PhD Candidate in Energy-Optimal Subsea Production and Processing by Use of Digital Twins

Trondheim, Norway
26 Sep 2019
End of advertisement period
13 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in Energy-Optimal Subsea Production and Processing by Use of Digital Twins

A key issue for oil and gas production is energy usage. Both economically and environmentally, optimizing energy usage will be of great benefit by lowering costs and reducing emissions.

To achieve these desired effects, the production and processing system must be considered as a whole, and as more than merely the sum of their parts. These systems mutually interact in complex ways, and being optimal only for one sub-system might incur great costs in another.

In this project, the candidate will investigate and control various subsea factory configurations, focusing on overall control of (predominantly) down-stream elements.

As part of this project, a digital twin of a “generic” subsea production and processing facility will be made, and an energy-optimal control strategy developed.

The position is part of SUBPRO, a centre for research-based innovation established in 2015 at NTNU. The research centre is supported by the Research Council of Norway and several major international oil companies and subsea system suppliers.

The position will include laboratory work. SUBPRO has extensive laboratory facilities, including the Subsea Process Control Laboratory, which will be available to the candidate.

For more information about SUBPRO and a detailed description of the position, please visit our web site:

The position reports to Associate Professor Christian Holden

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Write and publish scientific papers and publish them in scientific journals or at scientific conferences
  • Write and compile a thesis of your PhD work
  • Experimentally validate results on the Subsea process control laboratory
  • Collaborate with other ongoing PhD projects at SUBPRO
  • Implement and simulate a “generic” subsea factory
  • Develop a digital twin of a “generic” subsea production and processing facility
  • Develop control strategies based on optimal control and machine learning

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 engineering cybernetics, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, physics and mathematics, subsea technology or similar engineering fields 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 qualifications

  • Industrial experience from the oil and gas or process industry will be considered an advantage
  • Experience with process control will be considered an advantage
  • Programming skills will be considered an advantage
  • Good written and oral English language skills are a requirement

Personal characteristics

  • Inquisitive with a passion for learning
  • Able to work well alone and in very small teams
  • Able to self-motivate and work on long-term projects whose results may only come after a long time

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

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.

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. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Christian Holden, phone number +47 73 59 37 82, 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. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI): Pakistan applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number IV-232/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 13 October 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 Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

We educate graduates who can create new products, operate and maintain products, and manage projects. The Department has a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. We conduct wide-ranging research in fields such as technology, energy, product quality and development, and productivity. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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