PhD Position within BRU21, Program Area Exploration Efficiency

Trondheim, Norway
May 27, 2021
End of advertisement period
Jun 21, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

BRU21 is NTNU’s Research and Innovation Program in Digital and Automation Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry. It is a multidisciplinary program uniting academic and industrial experts in Cybernetics and Robotics, Computer and Data Science, Cyber security, Petroleum engineering and Geoscience, Mechanical engineering, Sociology, Management and Economics. The program focuses on creating impact across the oil and gas value chain through novel digital and automation technologies, innovation, and people development.

The program is centered around PhD/PostDoc research projects on concrete digitalization/automation-related challenges (use-cases) formulated by the industrial partners. Currently the program has 34 PhD/PostDoc projects. The BRU21 philosophy is based on high-level interdisciplinary research, close collaboration with industry, innovation culture and tight collaboration across projects and disciplines.

More information on the program can be found on its website:

The current position will be a part of the BRU21 program area Exploration Efficiency (EE). In this area, we aim at developing novel automated tools to increase data analysis efficiency in the geoscience workflows through modern computational methods, e.g. machine learning and artificial intelligence, combined with cross-disciplinary subsurface expertise. Within the geoscience field, we foresee machine learning exploring hidden connections among different physical quantities through usage of large quantities of data measurements. In EE area we are currently exploring two major research directions:

  • Data structuring: Establish the fundament for new data structures enabling easy and fast access by using machine learning algorithms.
  • Data analytics: Apply data analytics methods to well data (depth series) in the quest to automatically detect and classify various features within the data sets. Automatic data quality analysis and data conditioning is a necessary pre-step for these data analytics methods.

The successful applicant will work in the BRU21 program at NTNU in Trondheim in our team of researchers.  The PhD research will be hosted by the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The successful candidate will be offered a three-year position fully funded by AkerBP.

You will report to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate that will be concerned with developing automated workflows that tackle data quality challenges and data analysis of borehole measurements from oil and gas wells. 

The PhD candidate will be responsible and devoted to:

  • Designing a machine learning (ML) framework to automatically identify shapes from pairs of depth series of data (logs).
  • The ML framework will be designed to process data depth series represented as various physical property combinations acquired in wells across oil or gas fields or exploration areas.
  • The end goal will be to develop novel and efficient ML based workflows that
    • prequalifies log data quality of any subsurface property measurements.
    • perform systematic and necessary depth adjustments to optimise and qualify data for deeper investigations rock physical and petrophysical analysis.
    • Various types of algorithms will need to be explored covering supervised, unsupervised, and reinforced learning methods.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Physics/Mathematics/Statistical signal analysis and computer programming (preferably python) and data structures
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level 
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (
  • Highly motivated candidate to do a research education 
  • Interested in both research and innovation aspects of research   

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience in data series processing
  • Computer science background with previous experience of applying machine learning in related science applications
  • Good written and oral English

Personal characteristics

  • Willingness and ability to learn new skills and approaches in a multidisciplinary team research environment, but patience and curiosity to work independent with research task 
  • Strong drive to transition new research results and technologies innovative products
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 

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 without required duties.

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 
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Project proposal  
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address of three referees 
  • Publications or other relevant research work

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

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 and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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 Kenneth Duffaut, telephone +47 918 97 698, e-mail 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-153/21when applying.

Application deadline: 21.06.2021.

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 21st June 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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