Research Assistant to support our Digitalization Initiative in Water Research and Education

Trondheim, Norway
Jul 15, 2021
End of advertisement period
Aug 08, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a full time Research Assistant at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The Research Assistant will be part of the Water and Wastewater Engineering group at NTNU ( and will work on teaching and research related to the field of Hydroinformatics. This position is a fixed term, full time (100 %) position for 2 years. The candidate will collaborate closely with lecturers and researchers of the water and wastewater group to advance water research and education by developing novel Hydroinformatic tools that utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to solve the world’s most pressing water-related problems.

It is planned that the Research Assistant will work on the interface between machine learning and Hydroinformatics on teaching as well as research tasks.

The research part will focus on the synergies between artificial intelligence and hydraulic models to obtain the most accurate, interpretable solutions to graduate our smart urban water systems to the next level.   

The teaching part will focus on the multi-disciplinary field of Hydroinformatics in all courses of the water and wastewater group, which evolves rapidly and requires students to learn both (i) fundamental skills of problem solving as well as (ii) specific skills for the intricacies of a diverse set of algorithms. The research assistant will build tools for the water-related courses around Jupyter notebooks, widgest and interactive dashboards to enforce an in-depth understanding and applicability of the course material from students. These notebooks are an open-source web-based interactive computational environment to execute and share programming code alongside explaining texts, equations, and visualizations. We are convinced that these tools are ideal for teaching in Hydroinformatics, because they improve student engagement with material, participation in class as well as comprehensibility of concepts.

The group’s vision is to create a new generation of water researchers that can utilize novel technologies that entered water research through the digital revolution, and the Research Assistant is supposed to be an integral part of our vision by supporting our research team in digitalizing our water-related courses.
The Research Assistant will report to Associate Professor.

Duties of the position

  • Get actively involved in the group’s water research and education, especially in the field of Hydroinformatics
  • Develop Jupyter notebooks, interactive dashboards and widgets to support the next generation of water engineers in learning the relevant skillset to solve future water problems
  • Support lecturers in building digital content for water-related courses
  • Participate in the group’s research on Water and Wastewater engineering, especially with a focus on the latest developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence 
  • Write scientific publications (journals papers, conferences abstracts)
  • Attend and present at conferences and workshops in Norway and abroad

Required selection criteria

The position as Research Assistant should give you the opportunity to gain insight into scientific or artistic work and method. The assignments are at an academic level and must consist of scientific or artistic assistance.

The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree with a strong academic background in Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Control Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or equivalent education. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for the position.

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.

  • Proficient in Programming (preferably in Python)
  • Good English skills (written and oral)

Preferred selection criteria

  • Knowledge and experience within machine learning and AI are preferred and should be highlighted, especially with respect to neural networks, deep learning, geometric deep learning, graph neural networks, including programming environments (e.g. Keras, TensorFlow, pyTorch)
  • A strong mathematical background, especially in Linear Algebra and Network theory, is advantageous
  • Knowledge on statistics, uncertainty quantification and data analysis are an additional asset
  • Experience with infrastructure networks, especially urban water systems is an advantage 
  • Knowledge and experience with hydraulic modelling (e.g. EPANET, SWMM) counts as an additional advantage
  • Past teaching experience is highly desired
  • Norwegian language skills are not necessary, but they count as an additional asset

Personal characteristics

The ideal candidate

  • is scientifically curious and open to new research challenges with an affinity for AI
  • loves teaching and working in classrooms with students
  • enjoys working in multi-disciplinary projects and in an international team
  • demonstrates independence and persistence in research as well as in teaching
  • is flexible and reliable, with ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team

We offer

Salary and conditions

Research assistants are remunerated in code 1020, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 475 800 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. For a period of until 2 years.

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 on a daily basis.

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. 

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include:

  • Motivation letter: A short letter (0.5-2 pages) showing the applicant’s motivation for a PhD study, her/his understanding and thoughts of the research topic of the position, and indicating how the applicant envisages her/his contribution within the project
  • CV which includes information about education background, work experience, and information which is relevant for the position
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts (in English, German, or Norwegian)
  • Language test certificates, if available (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge Certificate)
  • Contact information for at least 2 reference persons. Recommendation letters are not necessary but will be taken into account for the application if present

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. This means that we pay special attention to the quality and professional breadth of these works. We also consider experience from research management and participation in research projects. We place great emphasis on your scientific work from the last five years.

General informatio

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 David Steffelbauer, telephone  +47 73594745 , email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Hege Johansen, 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-196/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 08.08.2021

Research Assistant to support our Digitalization Initiative in Water Research and Education 

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 Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees – in both the public and private sectors – with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 8th August 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service