PhD Candidate, Data Infrastructure and Benchmarking of Co-Simulation for Demanding Marine Operations

Alesund, Norway
18 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
15 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Full Time


About the position

Demanding marine operations is a core of the maritime industry. Today, the time frame with a new design or an alternative procedure with respect to e.g. anchor handling, platform supply, subsea installation, or buoy mooring operation transferred to industrial and academic teams may easily be up to 2-3 years. Introducing a more simulation-driven design process, by developing simulator models simultaneously with the design of a new ship, procedure or equipment, will accelerate lessons learned and allow more alternatives to be tested. Furthermore, this will improve the effectiveness of the prototype innovation processes, which is typical for the Norwegian maritime cluster, and strengthen the regional education.

To date, digitalization has become a key aspect of making the maritime industries more innovative, efficient and fit for future operations. Modeling and simulation are the core of the topic. However, the plethora of modelling tools within different disciplines exists for very good reasons, and there will never be one tool that is perfect for every stage and every branch of the design process. Co-simulation is considered a potential solution of the problem by using shared, standardised interfaces (e.g. Functional Mockup Interface). Nevertheless, there are still co-simulation challenges for demanding marine operations in terms of scalability, interoperability and stability to achieve trustworthy, reliable, and efficient simulations.

This PhD will focus on co-simulation and technologies and developing a co-simulation framework and enabling tools for virtual prototyping of marine operations, which allows for the configuration of all subsystems, including mechanical sub-system, control sub-system, hydraulic sub-system and the verification of operational performance in an efficient way. All results will be fundamental for on-going project.

You will report to the head of the department.

Duties of the position

  • Set up research plans with the help of the supervisor team and conduct them accordingly
  • Take lead in research idea generation and research paper writing
  • Establish close cooperation with the other PhD candidates within the same project
  • Comply with the PhD training programme of the Faculty

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 computer science or automation related 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 programming skills
  • Programming experience in one or more of the following languages: Java, Python, C++
  • Good at modelling and simulation, better if having relevant experience on maritime operations

Preferred selection criteria

  • Good theoretical and analytical skills
  • Potential for research at an international level
  • Keen interest in the wider context of own research, and an ability to engage in cross-disciplinary teams
  • Good written and oral English language skills (must be documented)

Personal characteristics

  • Good communications skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as in 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 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.

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 (one page)
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • 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 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.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact professor Houxiang Zhang, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Siri Schulerud, 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 235/2 when applying.

Application deadline: 15.01.21

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 Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering

We aim to be a hub of international knowledge and innovation in maritime operations. This involves education and research on the design of ships and marine equipment as well as on the operation of vessels. Maritime operations integrate technology, human factors and business. The interfaces between these areas often spark inspiration for innovation and new solutions. The Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 15th January 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Ålesund
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU i Ålesund