PhD Position within Ocean Modelling and Prediction

Gløshaugen, Norway
01 Mar 2019
End of advertisement period
27 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position within ocean modelling and prediction with focus on environmental conditions at aquaculture locations.

The position reports to Associate Professor Morten Omholt Alver, who will be the main supervisor. The candidate will also have a co-supervisor from SINTEF Ocean.

Job description

Aquaculture farms are affected by the environmental conditions in the ocean, for instance through variables like wave conditions, current speed, temperature and oxygen content. Short-term prediction of such variables – particularly prediction of rapid variations - has great potential value for the farmers, but is challenging due to the complex dynamics of the ocean and limited access to observations.

SINTEF Ocean generates daily oceanographic prognoses for selected areas using the ocean model SINMOD (1). In order to evaluate and improve the model predictions the PhD candidate will design an observation program to collect data from farming locations in the areas outside of Frøya (mid Norway), among others from SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1 which is equipped with an extensive set of instrumentation (2). Satellite based remote sensing data can be utilized, both from global data sets and from NTNU’s SmallSat program (3). Dedicated field studies can also be done.

The work will focus on use of data from heterogeneous sources, methods for assimilation (4) of observations into SINMOD, model development and development/use of statistical or machine learning methods for prediction of oceanographic variables.

  1. More information at
  2. See
  3. NTNU’s program for development and use of small satellites (
  4. The term «assimilation» is used for state estimation in large distributed models, e.g. for the ocean and the atmosphere.

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 cybernetics 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.

Important qualifications for candidates are:

  • Numerical modelling
  • Estimation theory
  • Programming experience in Python, Fortran, Matlab or similar languages
  • Good written and oral English language skills. Scandinavian language skills are an advantage, but not required.

Prior knowledge of oceanography and marine biology is useful, but not required, and will form parts of the candidate’s academic curriculum.

The research of this project has civilian objectives. However, equipment restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is being used in this research area. Applicants that are citizens of Norway, NATO countries, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, or Sweden are eligible. Other applicants should provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment for their application to be considered.

Personal characteristics

We are seeking a candidate who is curious and interested in learning new things. You should be interested in working out in the field as well as in the office, and have good social and presentation skills.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, 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 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 or 4 years (with or without required duties). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics (

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 Morten Omholt Alver, phone number +47 95150321, e-mail .

About the application:

The application must include a cover letter where the applicant states their motivation for applying to this position.

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 2019/7011 when applying.

Application deadline: 2019-03-27.

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 Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Deadline 27.03.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Gløshaugen

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