PhD position in Combustion Dynamics of Hydrogen Flames for Zero Emission Power Generation

Trondheim, Norway
27 May 2020
End of advertisement period
09 Jun 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering within the Thermo-fluids research group at NTNU. The appointment has a duration of 3 years and is funded by the Norwegian CCS Research Centre (NCCS) led by Sintef Energy.  One of the main work packages within NCCS is dedicated to accelerating the transition to zero emission gas turbines using hydrogen in collaboration with Ansaldo Energia.

State-of-the-art gas turbine power plants are efficient, complex machines optimised to burn natural gas usually at constant load. However, they have the potential to be both fuel flexible and operationally flexible which means they are ideally placed to play a major role in the energy transition to renewable technologies which produce power intermittently.  Excess power from renewables cannot be easily stored but can be used to produce so-called green hydrogen which can be burned in gas turbines when needed and stabilise the grid.  It is well known that one of the most serious challenges limiting the operation of gas turbines are thermoacoustic instabilities and their underlying combustion dynamics.  A better scientific understanding and tools to predict them are needed as the effect of pure and diluted hydrogen is currently not well understood.

The position will be supervised by Professor James Dawson at NTNU and co-supervised Professor Thierry Schuller at IMFT (Institute of Fluid Mechanics Toulouse).  Research activities will be based at both the Department of Energy and Process Engineering at NTNU to investigate various fundamental aspects of hydrogen and potentially ammonia flames and numerical simulations will be performed at IMFT.

The head of the department is Professor Terese Løvås.

Duties of the position

The motivation of the research is the reduction to zero CO2 emissions in large-scale power generation applications.  One very promising approach is to operate gas turbines on zero-carbon fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia (a hydrogen carrier).  The PhD research will focus on how these fuels affect the thermoacoustic response and combustion dynamics.  Recent research in our groups has found that hydrogen flames are sensitive to a much wider range of perturbation frequencies which means they may be more susceptible to self-excited thermoacoustic instabilities than methane flames and that careful burner design may be employed to cancel out specific frequency ranges where gas turbines need to operate.  The aim of the PhD project is to better understand this and other important phenomena by conducting detailed experimental investigations at NTNU and high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulations at IMFT.  This knowledge is a crucial enabling step to zero-emission gas turbines and large-scale reductions in CO2 emissions as set out by the EU.

The research project requires unique experimental capabilities and numerical expertise.  The successful candidate will have access to state of the art experimental facilities integrating different advanced experimental techniques including Particle Image Velocity (PIF) and Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) at NTNU as well as expertise and training in high-fidelity numerical simulations at IMFT.  The successful candidate will be joining two internationally active research groups in fluid mechanics and laser diagnostics with experienced post-doctoral researchers as well as PhD students.  Several joint publications in internationally leading scientific journals and attendance at international conferences is expected.

The expected start date is as soon as possible.

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 mechanical, aerospace or relevant engineering discipline having specialised in optical diagnostics, fluid mechanics or combustion 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. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they 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 Masters (or second) degree in mechanical, aerospace, applied physics or equivalent discipline.
  • Strong theoretical and practical background in fluid mechanics
  • Programming skills in MATLAB, C, Python, or similar packages.
  • Excellent command of the English language, and skilled in academic writing

Desired additional qualifications:

  • Experience with state-of-the-art experimental fluid mechanics or reacting flow measurements
  • Experience with CAD software packages (e.g., SolidWorks, Fusion360).
  • Experience in the foundations of quantum mechanics as background for simulations of the Raman scattering process

Personal characteristics

  • Enthusiastic, ability to adapt and learn
  • Highly motivated and scientifically curious
  • Able to work effectively by themselves and in a team
  • Able to work in a structured and goal orientated manner
  • Able to work in a multi-cultural environment

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

The position is subject to external funding.

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
  • Research plan or project proposal
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Name and address of three referees

In addition to the required fields on the Jobbnorge website, please include a “qualifications” document explicitly detailing how you meet each of the required and some (or all) of the desired qualifications listed above. An application missing these this document 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 Professor James Dawson, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Ingrid Wiggen, 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-134/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 09.06.20

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.

Deadline 9th June 2020|
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Energy and Process Engineering


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