Phd in Mapping of Plankton and Microplastic on Autonomous Underwater Platforms

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position on Mapping of plankton and microplastic using particle imaging (Silhouette Camera) and underwater hyperspectral imager on autonomous platforms at the Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS), Department of Marine Technology. The PhD candidate will work in a multidisciplinary team at NTNU AMOS and SINTEF Ocean.

The PhD position aims for the development of new methods for mapping and classification of phytoplankton, zooplankton and microplastic using optical particle imaging (Silhouette Camera) and Underwater Hyperspectral Imager on underwater platforms such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Layers of organism in the water column may be detected using acoustics. While operating in such water layers – optical imaging techniques will be activated for preferable automatic classification of object of interest (OOI). High-level control functions for autonomous mission control of AUVs will be developed in order for efficient mapping operations.

The position reports to the supervising Professor.

Job description

  • Clarify detection methods of layers of organism in the water column using acoustics.
  • Development of new methods using e.g. machine learning for autonomous mapping and classification of phytoplankton, zooplankton and microplastic using optical particle imaging (Silhouette Camera) and Underwater Hyperspectral Imager.
  • Development of high-level control functions for autonomous mission control of AUVs for efficient mapping operations.
  • Verify classification methods in laboratory and in-situ sea waters.
  • Demonstrate performance on AUV field trials in different ocean environments including arctic waters.

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 Marine Technology (Marine Cybernetics), Engineering Cybernetics, Science & Informatics, Physics, Electrical Engineering 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, postdoctor and research assistant

Other qualifications

  • We seek highly motivated fellow with a master’s degree in Marine Technology (Marine Cybernetics), Engineering Cybernetics, Science & Informatics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or other relevant disciplines.
  • Master students graduating summer 2019 can apply. Master students graduating by the end of June 2020 may apply for admission as integrated MSc and PhD.
  • Relevant industry experience may be an advantage.
  • Academic results, publications, relevant specialization, work or research experience, personal qualifications, and motivation and a desire to make an impact on critical societal problems will be considered when evaluating the applicants.
  • Excellent English skills, written and spoken, are required. Applicants from non-English speak countries outside Europe must present an official language test report. The acceptable tests are TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:•            
    • TOEFL: 600 / writing 4.5 (paper-based test), 92 / writing 22 (internet-based test)            
    • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
    • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Our research has civilian objectives. However, equipment restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) is being used in the research areas listed above. Applicants that are citizens of Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, EU or NATO countries are eligible. Other applicants are required to provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment for their application to be considered/in their application.

Personal characteristics

  • Courage
  • Generous
  • Thourough
  • Effective
  • Innovative and open minded

High integrity 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 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 Marine Technology.

Engagement as a PhD Candidate is done in accordance with “Regulation concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”, given by the Ministry of Education and Research of 19.07.2010. The goal of the positions is to obtain a PhD degree. Applicants will engage in an organized PhD training program, and appointment requires approval of the applicants plan for a PhD study within three months from the date of commencement.

PhD fellows must fulfill the formal requirements to be accepted as a PhD candidate at NTNU and must agree to participate in organized doctoral study programs within the period of the appointment. The successful applicant must agree to the conditions laid down for public employees. A contract will be drawn up regarding the period of appointment and work-related duties.

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.

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.

Start-up date may be discussed, but tentatively August 2019.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Asgeir Sørensen, e-mail

The application must contain information of educational background and work experience. Certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be enclosed. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

The application should include:

  • Project proposition (0.5-2 pages) indicating how the applicant envisages her/his contribution within the project
  • CV (including list of publications and relevant former positions)
  • Certified copies Bachelor & Master degrees, transcripts
  • Short statement from a former supervisor/tutor/teacher
  • Contact information for two references (including email addresses and telephone number)
  • English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

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-109/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 01 April 2019

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 Marine Technology

We develop methods and technology related to the blue economy: oil and gas extraction at sea, ship technology and the equipment industry, fisheries and aquaculture. We also have a strong commitment to the development of sustainable solutions for offshore renewable energy, coastal infrastructure, and marine robotics. Marine technology helps to solve major global challenges related to the environment, climate, energy, food and efficient transport. The Department of Marine Technology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 01.04.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of marine technology

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