PhD Candidate in Data-Driven Analysis of the Real Building Performance Using Wood Stoves

Trondheim, Norway
Jun 02, 2021
End of advertisement period
Jul 31, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT) has a vacancy for a PhD scholarship within the sustainable energy system group (SES). The SES group has a strong background in indoor environment, HVAC and energy in buildings. The PhD is part of the SusWoodStoves knowledge-building project lead by SINTEF Energy Research in collaboration with Norwegian space heating industry. The objective of the research project is to evaluate and increase the sustainability of space-heating using wood stoves by improving the building integration and through value chain optimization.

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 3-year PhD in the field of data-driven analysis of the real building performance using wood stoves. Bioenergy is important in Norway, as well as many other countries, and wood log combustion has a long tradition accounting for about 12% of the domestic heating. The PhD aims at evaluating two interrelated effects, mainly using data-driven methods on detailed field measurements:

  • Reducing peak electric power: Using wood logs is important for security of supply in Norway, where we today rely heavily on the electricity grid to deliver the needed space-heating for our houses. With a high nominal power, wood stoves can significantly reduce power peaks in the electricity grid, prevent blackouts and act as backup heating system. In a context of increasing electricity use in households, including electric cars, reducing peak electric power is strategic as it enables to prevent or postpone large investments to reinforce the distribution grid. 
  • Thermal comfort and energy performance: Preliminary measurements have shown that occupants apply a lower indoor temperature in average if they can quickly re-heat the building using a wood stove (due to its high nominal power) after a period at lower indoor temperature. Thermal comfort with wood stove should be known in more details in order to evaluate the real energy performance of space-heating using wood stoves (i.e., prebound effect). 

These two effects are closely related to the user-behavior. Consequently, the research work relies essentially on the data-driven analysis of detailed field measurements and questionnaires (meaning data series and statistical analysis). The research is original as it will be based on the data of smart electricity meters (AMS) and new wireless indoor environment sensors. 

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.  

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås. The day-to-day position management and supervision is by Associate Professor Laurent Georges. The SusWoodStoves project is managed by the Dr. Øyvind Skreiberg, Chief Scientist at SINTEF Energy Research.

Duties of the position

  • Develop experimental setup, plan and perform the measurements. 
  • Characterization of the peak electric power reduction using wood stove heating. 
  • Characterization of the indoor temperatures for each space-heating technology: electric radiators, wood stoves and air-to-air heat  pumps.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in building science (ex. civil, HVAC, mechanical or energy engineering), data science  
  • 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 in Engineering. 

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  

  • We are looking for a PhD candidate interested into developing competence in data analysis (using advanced mathematical  techniques) to investigate thermal comfort, the building grid interaction and user behavior.
  • The candidate should have excellent communication skills in English (oral and written).

Preferred selection criteria

  • Research or professional experience in one or several of the following domains will be highly appreciated: data analysis or machine learning methods, analysis of thermal systems using dynamic simulations (typically TRNSYS, IDA -ICE or Modelica), data pre- and post-processing in tools like Python or MATLAB.
  • Knowledge of the Norwegian language will be considered as an advantage.

Personal characteristics

  • Confidence in working independently
  • Ability and willingness to work in inter- and transdisciplinary teams
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Excellent 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 teaching 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: 

  • Cover letter, CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Research project description (max. 3 pages incl. references) indicating applicant`s view of the main research challenges in the area of the position, how they suggest to do the research work and how this is relevant to their own background and the above research objectives and questions
  • List of publications or academic works (published or unpublished) that you would like to be considered in the assessment 
  • Name and address of three referees

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 Associate Professor Laurent Georges, telephone +4747443861, 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 164/21when applying.

Application deadline: 31.07.21

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 31st July 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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