PhD Position within Underwater Acoustics Communications

Trondheim, Norway
11 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
31 Jul 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The position is one of the three PhD positions within the Norwegian Research Council project "Autonomous Underwater Fleets", starting in September 2020, and whose focus is on enabling fleets of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) to operate collectively, cooperatively, adaptively, and in a leaderless fashion, so to enable more efficient & reliable monitoring and utilization of sea resources & infrastructures.

The PhD position will focus on approaching theoretical, algorithmic and practical problems relative to develop adaptive communication schemes for underwater vehicles that can adapt their transmission and reception schemes according to both the current status of the fleet and the current underwater channel conditions.

The project will be executed under the supervision of professors Hefeng Dong (main supervisor), Damiano Varagnolo, Kristin Y. Pettersen from NTNU, and Dr. Claudio Paliotta from Sintef Digital, and professor Joao Tasso de Sousa, University of Porto. The project will be integrated in the Centre of Excellence on Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (CoE NTNU AMOS) and will build on & strengthen the established cooperation in marine robotics and autonomy with NTNU AMOS partners, e.g., Equinor and DNV GL. The main workplaces will be the Departments of Electronic Systems at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, an equal opportunity employer described in detail at The project will give the opportunity to pay extended visits to Porto, Portugal, and to other Universities, research institutes or companies, potentially also outside Europe.

The position reports to the Head of the departement.

Duties of the position

We expect the candidate to:

  • commit adequate time and effort to the project;
  • display initiative in identifying and resolving problems relating to the research;
  • manage the work efficiently so as not to place unreasonable demands on supervisors;
  • be well organised and capable of setting and meeting deadlines for various phases of the research;
  • acquire any new skills required as part of the project;
  • maintain frequent and regular contacts with the supervisors;
  • seek and accept in good faith advice from supervisors and advisory panels;
  • fulfil tasks required by the supervisors as part of the project;
  • meet the normal scholarly and professional standards required by the discipline;
  • ensure that all written work is of a high standard of expression and organization;
  • report the results through both written work (especially scientific papers) and oral presentations (specially seminars to various audiences).

There exists the possibility for participating to departmental duties, such as teaching assistance; these shall be negotiated during the job interview

Required selection criteria

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 grade of B or better in terms of NTNU's grading scale in one of the following fields, Acoustics, Underwater Acoustics, Communication& sensor network, and Signal Processing, or equivalent education.

Persons with knowledge within underwater acoustic communications, networks, and experience with instrumentation are particularly encouraged to apply. Good written and oral English language skills are a non-negotiable prerequisite. Moreover, since the goal of the project is to bring the concept of cooperative robotics into the underwater realm by simultaneously advancing and merging different scientific fields, the PhD student will have to work with other PhD students as a closely cooperating team.

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, post doctor and research assistant.

Other qualifications

Despite our research having civilian objectives, the research project uses equipment that is restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Applicants that are citizens of Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, EU or NATO countries are eligible. Other applicants, instead, in order to be considered for the position are required to provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment and attach this evidence in their application

Personal characteristics

We seek a candidate who is strongly committed to keep an open, honest and professional interaction with the colleagues at the department, based on mutual respect, trust and good-will.

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

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. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is for three years, extensible to four in case the candidate will serve for departmental duties such as teaching assistance. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in engineering cybernetics ( or electronics and telecommunication ( starting date shall be during August 2020, with little flexibility allowed.

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 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.

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):

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2020/12854 when applying. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The applicants should specify in their cover letter which (one or more) of these PhD positions they apply for.

Application deadline: 31.07. 2020.

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. 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 hefeng Dong, phone number +47 93412370, e-mail .

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

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 Electronic Systems

The digitalization of Norway is impossible without electronic systems. We are Norway’s leading academic environment in this field, and contribute with our expertise in areas ranging from nanoelectronics, phototonics, signal processing, radio technology and acoustics to satellite technology and autonomous systems. Knowledge of electronic systems is also vital for addressing important challenges in transport, energy, the environment, and health. The Department of Electronic Systems is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 31st July 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Campus Gløshaugen

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