PhD position in Sustainable Nordic Battery Production Systems

Trondheim, Norway
16 Aug 2019
End of advertisement period
31 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 3-year PhD position in the Industrial Ecology Program (IndEcol), within the Department of Energy and Process Engineering.

The PhD position is funded via FREYR AS (in collaboration with InnoEnergy), which is a company set up to build a Giga battery factory in Mo I Rana in 2021. The overarching intention of the project is to consolidate the foundation for a sustainable Nordic battery industry.

The position will be focusing on sustainability assessments, working together with another PhD working on battery production techniques. The PhD position will be within NTNU`s Industrial Ecology Program, in close collaboration with NTNUs ENERSENSE Initiative and FREYR.

The Industrial Ecology Program (IndEcol) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching program managing its own International MSc program. IndEcol is well recognized for its work in the areas of life-cycle assessment, material flow analysis, and the use of input-output analysis for environmental assessments, as evidenced by numerous publications and international prizes. Current research activities are funded by national and European agencies, as well as industrial partners. There is a long tradition of working on both industrial and policy applications. Key faculty staff currently serve or have recently served as members of the IPCC, the UNEP Resource panel and UNEP/SETAC task forces.

The Head of Department is Professor Teresa Løvås. Professor Anders Hammer Strømman will be the main supervisor and Professor Odne Burheim will be the co-supervisor.

Main duties and responsibilities

The core objective of the work is to advance and apply life-cycle based models in order to support the design of material and climate efficient Nordic battery production systems. This involves the modelling of different alternative factory designs, their production processes, energy supply and the material value chains, including mining, refinement and the related logistics. The intention is to extend current state of the art interdisciplinary modelling approaches, bridging engineering models with system-wide LCA and related industrial ecology models.

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 a relevant subject area 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.

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

Other essential qualifications

  • Candidates must hold a Master`s degree in one of the following or equivalent areas: i) Life-Cycle Assessment and Industrial Ecology, ii) Chemical or Process Engineering, iii) Optimization and Operations research iv), Applied Physics or Mathematics, v) Computer Sciences. Prior experience within of any these fields towards work on batteries and battery production systems is advantageous
  • The successful candidate must be well versed in lineaer algebra in particular, matrix algebra and use the of programming languages to model linear systems (e.g Matlab, R)
  • Strong, well matured and well-articulated motivation for working on the topic at hand is required. The candidates must therefore in their application provide a 1-2 page letter where they describe: i) their motivation for doing a PhD in this domain and ii) how they see their competence and capabilities as relevant for the position
  • The candidates are expected to be familiar with key relevant publications from the professors involved
  • The candidates selected for interview will be asked to demonstrate good ability to absorb and present material from the research frontier on the matters at hand
  • Strong analytical capabilities
  • The successful candidate should, because of the close collaboration with industrial companies, have an interest in trying to combine solid fundamental research with practical innovation
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Fluent English language skills (written and oral)

Desirable qualifications

  • Competence in mathematical modelling, simulation or optimization (e.g., Matlab, R, GAMS, C++, Python) is strongly desired
  • Competence in data processing and parsing as well as data management experience

Personal characteristics

  • The successful candidate will be working in a group with other professors and PhDs from different disciplines. The candidate is expected to embrace this setting and be a true team player
  • Self-driven, with a strong ability to work independently when required

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 479 600 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

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. The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. 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 Odne Burheim, phone number 91707856, 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, letter, diplomas and certificates. It is necessary to include a Diploma Supplement for European Master`s Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master`s Diplomas from China Credentials Verification (CHSI). Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-219/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.08.2019

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 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.