PhD Position Detailed Experimental and Numerical Study of Zero Carbon Fuel in Combustion Engines

Trondheim, Norway
May 26, 2020
End of advertisement period
Jun 15, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Energy and Process Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is seeking two PhD students to join the ACTIVATE project and the LowEmission Research Centre, respectively.

ACTIVATE is a joint Polish-Norwegian research project under the POLNOR call. This candidate will work in close cooperation and collaboration with other PhDs and post-docs at NTNU, EPT within the Combustion Kinetics (ComKin) research group and other researchers working at Loge Polska sp. zo.o., the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Silesian University of Technology and in the wider engine combustion community.

The LowEmission centre is a collaborative research centre for new technologies and concepts for offshore energy systems, energy efficiency and integration with renewable power production technologies for application on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The main topic of the two PhDs positions is the detailed experimental and numerical investigation of ammonia as an alternative, carbon free fuel for use in internal combustion engines, such as those found in agricultural vehicles and marine vessels, as well as power production

In recent years, ammonia (NH3) is starting to gain much attention as an alternative, carbon free fuel. It is essentially viewed as a molecularly bound method to store and transport hydrogen, rather than relying on large, expensive heavy, complex cryogenic or high pressure systems. Ammonia has been used previously as a fuel in engines, but its full potential has never been realised and is currently going through a renaissance. There is much work to be done in gaining understanding of the fundamentals of its use as a fuel for internal combustion engines, specifically fuel injection and ignition.

These positions are to work on a project that will conduct fundamental experimental and numerical tests using a heavily modified engine and optical combustion equipment at NTNU with ammonia as the primary fuel.

The head of the department is Professor Terese Løvås. The position’s day-to-day project management and supervision is by Professor Terese Løvås and Dr David Emberson with close support and collaboration from a number of fellow PhDs and post doctors in the group. The position will be highly collaborative and experimental in nature.

You will report to Head of Department Terese Løvås.

Duties of the position

The objectives of both positions are to use experimentally derived data, combined with engineering type computational fluid dynamics simulations and chemical kinetic simulations to characterize the injection, ignition and combustion of ammonia. The work involves combustion experiments conducted in a modified engine and using high speed optical techniques in an optically accessible compression ignition combustion chamber. As the projects progress, each position will start to focus in greater detail on different aspects, providing opportunity for each candidate to conduct new novel work separate from each other but in close collaboration.

The successful candidates will be responsible for completion of the experimental equipment to ensure it is suitable for experimental ammonia combustion testing, developing the testing protocol and data collection. These results then need to be processed and interpreted in a manner that will supply design information to the further development of prototype engines.

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 chemical or mechanical engineering sciences or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Motivation for fundamental scientific research of practical relevance is essential with an intertest in experimental and empirical methods essential. Experience working in a combustion or mechanical engineering type lab is ideal but not a prerequisite.  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 qualifications

  • Good communication skills
  • Some basic CAD, Matlab and LabView experience
  • Handling of tools and experimental equipment
  • Good written and oral English language skills
  • Norwegian language skills are an advantage

Personal characteristics

  • Confidence in working independently and in teams
  • Ability and willingness to work in inter- and transdisciplinary teams
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Appreciation of safe working practises.

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 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.

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
  • Name and address of three 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, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement..

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 Terese Løvås, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Ingrid Wiggen, 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-133/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 15.06.20

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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 15th June 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime (2 jobs)
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Energy and Process Engineering

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