation rates according to Google Scholar or Web of Science. Highlight up to five of the most significant and relevant publications. These publications must be attached.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).

In assessing the applications, emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the cover letter and the ideas and/or originality of the draft research proposal in shortlisting of candidates. Interviews with the best-qualified candidates will be arranged. 

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. 

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

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.

The Department of Electric Power Engineering works closely with key players in the Norwegian electricity supply sector, which manage critical infrastructure. A comprehensive risk assessment of the candidates' research interests and potential activities related to national threat assessments will therefore also form basis for the final selection of candidates.

In the final assessment of the candidates also strategic considerations at the Department of Electric Power Engineering will be taken into account.

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 organisational 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Magnus Korpås:, or to Head of Department Prof. Ole-Morten Midtgård:

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).

Application deadline: 08.06.2021

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 Electric Power Engineering

The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 8th June 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Campus Gløshaugen

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