PhD in Optical Sensors in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Trondheim, Norway
05 Mar 2019
End of advertisement period
29 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Electronic Systems, for development and testing optical sensors in PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells with the intentions of measuring several different parameters relevant for the operational condition in a PEM fuel cell.

The PhD position is financed by NTNU’s strategic project ENERSENSE, a multi-disciplinary project where the candidate participates in different activities throughout the year and get to collaborate with other experts of associated research areas. See

The position reports to Head of Department

Job description

The primary theme of this PhD project is to explore the use of optical sensing principles for in situ measurement of critical operational parameters in PEM fuel cells both for testing and validation of computational models for fuel cells chemistry and transport, and for system optimization. Focus will be on optical fiber based sensors that can be integrated in the fuel cells. Potential sensor modalities includes fiber Bragg grating (FBG), (localized) surface plasmon resonance ((L)SPR), (chemically) responsive polymers, fluorescence, as well as spectroscopy. 

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 electrical engineering/electronics, physics, nano-technology, electrochemistry/physical chemistry 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. Applicants that expect to complete their Master degree studies by summer 2019 can apply.

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.

The sought candidate is expected to have background from optical sensors, nano-technology, plasmonics, optical physics, or electromagnetism, and to have good knowledge of the interaction between light and matter. The candidate must have a basic level of chemistry; understanding of energy conversion and thermodynamics. The candidate should have an experimental background, but demonstrated analytical skills is advantageous, as tasks to combining experimental results with models are targeted. Experience from the field of electrochemistry or electrochemical systems/energy storage is considered an advantage. There will be a strong emphasis on the academic quality of the applicants.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test.

Personal characteristics

Applicants are required to justify their candidacy by explicitly explaining their personal motivation and academic aptitude for pursuing a doctoral degree within this research field.

We seek a candidate that is motivated and able to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, have good communication and networking skills and, are proactive and forthcoming, and able to work independently if needed. The successful candidate is expected to work independently, but need excellent interpersonal skills to work successfully in interdisciplinary research teams.

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

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 teaching duties). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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. If necessary, we will adapt the workplace for people with disabilities. Increasing the number of women in academic positions is an important priority for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 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.

The Department of Electronic Systems requires ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) assessment. Export control will be performed as part of the qualification process.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Dag Roar Hjelme, 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.

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.)

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 2019/7161 when applying.

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 X2019/7161 when applying.

Application deadline: 29.03.2019

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 Electronic Systems

The digitalization of Norway is impossible without electronic systems. We are Norway’s leading academic environment in this field, and contribute with our expertise in areas ranging from nanoelectronics, phototonics, signal processing, radio technology and acoustics to satellite technology and autonomous systems. Knowledge of electronic systems is also vital for addressing important challenges in transport, energy, the environment, and health. The Department of Electronic Systems is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 29.03.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Trondheim

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