PhD Candidate in Biomechanics and Personalized Cardiovascular Modelling

Trondheim, Norway
Jul 15, 2020
End of advertisement period
Aug 30, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate at the Department of Structural Engineering.

The position will be in the Biomechanics research group and supported by the ENTHRAL project for Non-invasive in-vivo assessment of local stiffness of human artery walls. The stiffness of the arterial wall is closely linked to cardiovascular health. Accurate knowledge of arterial wall stiffness can provide valuable diagnostic information for medical care and insights into the progression of cardiovascular diseases. The ambition of the project is to enable personalized treatment of cardiovascular diseases based on the integration of an individual’s characteristics and personal physical modelling.   

State of the art methods do not provide localized information about the stiffness of the arterial walls. The goal of this project is to develop a non-invasive method for quantifying local arterial stiffness based on ultrasound imaging, fluid-structure interaction simulations, inverse problems. This method may provide valuable information for the study and treatment of diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, heart failure and strokes.

The PhD candidate will collaborate with researchers at NTNU,  Silesian University of Technology, and Gliwice Municipal Hospital No 4. The focus of this PhD project will be to conduct uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis of the fluid-structure interaction models (1D and 3D) to improve the design of the measurement method and inverse problem solution and to characterise its robustness.

Within the biomechanics group, the candidate will be connected to related projects that focus on applying modelling and computation to advance personalized medical care. Some examples are My Medical Digital Twin and Model based, noninvasive diagnosis of coronary artery disease with 3D ultrasound and CT. The group also collaborates with the Cardiac Exercise Research Group and TrollLABS at NTNU as well as St. Olavs University Hospital in Trondheim.

The period of employment is 3 years.

You will report to the supervising Professor.

Duties of the position

The PhD Candidate will work in a collaborative environment to support the overall project, but with focus on the following aspects:

  • develop sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification procedures for fluid-structure models of the arteries
  • analysis and characterization of uncertainties in input medical imaging data
  • collaborate to improve experimental and measurement design based on sensitivity analyses
  • perform uncertainty aware validation of computational models of the artery
  • analysis of the impact of constitutive law complexity on robustness of predictions

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 biomedical engineering or a related field such as physics, computer science, mathematichs 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.

Preferred selection criteria

  • experience with biomechanical modelling, fluid dynamics, or computational mechanics
  • experience with statistics, uncertainty quantification and data analysis
  • background or interest in cardiovascular physiology, medicine and medical imaging
  • prior research output
  • good written and oral English language skills

Personal characteristics

  • good communication and collaboration skills
  • self-motivated, curious and ambitious
  • interest in cross-disciplinary learning and collaboration
  • creativity and willingness to try new methods or ideas to solve problems

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
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 3 works)
  • 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 informatio

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 Leif Rune Hellevik, telephone +4773596864, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact 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-155/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.08.20

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 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 30th August 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Gløshaugen

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