PhD Position in Digital Subsurfaces

Trondheim, Norway
28 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
30 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position at the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

The PhD fellowship is associated with the research project Digital Subsurface: Flow Diagnostics and Data-Driven Modeling in Optimized Reservoir Management funded by the Research Council of Norway and three oil companies (Equinor, Total, and Wintershall). The main research partner is SINTEF Digital in Oslo. The aim of the project is to develop new flow diagnostics methods to pre-screen large ensembles of geomodels or postprocess advanced multiphase simulations. Flow diagnostics is a recent concept for quick estimation of recovery, displacement efficiency, or the economics of a particular recovery strategy. Using these tools will help engineers assess the uncertainty in reservoir description, explore the performance of alternative recovery strategies, and provide better decision support to optimize development and production plans.

The position reports to the manager of the project, Prof. Knut-Andreas Lie.

Job description

  • Collaborate with the other members of the multidisciplinary and international project team
  • Conduct research on data-driven methods, use of techniques from AI and machine learning
  • Develop new methods for improved quantification of uncertainty
  • Develop new methods for optimization under uncertainty
  • Conduct experimental programming in MATLAB and C++
  • Validate the application potential of new methods on challenging benchmark cases from industry partners
  • Contribute to the development of open-source, community software:  MRST and OPM
  • The candidate is expected to spend 1 year as a visiting researcher at the University of Tulsa, USA.

Qualification requirements

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) with a strong academic background in applied mathematics or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. 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.

Other qualifications

  • Strong background in numerical methods and programming
  • Excellent written and oral English and Norwegian language skills*

Experience in the following is an advantage

  • Modelling of subsurface flow
  • AI/machine learning
  • Optimization and/or uncertainty quantification

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are: TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test); IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted); CAE/CPE: grade B or A. (In extraordinary circumstances, formal documentation of language skills can be relinquished. In such cases, the candidate’s language skills will be assessed in a personal interview).

Personal characteristics

  • Ambitious, self-motivated, and able to work independently
  • Proactive and able to work collaboratively in teams
  • Interested to work at the interface between mathematics and applications
  • Willing to relocate between Trondheim, Oslo, and Tulsa during the project period

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

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years, but the Department may offer an extension as a teaching assistant for up to six months. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in mathematical sciences (

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment, you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

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. Under the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Prof. Knut-Andreas Lie, phone number +47 930 58 721, e-mail 

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2018/39240 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.11.18.

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 Mathematical Sciences 

We are Norway’s largest university environment in mathematical sciences. The Department has a particular responsibility for all basis education in mathematical sciences for engineering and natural science students at NTNU. We focus on long-term basic research and applied research at a high international level. 
Our aim is to meet the society’s needs for mathematical and statistical expertise in business and public administration as well as in the research and education sector.  The Department of Mathematical Sciences is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 30.11.2018
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Trondheim