PhD Candidate within Urban Building and Infrastructure Energy Modelling

Alesund, Norway
12 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
01 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering invite for applications for a 3-year PhD-position at the research group Smart Buildings and Infrastructure related to the topic:

The Development of a Bottom-up Urban Building & Infrastructure Energy Model (UBiEM) for improving energy efficiency and energy security of future coastal Cities

The energy needs of buildings and infrastructure in coastal cities globally, and Norway in particular, is expected to be impacted significantly by climate change. Therefore, decision-makers in these areas need evaluation criteria and possible future scenarios to find the best paths for a low carbon and energy secured future. In recent years, urban building and infrastructure energy models (UBiEM) has been considered as a powerful tool enabling designers and decision makers to evaluate their designs under different future climate scenarios. However, the utilization of UBiEM in decision making processes is heavily dependent on large data and computational resources, thus limiting their replicability and widespread use.

This Ph.D. work will focus on a bottom-up approach with hybrid energy modeling, including both physics-based and data-driven methods. The approach will be based on low cost algorithms with limited data required, making it a scalable solution and to be able to create an UBiEM for cities of any size.

You will report to head of department.

Duties of the position

The aim of the PhD-work is to deepen the knowledge base of energy optimization in buildings and infrastructure at urban scale to improve the communities' energy efficiency and energy security. The specific objectives are to:

  • Develop effective data collection methods based on Small Data and low computational cost algorithms.
  • Develop and validate a replicable and scalable UBiEM for both individual and neighborhood scale buildings and infrastructure.
  • Design and integration of a generic calibration framework to maximize the robustness and validity of simulation results.
  • Develop a data analytics platform to support output and scenario analysis.
  • Design an interface for modeling data visualization and interaction between users and models.
  • Embedding the UBiEM and data analytics platform into the existing digital twin of Ålesund city.

The PhD research will be carried out in an interdisciplinary environment in close collaboration with both industry and public sectors. In line with the strategy of the institute, the candidate will be expected to collaborate with researchers across many of the research groups in IHB.  

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, Data Science or Construction/Civil Engineering with a stong knowledge in computer science 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.
  • Good written and oral English language skills (must be documented with TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate tests)

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.

In extraordinary circumstances, formal documentation of language skills can be relinquished. In such cases, the candidate's language skills will be assessed in a personal interview.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Have knowledge in building performance simulation & optimization.
  • Have knowledge of energy use in urban infrastructure (built environment, water and wastewater infrastructure, etc.)
  • Strong programming and software development skills including Algorithms and Data Structures, Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data processing and Visualization, Modelling and Simulation of Dynamic Systems.
  • Have knowledge and interests in GIS for decision support.

Personal characteristics

  • Good communications skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in team.
  • Ability to make research at an international level.
  • Keen interest in the wider context of own research, and an ability to engage in cross-disciplinary teams.

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 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 that all  your PhD research work shall be carried out in Norway, and that you will be available daily on the precincts of the Department.

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
  • Motivation letter
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 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 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 Associate professor Amin Moazami, telephone +4740476476, email or professor Razak Seidu, 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 SO-IV-21/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.02.2021

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 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 1st February 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Ålesund
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU i Ålesund

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