Postdoctoral Fellowship in Hydrothermal Carbonization of Sewage Sludge

Trondheim, Norway
Jul 13, 2020
End of advertisement period
Oct 28, 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

A two-year Postdoctoral position is available at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). This position is a part of a collaborative project “Negative CO2 emission gas power plant” involving Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT), Polish Academy of Sciences (IMP PAN, Gdańsk), Wrocław University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Sintef Energy Research (Trondheim) and three other partners in Poland, funded by the POLNOR CCS programme.  The aim of the project is to obtain negative CO2 emission power production from sewage sludge by using an innovative power cycle coupled with CCS. Hydrothermal carbonization followed by plasma gasification is employed to produce gaseous fuel from wet sewage sludge, followed by oxy-combustion in the gas turbine. Water will be added for cooling processes in the combustion chamber. Subsequently water will be condensed, and CO2 will be compressed and pumped to underground storage. As sewage sludge is considered as biomass, the plant will be CO2 negative.

The specific task of the position will be hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of sewage sludge for optimization of the mechanical dewatering. High moisture content, as well as sticky nature of sewage sludge, is problematic as drying of this material is energy intensive. HTC of sewage sludge will make it hydrophobic, thus enhancing the mechanical dewatering and subsequent drying, making it more energy efficient along the whole supply chain.

The position's day-to-day supervision is by Professor Quang Khanh Tran, NTNU.

Duties of the position

The main duty of this position is determination of the optimum HTC parameters from energy efficiency point of view, with special consideration of minimizing the energy cost of subsequent drying by maximization of the mechanical dewatering capacity.

Required selection criteria

A postdoctoral fellowship is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification academic research work. Completion of a Norwegian doctoral degree in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, or physical chemistry or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.

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, recognizing 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.

Other qualifications:

  • Experience in experimental study and process simulation of hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of sewage sludge or biomass.
  • Excellent English skills, spoken and written
  • Good academic writing and presentation skills.
  • In addition, expertise in CFD modelling for non-Newtonian fluid is desirable.

Personal characteristics

  • Highly dedicated and committed.
  • Well organized and disciplined
  • Good teamwork and communication skills

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.

We offer

Salary and conditions

The employment period is 2 years.

Postdoctoral candidates are placed in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 542 400 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.

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
  • A description of your knowledge and experience of HTC and Aspen Plus, and of what you think you in particular can contribute to the project (up to 5 pages)
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 10 works). If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.
  • Name and address of three referees

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 Quang Khanh Tran, 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-168/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 28.08.2020.

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.Apply for this job

Deadline 28th August 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Trondheim, Norway