PhD Position in Treatment of Wash Water from Road Tunnels

Trondheim, Norway
21 May 2020
End of advertisement period
14 Jun 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A PhD position is available in water treatment at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in the Water and Wastewater Engineering research group. The appointment has a duration of 3 years at the end of which the candidate is expected to defend a PhD thesis.

Norway is a country with a challenging topography with a lot of mountainous terrain. Many roads are therefore built with tunnels and their number is growing constantly. Tunnels need to be maintained by washing with varying frequency, in dependence on amount of traffic and season, something that affects the pollution present in the wash water. Commonly found pollutants include heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, oil, microplastics, detergent and many more. Advanced treatment is therefore necessary before the water can be discharged into the environment.

The position is related to a collaboration with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA, Norw.: Statens vegvesen), which has the vision to reduce transport related emission of greenhouse gases and harmful impacts on the environment.

The PhD candidate will contribute to identifying suitable treatment strategies that are able to balance technical and financial effort, water quality, maintenance requirements and overall sustainability. Research will be done both at lab scale at NTNU, there various pilot plants are available, and at full scale in a road tunnel. Treatment processes under current consideration include sedimentation, conventional and membrane filtration, and adsorption.

The Water and Wastewater Engineering Research group has a well-established expertise and network related to water and wastewater systems, water resource management and water treatment. In close cooperation with SINTEF, the group is involved in various national, European and international research projects.

The position reports to Associate Professor.

Duties of the position

  • Independently set up research plans and conduct them accordingly
  • Take lead in writing research papers under supervision
  • Contribute to supervision of master students within the field
  • Present scientific work at conferences
  • Comply with the PhD training program of the Faculty

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in civil engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable 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, post doctor and research assistant.

Required qualifications

  • a relevant Master’s degree in water and wastewater treatment, chemical engineering, environmental engineering etc
  • experience conducting experiments in a laboratory environment, ideally related to water treatment and/or water quality analysis
  • the project includes fieldwork with close collaboration with Norwegian contractors, and thus strong command of a Scandinavian language is required (demonstrated by works written in the past, application correspondence and language, and/or certified language tests)
  • scientific reports and papers are written in English, and thus strong command of the English language is required (demonstrated by works written in English, and/or certified English tests)

Preferred selection criteria

  • experience with advanced water quality analysis (HPLC, GC, MS etc.)
  • programming skills in MATLAB, Python, or similar packages
  • experience as part of a research team or project
  • previous experience writing and contributing to peer-reviewed journal articles

Personal characteristics

  • ability to think unconventionally
  • 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

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. 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 that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering ( within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas.
  • A “research statement” briefly describing your Masters research or other previous research experience. This document should not exceed 1 page.
  • A “qualifications” document explicitly listing each of the above qualifications and briefly describing how you meet each of the “required” qualifications and some or all of the “desired" qualifications. This document should not exceed 2 pages.

An application missing these documents may be considered incomplete by the selection committee.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

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

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 city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Thomas Meyn, telephone +47 417 644 35, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Hege Johansen, e-mail:

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).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-131/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 14.06.2020

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 Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees – in both the public and private sectors with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 14th June 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Trondheim

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