PhD Position in CFD Study of Fast Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Biomass

Trondheim, Norway
01 Mar 2019
End of advertisement period
31 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A 3-year PhD research fellow position is available in the Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT), Faculty of Engineering Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The position deals with the development of a reactor and process for continuous and fast hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of solid biomass, producing higher quality bio-crude (bio-oil, HTL oil). It will contribute to addressing the strategic research areas of the department, which among others include Bioenergy and Biofuels

The position will start in August 2019 at the latest and report to the supervising professor.

Job description

The position involves CFD (computational fluid dynamics) studies of a special reactor designed with static mixing suitable for continuous and fast hydrothermal liquefaction of solid biomass, followed by experimental validations and process simulations for a techno-economic assessment. The position will focus on lignin residue as solid biomass. The primary objectives are:

  • to optimize the reactor geometry for multi-phase mixing and convective heating, at different scales suitable for continuous fast HTL of lignin residue; and
  • to validate the capacity of the reactor for continuous non-catalytic fast HTL in laboratory conditions relevant for upscaling and industrialization.

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

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 [subject area] or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale.

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, postdoctor and research assistant

Other qualifications

  • Solid knowledge of fluid dynamics and chemical reaction engineering, experiencing in modeling of non-reacting and reacting fluid flows.
  • Experience in CFD modelling using Ansys Fluent or similar software.
  • Experience in process simulation using Aspen Plus or similar software.
  • Handy and motivated for experimental work of high temperatures and pressures.
  • Basic programming skills (C / C++ / Python).
  • Good written and oral English skills.

Acceptable tests of English for the candidates from non-English speaking countries include TOEFL, IELTS, CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English), or CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English).

Personal characteristics

Excellent communication skills.

  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated.
  • Ambitious and goal-oriented.
  • Ability to solve complex technical tasks independently.
  • Excellent communication 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

Salary and conditions

PhD candidate:

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 years (without required duties). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering,  

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 Professor Quang Khanh Tran, phone number: +47 73593625, 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 IV-113/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.03.19

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 31.03.2019
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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