PhD Position in Electric Power Engineering, Digital Solar Electricity

Gløshaugen, Norway
13 Nov 2019
End of advertisement period
01 Feb 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Electric Power Engineering,, has a vacancy for a 100% position as a PhD candidate within the field of "Digital Solar Electricity", which is a project carried out under the umbrella of Digital Electrical Energy – one of the strategic areas of the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, where the Department of Electric Power Engineering has the lead role.

The prospective candidate will work in the research group Power Systems Operation and Analysis (PSOA),

The main supervisor of the PhD candidate will be Prof. Ole-Morten Midtgård, , and the co-supervisor will be Associate Prof. Steve Völler, In addition, co-supervisors from co-operating partners may be appointed.

The position reports to the Head of Department.

Main duties and responsibilities

Job description

The objective of the PhD education is to qualify for scientific research of high international standard. The PhD education has a nominal duration of three years of full-time study and includes required coursework or similar academic training comprising a minimum of 30 credits. The most important component of the PhD education is an independent scientific research project carried out under academic supervision, which results in the PhD thesis. The PhD degree is conferred based on these two elements and the doctoral examination, which consists of a trial lecture and a public defense of the scientific thesis.

The candidate is expected to fully complete the course work and the PhD thesis within the period of employment, which could be 3 or 4 years. The doctoral examination may take place after the period of employment. The option of 4-year employment would imply 1 year of duties as Teaching Assistant for the Department and may be offered to a candidate with clear motivation and ability for such work, if the Department sees the need. This will be clarified during and after any interview.

Project description

The revolution in solar electricity continues around the world, and even in Norway – a country with abundant hydro and wind power resources – solar electricity is gaining traction, as the cost continues to drop and solar electricity becomes attractive both in new zero-emission housing projects, and for home owners who wish to be wholly or partly self-sustained with electricity.

Solar electricity is mainly a distributed resource in Norway, but there are also projects looking at the use of solar in a larger scale, especially in connection with hydro power reservoirs and larger office buildings. At the same time, solar electricity will – in most cases – be connected to the grid, and must play together with the grid, both technically and in terms of economic and market aspects.

The present project will be concerned with the role of digital in connection with solar electricity. Digital is here understood as technologies required to realize the full potential of solar electricity in the future’s intelligent and sustainable electric energy sector. In this project, relevant technologies could be, for example:

  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data (to study how these technologies can benefit the integration and operation of solar electricity).
  • Distributed ledger technology (to study how blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies can benefit solar electricity in terms of technical and economic aspects).
  • Energy optimization (to study e.g. the role of energy storage, energy yield prediction and forecasting, power electronics and digital technologies).
  • Microgrids and business models for peer-to-peer trading of solar electricity.

Which direction this project will go specifically will be defined in its initial phase in cooperation between the supervisors, the candidate (depending on the candidate’s profile) and any cooperating partners.

The project may benefit from the Department’s own new 20 kW solar power station, which is installed with individual power optimizers on each PV module. This power station is also integrated with the Department’s National Smart Grid laboratory,, which makes experimental verification of theoretical concepts possible.

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 e.g. Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or Industrial Economics and Technology Management, with specialization in a topic relevant for this PhD position and the given project description.

Master’s students who expect to complete their master’s degree studies by summer 2020 are also encouraged to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the master’s degree is finished and will be under the condition of at least a grade of B on the master’s thesis.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and 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 have very good English language skills, written and spoken. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for all applicants.

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 look for candidates who show clear signs of independence, original thinking and scientific mindset.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and the salary is NOK 479 600 before tax per year. 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.

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 attachments 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.

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 Prof. Ole-Morten Midtgård,, or to Associate Prof. Steve Völler,

About the application:

Applications are to be submitted electronically through this page (

The application must contain:

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation and relevance with respect to the requirements of this advertisement.
  • A draft research proposal (1 or 2 pages) for the PhD study, where the candidate presents her/his own ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • CV including information pertaining to the given qualifications.
  • Testimonials 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.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.

Emphasis will be placed on the quality of the cover letter and the ideas and/or originality of the draft research proposal in shortlisting of candidates. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

In the final assessment of the candidates, strategic considerations at the Department of Electric Power Engineering will also be taken into account. We aim for better gender balance, and when qualifications are approximately equal among qualified candidates, female applicants will be preferred.

Application deadline: 01.02.2020.

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 university environment 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 academic environments internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance to society, while we meet industrial needs and address global challenges at the same time. The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Deadline 1st February 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Campus Gløshaugen

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