PhD Position in Energy Systems

3 days left

Trondheim, Norway
20 Dec 2020
End of advertisement period
28 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

PhD position in energy systems- Short-term energy system integration in neighbourhoods,  transport and industry - effects on long-term system design 

About the position

Applicants are invited for a three-year PhD position at the Department of Electric Power Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. The candidate will be part of an Electricity Market and Energy System Planning (EMESP) research group

This is an academic position, which will provide promising research recruits with the opportunity for professional development through studies towards a PhD degree. The position is connected to the Norwegian Centre for Energy Transition Strategies (NTRANS), which is a multidisciplinary national research centre studying transitions in the energy sector and related sectors. The NTRANS is a collaboration between 8 Norwegian research institutions and over 30 user partners from industry and the public sector. Key research areas are the future energy system, active consumers and distributed solutions, deep decarbonisation and sector couplings, and accelerating the energy transition.

In the 2015 Paris Agreement, world leaders pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions radically. The corresponding aim of rapid and deep decarbonisation will affect all sectors, such as energy, transport, industry, and buildings, as well as our everyday lives. The energy sector is crucial for transitions to low-carbon societies. As variable renewable energy enters a path of sustained growth, key energy transition challenges shift towards maintaining reliability and competitiveness, where additional system flexibility plays an important role.

One of the initial key success in energy transitions is a well-functioning energy market, allocating energy system resources optimally in the short-term while providing investment incentives for optimal resource allocation in the long-term. The long-term goals include welfare, fairness, sustainability, and security of supply. One challenge in designing markets is to meet these goals and understand the interplay between short-term system operation, market functions, and integration with transport, building, and industry sectors. The energy market should efficiently accommodate the changes in the energy system, including a higher degree of integration of the electricity sector with the transport and building sector, and the evolvement of local and decentralised solutions. 

By extending the use of electricity in the heat and transport sectors, it will be possible to provide a compelling case for deep decarbonisation pathways and policies with large-scale deployment of variable renewable energy resources. The development and integration of models in response to the coupling of different energy carriers and to assess the effects of future market design is the primary objective of this PhD position. The key research questions are: How should the energy markets and the energy system be designed to support the interaction between energy carriers such as heat and electricity? How should the interaction with other sectors in the economy, such as carbon/energy-intensive industries and the transport sector be addressed in the operation of local energy communities?

Associate Professor Hossein Farahamnd will supervise the PhD candidate at the Department of Electric Power Engineering, NTNU as the main supervisor and Professor Verena Hagspiel at the Department of  Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU and Professor Magnus Korpås at the Department of Electric Power Engineering, NTNU are co-supervisors.

Duties of the position

The candidate is expected to work towards combining knowledge in the integration of models in response to the coupling of different energy carriers and to assess the effects of future market design. The goal is to establish a bidirectional linkage between a long-term energy systems model and an operational power markets model. This combined modelling framework provides long-term energy system investment strategies that explicitly consider the functional complexity of the power sectors. 

The other duties of the position include the following items :

  • During the employment period, the candidate will work together with the national and international stakeholders in NTRANS Centre, and therefore good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary project team is expected.
  • During the employment period, the candidate may spend a stipulated period for research exchange at the other reputed universities/groups working on similar domain.
  •  The candidate may be involved in teaching duties upon mutual agreement if required.
  • The results of the research are expected to be published in scientific journals and conferences and presented to research partners and user partners in FME NTRANS.

Required selection criteria

The objective of the PhD education is to qualify for scientific research of high international standard. The PhD education has a nominal duration of three years of full-time study and includes required coursework or similar academic training comprising a minimum of 30 credits. The most crucial component of PhD education is an independent scientific research project carried out under academic supervision, which results in the PhD thesis. The PhD degree is conferred based on these two elements and the doctoral examination, which consists of a trial lecture and a public defence of the scientific thesis. 

  • Applicants must hold an M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) within either Electrical Power Engineering, managerial economics with strong quantitative skill, and a focus on energy physics or mathematics with specialisation in operations research.
  • Applicants must have a strong record from their previous studies and must have a weighted average grade for the last two years of their master's or equivalent education (equivalent to 120 ECTS credits) of B or higher in terms of NTNU's grading scale within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best). Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation.
    • Master's students who expect to complete their master's degree studies by summer 2021 are also encouraged to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the master's degree is finished and will be under the condition of GPA of minimum  B on the master study.
  • Applicants must also satisfy the requirement for entering the PhD programme at NTNU; please see  for more information. 
  • Excellent programming skills preferably in Phyton
  • Applicants must have very good English language skills, written and spoken. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:
    • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
    • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
    • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for the shortlisted applicants.

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.

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

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

  • Be structured, targeted and solution-oriented;
  • The successful candidate will be a team player in a group with the project consortium, professors, researchers, PhDs and scientists from the industrial sector
  • Self-driven with a strong ability to work independently when required
  • Proven ability to work with an interdisciplinary team
  • Have good dissemination skills
  • Personal skills like a positive and friendly attitude, and contributing to a sustainable social environment will also be valued

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 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 employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electrical Power Engineering. Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU.

As a PhD candidate, you will have to successfully complete the PhD academic training programme; the training includes mandatory course work and other obligatory activities. Within the first three months of your employment, you must formally qualify for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

The position is fully funded by the Research Council of Norway.

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 cover letter where the applicant describes the personal motivation, summarising scientific work, and how the applicant sees her/his background suitable.
  • A draft research proposal (1 or 2 pages) for the PhD study, where the candidate presents her/his own ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • CV (summarising education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity).
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript  of records (both Bachelor and Master degree) and letters of recommendation. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement  or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).

In assessing the applications, emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the cover letter and the ideas and/or originality of the draft research proposal in shortlisting of candidates. Interviews with the best-qualified candidates will be arranged. 

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. 

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 Department of Electric Power Engineering works closely with key players in the Norwegian electricity supply sector, which manage critical infrastructure. A comprehensive risk assessment of the candidates' research interests and potential activities related to national threat assessments will, therefore, also form a basis for the final selection of candidates.

In the final assessment of the candidates also strategic considerations at the Department of Electric Power Engineering will be taken into account.

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.

According to the 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Hossein Farahmand , or to Head of Department Prof. Ole-Morten Midtgård .

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 2020/49919 when applying.

Application deadline: 28.02.2021

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 Electric Power Engineering

The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 28th February 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Campus Gløshaugen

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