PhD Candidate in Analysis and Design of Protection Structures for Avalanches and Rockfall

Trondheim, Norway
Jan 14, 2021
End of advertisement period
Feb 01, 2021
SO IV-23/21
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate at the Department of Structural Engineering that is focused on protection structures for avalanches, debris flows and rock falls.

Proper knowledge of the forces from avalanches and wet avalanches, soil/rock masses and rock falls on various structures is fundamental for adequate design. Protective structures may comprise steel fences, flexible nets and wire systems, deviation structures and dams, with anchor connections and energy absorption elements. Fences and guard structures typically display a highly nonlinear behavior, and there is a strong interaction between the impacting mass and the structure.

The research is motivated by and connected to the extensive mitigation construction works at several sites in Norway, aimed towards improving safety of roads, railways and houses in exposed areas. The research work will include elements of avalanche and flow dynamics, modeling of moving mass and interaction with the structure, and experiments on components and parts of structures.

The position will be supervised by professors at the Department of Structural Engineering and in cooperation with professors at Geotechnics.

Duties of the position

  • independently set up a research plan and conduct it accordingly
  • take lead in writing research papers under supervision
  • contribute in supervising master students within the field
  • comply with the PhD training programme of the faculty

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 Structural Engineering 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.

  • background in structural mechanics and dynamics, steel design, material modeling, finite element modeling of loads and structures
  • proficient in both written and oral English and understand and be able to communicate in Norwegian (or a Scandinavian language)

Preferred selection criteria

  • experience in design of steel structures and components and their connections
  • experience and interests in planning and performing laboratory experiments
  • fieldwork experience related to construction work

Personal characteristics

  • be able to work independently and in a structured manner
  • demonstrate good collaborative skills
  • great willigness to learn

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 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. A 4 years period with 25% of the time allocated to teaching assistance/supervision may be considered for candidates with the proper background and supervision interest. 

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.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

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
  • Sketch for a project plan with focus on your research interests
  • Academic works 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 Arne Aalberg, telephone +47 73594624, email or Tore Børvik, telephone +47 73594647, 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 SO IV-23/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.02.2021

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 1st February 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen

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