PhD position in Applied Fire Safety of Photovoltaic Installations for Building

Trondheim, Norway
18 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
10 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate at Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The position is of 3 years duration.

The aim of the PhD-project is to map the relevant knowledge gaps connected to fire safety related to photovoltaic installations in buildings and fill some of them through experimental, analytical and numerical work. The project is described more in detail here.

The position will be part of FRIC - Fire Research and Innovation Centre ( FRIC was established in Trondheim by RISE Fire Research (, SINTEF (, NTNU and a number of industry and public partners and is funded by the Research Council of Norway and partners of the centre. The main goal of the centre is improved evidence-based decision-making and solutions for fire safety and fire protection in the built environment.

You will report to a Professor.

Duties of the position

The PhD position is within the field of fire safety of smart technology in buildings with a focus on systems for renewable energy. The results of the work shall lead to better planning, installation and use of energy production and storage systems integrated in buildings. Some challenges that could be included in the project are:

  • fire spread in the gap between the photovoltaic panels and the building.
  • PV panels acting as a barrier covering large parts of the building surface during a fire, preventing the fire brigade from effective intervention.
  • reaction to fire behaviour of the materials behind the PV panels.
  • safety of batteries, hydrogen and other relevant energy storage systems in case of fire.
  • robust building technology solutions assuring PV panels installations and architectural integration on the building surfaces (roof and façades).

Close collaboration and communication with relevant actors in the FRIC network are required to optimize the impact of the work in the relevant areas.

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, architectural or mechanical engineering, fire safety 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.

  • Good analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills, especially towards project partners and industry
  • Good written and oral English. Documentation of this may be required

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience from work directly relevant for the topic of the PhD project, e.g. PV technology, renewable energy systems for buildings, fire safety engineering etc.
  • Experience with laboratory or experimental activities
  • A good understanding of architectural integration and context visibility 
  • Norwegian/Scandinavian language skills
  • Personal characteristics

The successful candidate should:

  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • have good collaborative skills as well as capacity for independent and goal-oriented work
  • have a high level of personal responsibility

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 Civil 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:

  • A letter describing your motivation for applying for this position
  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • A two-page description of ‘Ideas for research approach’ including preferred focus areas and methods suggested by the applicant
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 3 works)
  • Name and address of three referees

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 Anne Steen-Hansen, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Senior Executive Offiser HR 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-140/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 10.08.2020

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 10th August 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Trondheim

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