PhD Position in CFD Study on Fast Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Lignin Residue

Trondheim, Norway
Mar 29, 2021
End of advertisement period
Apr 30, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 400 employees and 42 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the position

A three-year PhD position is available in the Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT), Faculty of Engineering Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The position is a part of the FRINATEK Researcher Project “Reactor and process development for continuous non-catalytic fast hydrothermal liquefaction of lignin residue” (project number: 315420 - FORSKER20) funded by the Research Council of Norway. The project is a collaboration between Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Department of Energy and Process Engineering and the University of Valladolid - Department of Energy and Fluid Mechanics, supported by Borregaard AS. The objective of the project to optimize and validate a reactor and process developed at NTNU for continuous non-catalytic fast hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of lignin residue from pulp and paper production.

The position is placed at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering - NTNU in Trondheim and administered by the Department Head, Professor Terese Løvås. The position will start in August 2021 and report to the supervising Professor Quang Khanh Tran.

Duties of the position

  1. Development of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model in ANSYS FLUENT for the reactor and process developed at NTNU, suitable for continuous fast HTL of lignin residues from pulp and paper production; and
  2. Implementation of the developed CFD model to optimize the reactor geometry and process parameters for continuous fast HTL of lignin residue, producing bio-crude (bio-oil, HTL oil).

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits), or equivalent education with grade B or better, in terms of NTNU’s grading scale, with a strong academic background in  Fluid Mechanics, Chemical Process Engineering, Process Engineering, Engineering Physics or closely related fields. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates 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.

 Required selection criteria

  • Strong knowledge of fluid mechanics with good appreciations of both non-reacting and reacting fluid flows.
  • Documented experience in CFD modelling and simulation using ANSYS FLUENT.
  • Good programming skills (C / C++ / Python).
  • Great command of both written and spoken English.

Additional selection criteria

  • Experience in modelling of non-Newtonian fluid flows and their static mixing.
  • Experience in chemical kinetics and reaction modelling.
  • Experience in process simulation using Aspen Plus or similar software.
  • Skills of reactor design, process development, and unit operation.

Acceptable tests of English for the candidates from non-English speaking countries include TOEFL, IELTS, CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English), or CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English).

Personal characteristics

  • Highly dedicated and committed.
  • Good teamwork and communication skills.
  • Ability to solve complex technical tasks independently.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

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.

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
  • 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.

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.

In accordance with The Public 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 , telephone: +47 73593625, email  khanh-quang.tran@ntnu. or Professor José Sierra-Pallares, telephone:  +34 983 184536, 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-106/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.04.21.

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 30th April 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Energy and Process Engineering

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