Researcher Autonomous Surface Vehicles

Trondheim, Norway
22 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
20 Sep 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A permanent position as researcher is available at NTNU’s Department of Engineering Cybernetics. Engineering cybernetics is about automatic control and monitoring of technical systems such as ships, aircraft, cars, petroleum production platforms, wind turbines, underwater vehicles, robots, transport systems and industrial processes. This field is at the front of the technological development.

The primary workplace is at NTNU in Trondheim.

This position is financed by external funds, and reports to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The main work task will be to build up and manage the Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) laboratory (ASV-lab) hosted at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics. The researcher will also initiate and participate in various research projects related to ASVs and autonomous ships. Many of the projects will involve collaboration within the department, with the rest of NTNU, external research partners, industry and end users.

The main work tasks will be:

  • Building up and managing the ASV-lab including physical infrastructure, experimental platforms, laboratory staff, software systems and e-infrastructure.
  • Coordination of activities and infrastructure with other field-robotic labs at NTNU, such as the AUR-lab, UAV-lab and SmallSat-lab.
  • Research and development related to key aspects for autonomous ships, such as digital twins, testing and verification, COLREGs, situational awareness, sensors and sensor fusion, navigation, estimation and target tracking.
  • PhD and master student supervision.
  • Project acquisition, management, planning, coordination, risk and quality management.

Some travelling must be expected in connection with field operations and testing.

The position may also contribute to other tasks related to the department’s ongoing research and education activities. The working area of the position can change in order to serve the department’s needs.

Required selection criteria

  • Doctoral degree in a relevant area such as control engineering or cybernetics.
  • Experience with leading people and managing experimental infrastructure.
  • Experience with autonomous vehicle research and development, as well as modelling and control of marine vessels.
  • Documented competence in several of the following areas: Digital twins, testing and verification, situational awareness, navigation, sensors and sensor fusion.
  • Valid road driver’s license in Norway equivalent to class B.
  • Communicate well in English both orally and in writing.
  • Master Norwegian or be prepared to learn Norwegian.
  • The autonomous vehicle research at NTNU has civilian objectives. However, some of the equipment being used is subject to export regulations or other limitations such as ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations), and the position requires that the applicant has permission to use such equipment. Applicants who are citizens of Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden or NATO countries will satisfy the requirements.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Broad knowledge and interests in ship systems, unmanned vehicles and autonomous systems.
  • Experience with the Robot Operating System (ROS).
  • Relevant competence in embedded and real-time systems, including programming in C or C++.

Personal characteristics

Personal skills will be given large weight. It is important that the person being hired

  • is systematic
  • can contribute to infrastructure management, leading people, administrative work, project acquisition and project management
  • has good collaboration skills
  • will enjoy working with both employees and students
  • is flexible
  • can work efficiently in multiple projects at the same time
  • shows willingness to take initiative and responsibility
  • contributes with creative solutions in exciting research projects

We offer

Salary and conditions

The gross salary for the position of researcher (code 1109) is normally remunerated depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

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

The position is subject to external funding

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

About the application

The application and supporting documentation must be in English.

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.

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include: 

  • A motivation letter, explaining why you are the right person to be hired for this position
  • An outline of a plan to build up the ASV-lab
  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 10 works) 
  • A description of the academic works that you regard as most relevant and that you particularly want to be taken into account in the assessment 
  • Details of the projects you have managed, with information about funding, duration and size 
  • 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 assessment of the best qualified applicant, we will emphasize education, experience and personal suitability as well as your motivation for the position. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. This means that we pay special attention to the quality and professional breadth of these works. We also consider experience from research management and participation in research projects.

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.

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. 

Under the Freedom of 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 Head of Department Morten Breivik, telephone +47 41 52 58 81, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact our HR recruitment team, e-mail:  

Please submit your application and supporting documentation via If you are invited for interview, you must bring certified copies of certificates and diplomas. Mark the application with reference number: 2020/15148

Application deadline: 03.07.2020

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 Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Deadline 3rd July 202
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Permanent
Place of service Campus Gløshaugen