PhD in Predictive Models of Hydrogen-Induced Material Degradation

Gløshaugen, Norway
04 Apr 2019
End of advertisement period
25 Apr 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate at Department of Structural engineering

Department of Structural Engineering has vacancy for a PhD fellowship position. The PhD is supported by the project "Safe Pipelines for Hydrogen Transport (HyLINE)" financed by the ENERGIX program of the Research Council of Norway and industrial partners from the energy and renewable energy sectors. The project is managed by SINTEF industry.

The HyLINE project will address pipeline material challenges related to transporting clean hydrogen gas in the existing subsea pipeline infrastructure for natural gas transport and new pipeline infrastructure. The main objective of HyLINE project is to establish fundamental knowledge about the effects of hydrogen gas on pipeline steels to enable a safe and efficient use of existing and new subsea pipeline infrastructure for future large-scale transport of hydrogen gas.

The PhD candidate will work at NTNU Nanomechanical Lab, chaired by Professor Zhiliang Zhang, Professor Jianying He and two adjunct professors from the industry. In 2018, there were 18 PhD students and 3 post-doc fellows working in the NTNU Nanomechanical Lab.

The position report to the main supervisor Professor Zhiliang Zhang.

Job description

  • When metallic materials are exposed to hydrogen environment, hydrogen can diffuse into the metals, interact with microstructure and deformation, and cause material degradation (i.e. hydrogen embrittlement) that may lead to premature failure with catastrophic consequences. Hydrogen embrittlement is a long-standing challenge for both the traditional energy industry as well as the renewable energy sector. The degree of influence of hydrogen strongly depends on the material system, the severity of hydrogen exposure and the stress and strain conditions of the structure. It is a critical failure mode that must be considered in securing the material integrity and developing the life extension strategy of structural components.
  • Together with a large group of experts from SINTEF and other PhD candidates in the same project on experimental studies, and with close collaboration with our international collaborators, University of Poitiers and others, the PhD candidate will work on continuum-based modelling of hydrogen embrittlement. In particular, the PhD candidate will establish hydrogen-informed predictive models by extending the Gurson model to account for the embrittlement effect of hydrogen on ductile damage characterized by microvoid nucleation, growth and coalescence.

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 mechanics, mechanical/structural engineering, material physics, material science, 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

  • experience and knowledge of continuum mechanics and finite element method are essential.  
  • good English skills, spoken and written, are required

Personal characteristics

  • motivated and ambitious students with excellent grades
  • ability to work both individually and in a team environment and a high level of personal responsibility
  • excellent communication skills in scientific writing and oral presentation
  • eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences.

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

  • an experienced and supportive PhD supervising team
  • a socially active international group full of positive energy
  • exciting and stimulating Fridays seminars
  • a network with international leading research groups
  • 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 years. 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.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

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 Zhiliang Zhang, phone number +47 93001979, 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-152/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 25.04.19

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 Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 25.04.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen

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