NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - NTNU

PhD position in Explainable AI for Autonomous Ships at the Department of ICT and Natural Sciences

Location
Alesund, Norway
Posted
30 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
22 Nov 2020
Ref
2020/36645
Contract Type
Temporary
Hours
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacant PhD position in Explainable AI for Autonomous Ships at the Department of ICT and Natural Sciences

The PhD candidate will work on challenging research problems related to explainable AI and evaluation of algorithms for decision support for remote operation centres. The candidate will be working together with two other PhD students from Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering (nautical science) and the Department of Design (interaction design) on research and design of a Human-Machine Interface between human operator and the ship and navigation automation.

The position is part of SFI AutoShip, the new 8-year research-based innovation Center in autonomous ships. The Centre focuses on autonomy, digital infrastructure, maritime transport, safety and risk analysis, maritime law, human-machine interaction, and cyber security, with partners from research, public sector and maritime industry. For more information about SFI AutoShip, see www.ntnu.edu/sfi-autoship.

The position reports to Ottar L. Osen as the main scientific supervisor of the research.

There are several PhD positions announced for SFI AutoShip, and you are encouraged to apply for more than one position if they with your background and interests.

Why apply for a PhD position?

The main objective of a PhD position is to develop skills to solve complex problems related to the research topic. Being part of a project like SFI Autoship, gives you a unique arena for collaboration and networking, also across disciplines and with industry. The Norwegian industry needs personnel with PhD competence to stay competitive and develop new jobs for the future. A PhD degree also opens new attractive career opportunities at universities and research institutes. 

Duties of the position

Remote operation centres require human operators to be able to understand and evaluate the AI algorithms used by autonomous ships, in order to adjust higher level planning requirements of own ship, understand the behaviour of target ships (other ships, autonomous or not), and to intervene if necessary. Central to the development will be the use of highly realistic simulators combined with expert nautical staff to enable testing of scenarios that can occur. 

The main objective of the research is to develop a reliable decision-support system for shore control centres based on sensor fusion of available contextual knowledge, real-time environmental data, and simulation models (“digital twins”) of both autonomous and non-autonomous vessels.

As part of the research activities, you will collaborate actively with some of the partners in the SFI AutoShip Center. You will be encouraged to have a research stay with one of the collaborating universities outside Norway during the research period. 

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 strong academic background in engineering cybernetics, automation, or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. 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.

Required qualifications

  • Academic background as listed above 
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral)
  • Strong programming skills
  • Ability to thrive and contribute to the work environment
  • Ability to interact and cooperate with actors in industry, academia, and authorities

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience with simulators, in particular maritime simulators, is strongly favoured
  • Work experience from relevant industry, especially the maritime industry, is strongly favoured
  • Fluency in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language
  • Experience with artificial intelligence and intelligent algorithms
  • Experience with human-machine interaction

The employment 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. 

Personal characteristics

The candidate is expected to:

  • Be scientifically curious and open to new research challenges
  • Demonstrate independence and persistence in addressing technical problems
  • Be flexible and reliable, with ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team

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 three years with the possibility of one year extension for teaching duties at the Department of ICT and Natural Sciences.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics 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.

About the application

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

The application must include:

  • A short and directed cover letter (in English or Norwegian) identifying:
    • Your motivation for a PhD study
    • Your understanding and thoughts of topics of the position
    • Why you are suited for the position.
  • CV including information relevant for the qualifications
  • Contact information for at least 2 reference persons
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts (in English or Norwegian)

Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered can also be added, if it is relevant for the topics of the position. Joint works will be considered if you have added an explanation of your own independent contribution to the work.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience, personal suitability, and motivation, as documented according to the requirements for the application.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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 Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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.

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Ottar L. Osen (ottar.osen@ntnu.no or +47 926 61 272).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2020/36645 when applying.

Application deadline: 22.11.2020.

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 ICT and Natural Sciences

Our campus in Ålesund works in a partnership with industry that is in a class of its own among Norwegian universities. This ensures a practical focus for our study programmes, while they are firmly anchored in modern theory. The Department offers programmes in automation engineering, computer engineering, electric power systems, simulation and visualization. Our research areas include autonomous vessels, robotics, cybernetics, medical technology and health informatics, and artificial intelligence. The Department of ICT and Natural Sciences is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 22nd November 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Ålesund
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Ålesund