PhD Candidate Biofuels in Deep Sea Shipping for Climate Change Mitigation

Trondheim, Norway
Jun 24, 2020
End of advertisement period
Sep 01, 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 3 year PhD position at the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol), within the Department of Energy and Process Engineering.

The PhD position is part of the research project Bio4-7Seas: Biofuels in deep sea shipping for climate change mitigation, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The objective of the project is to identify the climate change mitigation potential of biofuels in the maritime transport sector. The project is affiliated with the Smart Maritime Center for Research Based Innovation. The deep sea shipping sector has a unique challenge when it comes to decarbonization. Reducing carbon intensity of maritime transport through the use of biofuels is among the key strategies to achieve ambitious targets of climate change mitigation. However, we need to understand the combined climate and environmental footprint of large-scale production and use of biofuels. To advance this research frontier, we will combine the disciplines of climate science, forestry science, maritime transport, as well as energy policy in this project.

The Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching program, managing its own International MSc program. IndEcol is well recognized for its work in the areas of life-cycle assessment, material flow analysis, and the use of input-output analysis for environmental assessments, as evidenced by numerous publications, and international prizes. Current research activities are funded by national and European agencies, as well as industrial partners. There is a long tradition of working on both industrial and policy applications. Key faculty staff currently serve or have recently served as members of the IPCC, the UNEP Resource panel and UNEP/SETAC task forces.

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås. You will report to Professor Anders Hammer Strømman as the main supervisor, and Senior Researcher Helene Muri as co-supervisor. 

Duties of the position

  • Advancement and application of plausible scenarios for use of biofuels in the maritime sector, considering trades and ship segments
  • Further development and application of the MariTEAM ship emission model
  • Earth system modelling of biofuels in shipping scenarios using NorESM
  • Big data processing, and analysis of geospatially explicit datasets
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presentation of results at international conferences

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 Industrial Ecology, Climate Science, Environmental Sciences, Naval Engineering, or Computer Science, 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.

  • Good programming skills in one or several languages (e.g., Python, Matlab, R, C++)
  • Competence on mathematical modelling, simulation or optimization is strongly desired
  • Good understanding of fundamentals in mathematics and physics
  • Basic understanding of fluid mechanics
  • Strong, well matured and well-articulated motivation for working on the topic at hand is required. The candidates must therefore in their application provide a 1-2 page letter where they describe: i) their motivation for doing a PhD in this domain and ii) how they see their competence and capabilities as relevant for the position
  • The candidates are expected to be familiar with key relevant publications from the supervisors
  • The candidates selected for interview will be asked to demonstrate good ability to absorb and present material from the research frontier on the matters at hand
  • Strong analytical capabilities
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

Preferred selection criteria

  • Hands on experience with running climate models and using their output
  • Previous experience with LCA and environmental sustainability analysis is an advantage
  • Competence on data processing and parsing, in particular NetCDF, as well as data management experience is desired
  • Advanced understanding of fluid mechanics
  • An interest in climate and environment

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.

Personal characteristics

  • The successful candidate will be working in a group with other professors and PhDs from different disciplines. The candidate is expected embrace this setting and be a true team player
  • Self-driven with a strong ability to work independently when required
  • Motivated to work in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team, with an interest in cross-disciplinary learning
  • Soft skills

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

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
  • Letter of motivation (as detailed in the `Required selection criteria` section)
  • 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.

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 Dr Helene Muri, telephone +47 73413299, If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Megan Norris,

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas, certificates and other documents. 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-139/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.09.20

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 1st September 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Jobbnorge ID 188697

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