PhD in Biomechanics

Trondheim, Norway
Wednesday, 15 December 2021
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 29 December 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate in the biomechanics research group at the Department of Structural Engineering. The biomechanics group consists of three professors, one adjunct professor, three post docs and nine PhD candidates. Main research activities are focusing on cardiovascular biomechanics related to arterial stenosis, hypertension, pathological heart valves, both from a numerical and experimental perspective.

The title for this PhD project is "Biomechanical modelling of aneurysms in the ascending aorta". For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Bileaflet aortic valves very often lead to aneurysms in the ascending aorta. The cause of the initiation and growth of the aneurysm is not yet known, but one hypothesis is that the mechanical response in the aortic wall plays an important role. The current project deals with and will carry out both biomechanical testing of aortic tissue, microscopic characterization of the microstructure (e.g., collagen and elastin), and mathematical modeling of the mechanical response taking into account the changed microstructure compared to healthy tissue. Pathological (aneurysmal) aortas will be provided from a biobank at Haukeland University Hospital. Mechanical analyses take place at the Department of Structural Engineering at NTNU. This will provide improved soft tissue material models that will be used in assessing detrimental stress conditions in the ascending aorta.

You will report to the supervising professors.

Duties of the position

  • Taking the required PhD courses
  • Prepare and carry out biomechanical testing (uniaxial and biaxial set-ups available in the lab)
  • Modeling and analysis with e.g. finite elements
  • Microscopical studies with multiphoton capabilities to map collagen structures in the aorta wall
  • Communicate method development and results in journal papers and presentations at international conferences

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in mechanical, structural or biomechanical engineering. Numerical and computational methods are also relevant
  • 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 
  • You must have 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  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience in experimental testing

Personal characteristics

  • Higly motivated to conduct research in this field
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Structured with good implementation ability

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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. The project is planned to start in the first half of 2022.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering 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.

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 
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Name and e-mail of three referees 
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work 

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.

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.

In accordance with The Public 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 Bjørn Helge Skallerud, telephone +47 918 97 318, e-mail or Professor Gerhard Holzapfel, telephone +43 316 873 35500, e-mail If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Elin Pedersen Nystuen, 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-254/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 29.12.2021

NTNU - knowledge for a better worldThe Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 29th December 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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