PhD Position in Electrical Energy Informatics

Trondheim, Norway
08 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
16 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

The Department of Electric Power Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD position in Electrical Energy Informatics – "Transactive Energy and Flexibility Mechanisms at Power System Transmission and Distribution levels"

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At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

About the position

The Department of Electric Power Engineering has a vacancy for a 100% position as a PhD candidate within the emergent field of Electrical Energy Informatics – "Transactive Energy and Flexibility Mechanisms at Power System Transmission and Distribution levels."

The project is based on a special research grant provided by the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at NTNU.

The PhD candidate will be a member of the Electricity Markets and Energy System Planning (EMESP) research group at the Department of Electric Power Engineering,

One of the supervisors for the PhD candidate will be Associate Professor Vijay Venu Vadlamudi,

The position reports to the Head of department.

Main duties and responsibilities

Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology is considered as the next major technological enabler and disruptor in sectors such as finance, healthcare, and supply chain management among others. In particular, it is expected that blockchain technology will become the main driver of innovation in the electrical energy sector. People with core competence and expertise in the individual fields central to such innovation – power system operation, electricity markets, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and social informatics – need to be brought together on a common platform, to join forces for a dedicated interdisciplinary alliance in Electrical Energy Informatics.

The PhD project aims at gaining a fundamental understanding of the promise and limitations of blockchain technology in the further innovation, development and competitiveness of the Norwegian electrical energy sector. The goal is to cover Transmission System Operator (TSO) related innovations as well as Distribution System Operator (DSO) related innovations by using blockchain and Electrical Energy Informatics frameworks.

The following broader scientific and research questions shall be addressed within the scope of the proposed work:

  • How various flexibility mechanisms and other innovative solutions both at the TSO and DSO levels can be operated and further developed using blockchain technology and other energy informatics technologies?
  • How can blockchain technology including Electrical Energy Informatics be used in the planning and operation of Electricity Markets both at the transmission and the distribution levels?
  • What kinds of blockchain architectures and corresponding standardization frameworks can be used to design effective, reliable and scalable crypto networks for the utility level energy use cases?
  • Which energy blockchain use cases have highest potential to maximize the utilities’ and other power system actors’ benefits?
  • Which methods shall be utilized to analyze the outcomes of the associated studies in terms of technological, economical, energy political and environmental approaches?

More specifically, some of the TSO and DSO level potential energy blockchain use cases and associated topics will be investigated.

The work will largely focus on developing models, methods, simulation tools and prototypes to create and assess different solutions for realizing blockchains for electricity sector transformation. Functional requirement of different architectures (both from the system’s perspective and the user’s perspective) will be established first. The PhD candidate will be put in contact with several blockchain actors to gather insights into the current and planned solution trends in the industry, in addition to academia contacts abroad.

Qualification requirements

The qualification requirement is completion of a Master’s degree with strong academic background with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in electric power engineering with background in advanced programing, or alternatively a Master’s degree or equivalent in computer science with good knowledge of electrical energy. Preferred programing background consists of data science and blockchain related frameworks such as MATLAB/Simulink, Python, JavaScript, Go, Java and Solidity.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants Civil Servants, and national guidelines for appointment to PhD, postdoctor and research assistant positions.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Other qualifications:

Applicants must provide evidence of fluency in English, written and spoken. If your first language is not English, the following tests can be used as preliminary documentation of language proficiency in the selection process: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Even if such documentation is provided, further assessment of both written and oral fluency may be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interview.

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of the candidates, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as personal motivation for the position, in terms of the qualification requirements specified above.

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

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electric Power Engineering. Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD candidates at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU.

As a PhD candidate, you will have to successfully complete the PhD academic training programme; the training includes mandatory course work and other obligatory activities. Within the first three months of your employment, you must formally qualify for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

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 Associate Professor Vijay Venu Vadlamudi or to Head of Department Prof. Ole-Morten Midtgård

About the application:

Applications are to be submitted electronically through this page ( 

The application must contain:

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes his/her personal motivation and how he/she intends to fill the position.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) which includes information about the candidate’s prior education, work experience, academic merits and any scientific publications.
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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 criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. 

The Department of Electric Power Engineering works closely with key players in the Norwegian electricity supply sector, who manage critical infrastructure. A comprehensive risk assessment of the candidates' research interests and potential activities related to national threat assessments will therefore also form basis for the final selection of candidates. 

In the final assessment of the candidates, strategic considerations at the Department of Electric Power Engineering will also be taken into account.

Application deadline: August 16, 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 Electric Power Engineering

Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other univeristies and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges. The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

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