PhD Position in Engineering Geology

Trondheim, Norway
Apr 29, 2021
End of advertisement period
May 25, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) has a vacant PhD position with focus on engineering geological issues related to the “Development of the-state-of-the-art design guideline based on analysing past failure and successful cases of unlined pressure tunnels and shafts of hydropower plants”.

The PhD position is for a three years period with possibility of one-year extension for teaching assistance at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) of NTNU. The PhD fellow will be a part of a team working on the NFR project called “Norwegian in-situ Rock Stress for Sustainable Development of Hydroelectric Power (NoRSTRESS)” where SINTEF functions as Project manager and IGP as research partner. This project is also associated within research program FME HydroCen.

The candidate will closely work with NoRSTRESS Project team and Professor Krishna Kanta Panthi who will supervise the PhD fellow.

You will report to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The PhD fellow will be responsible to carry out research to enhance knowledge in better understanding the performances of unlined pressure tunnels and shafts built for hydropower projects and other underground structures under various rock stress level, geological, geo-tectonic, topographic, rock mechanical and hydraulic circumstances. The research is specifically aiming to explain and gain a better understanding of the following issues:

  • Hydraulic failure incidents (hydro fracturing) on projects where factor of safety is large than two according to the Norwegian rule of thumb; and
  • Successful projects with factor of safety slightly above one according to the Norwegian rule of thumb
  • Assessment on the in-situ stress conditions in the hydropower plant constructed in Norway

The main task is to review hydraulic failure incidents in HEP projects in Norway. International cases of interest may also be included to look on similarities and differences. A comprehensive analysis will be carried out to understand the in-situ rock stress state. To do so, a rock stress model (RSM) concept will be utilized by considering stepwise evaluation of the in-situ stress state inclusive geologic, geo-tectonic and measured in-situ stress data, and 3D stress analysis using numerical modelling.

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 engineering geology / rock 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 document that you have a score higher than 80 percent at the Master level study. If you are unable to meet above academic criteria, you may be considered for the position only if documentation is made that explains that you have qualities to successfully carry out research at an international standard that leads to the completion of a PhD degree.

Candidates who are in the process of completing their MSc research from NTNU within the field of research are also considered qualified.

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 required selection criteria

  • Candidate should document that he/she are fluent in English both spoken and written
  • Candidate should also submit a about two pages research proposal in the issue of research

Preferred selection criteria

  • Candidates with experience in engineering geological mapping, geological design and good knowledge of Scandinavian geology and some knowledge on tunnel hydraulics and hydropower tunnels will be given additional preference
  • Full filled academic criteria
  • Documentation of research qualities and motivation to research
  • Relevant background to carry out the research in assigned field
  • Competent in the use of programs such as GIS, numerical modeling programs etc.
  • Knowledge in Norwegian will give additional advantage

Personal characteristics

  • Person with high motivation in research and learning
  • Ready to work both independently and in the team

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 with possible one year extension if candidate is offered with teaching assistantship.

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:

  • Academic certificates, transcripts, and diplomas
  • Documentation about proficiency in English Language
  • Curriculum Vitae not exceeding three pages
  • Two pages long research proposal in the research topic
  • Published article(s) (if any)
  • Name and address of three references

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.

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 Krishna Kanta Panthi, telephone +47 48240695, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Anne-Lise Brekken, 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).

Please refer to the application number IV-140/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 25.05.2021.

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 Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 25th May 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Institutt for geovitenskap og petroleum

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