PhD Candidate in Interdependencies in Multi-Infrastructure Asset Management

Trondheim, Norway
Nov 04, 2019
End of advertisement period
Dec 31, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Research group for Water and wastewater systems engineering.

The PhD topic will look on urban water infrastructure as part of a multi-infrastructure asset management. Besides the fulfilment of the continuous service of modern urban infrastructures in daily business, these systems are facing major challenges especially in a long-term perspective. Firstly, the maintenance and rehabilitation of the ageing networks and furthermore the adaptation to a changing environment (e.g. climate change and urban development in the context of changing population dynamics). Urban water infrastructure is but one of manifold different subsystems sharing the same limited public space in urban areas. Those systems are hardly replaceable at once, but instead it is a gradually process over decades. The customary way of viewing things separately by only focusing on domain specific problems (e.g. water supply, sewage, storm water) does not account for the interaction and potential synergies between these subsystems. Due to cost of excavation, service disruption, traffic etc., it may often be (economically) beneficial to rehabilitate multiple adjacent infrastructure systems simultaneously. However, this requires coordination and the implementation of possible trade-offs between each individual infrastructure’s service life and the benefit of simultaneous rehabilitation. To achieve this in an effective way, one needs a good understanding of the actual interdependencies between the different infrastructures, and adequate tools to support the optimal integrated decision making.

The PhD candidate will have to work on the following questions:

What are those connections and interdependencies between the different infrastructures and how important are they for rehabilitation management in contrast to other influences?

How big are the benefits of multi-infrastructure rehabilitation compared to the costs of coordination?

What are the performance indicators for the optimum infrastructure performance in an integrated view? Are the existing indicators for the individual networks feasible for an integrated view of infrastructure?

How far can the decision process in asset management be modeled and what are the intentions and motivations of the involved stakeholders?

How and how far can rehabilitation assist in the adaptation of our infrastructure to future challenges. Is the rehabilitation of our networks overtaken by the need to adapt to a changing environment?

The position reports to Associate Professor Franz Tscheikner-Gratl.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • execute a PhD project within 3 years
  • prepare journal and conference papers
  • present results from the research work on 1-2 international conferences

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

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 Civil 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.

Other qualifications

  • Programming skills (e.g. Python) or knowledge of statistical software (e.g. R) are considered a plus
  • Experience in working with Geographical Information Systems is considered a plus
  • Good written and oral English language skills (Norwegian is an asset)

Personal characteristics

  • ability to think “out of the box”
  • motivated and ambitious students with excellent grades
  • ability to work both individually and in a team environment and a high level of personal responsibility
  • excellent communication skills in scientific writing and oral presentation
  • eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences

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 candidate:

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 -

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.

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  Associate Professor Franz Tscheikner-Gratl, phone number +47 41398749, 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 with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. 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):

Please refer to the application number IV-260/196 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.12.2019

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 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 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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