Postdoctoral Position in Combustion Instabilities

Trondheim, Norway
10 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
23 Jun 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position 

A post-doctoral researcher position is available at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT), in the Thermofluids research group.

The appointment has a duration of 2-4 years dependent on funding and is financed by the Norwegian Research Council as part of the FRIPRO Programme.

It is well known that low emission combustion concepts for aeroengines and gas turbines for power generation are prone to combustion instabilities. These instabilities cause large amplitude pressure oscillations that can drastically reduce the operable range or compromise the structural integrity of gas turbines, and therefore must be avoided. The current research project is aimed at improving our fundamental understanding of the combustion dynamics which occur during instabilities in laboratory scale combustors. In particular the project will focus on the effect of dramatic changes to important length and time scales in the flow when using low emission hydrogen fuel blends.

The position will involve conducting a series of laboratory experiments using state-of-the-art diagnostics such as high-speed chemiluminescence, and acoustic measurements using dynamic pressure sensors to measure the response of acoustically forced flames. Azimuthal forcing will be used to create well controlled velocity oscillations, and the corresponding formation of large-scale vortex and flame structures. The aim of these measurements will be to characterise the dynamics of the coherent structures with reference to the acoustic excitation, across a wide range of flow conditions. Simple low order vortex models will also be used to simulate the dynamics of the dominant flow and flame structures. Models will also be used to assess the stability of the azimuthal modes. These measurements and models will help improve our understanding of the flame structure and dynamic response during thermoacoustic instability, with the ultimate aim of helping to reduce gas turbine emissions.

The position reports to Associate Professor Nicholas Worth.

Duties of the position

  • Design, setup, and optimisation of experiments, including accurate characterisation of boundary conditions.
  • Application of azimuthal acoustic forcing to control the amplitude, phase and nature of modes inside an annular combustion chamber.
  • Measurement of heat release rate response using high speed chemiluminescence.
  • Development of simple vortex models to create dominant dynamics.
  • Application of low order models to predict the stability of azimuthal modes.
  • Dissemination of results in scholarly journals and at international conferences.

Required selection criteria

The successful applicant should be enthusiastic and highly motivated as well as being able to work effectively by themselves and in a team. Specific qualifications are listed below:

  • A PhD in engineering, applied mathematics, physics or equivalent
  • Strong background in fundamental or applied fluid mechanics.
  • Previous peer-reviewed publications in well regarded journals.
  • Programming skills in MATLAB, C, Python, or similar packages.
  • Experience with state-of-the-art experimental fluid mechanics measurements (e.g., high-speed imaging, PLIF, dynamic pressure measurements, hot-wire, particle image velocimetry, laser-Doppler anemometry).
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

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  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience with Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Experience conducting acoustically forced measurements of reacting flows, with a preference for experience of azimuthal forcing.
  • Experience modelling azimuthal instabilities in annular geometry. 
  • Experience with LaVision hardware and DaVis software.
  • Experience mentoring other PhD or Masters students.

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 545 300 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 2-4 years, to be determined based on funding at contract signing. 

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. 

The position is subject to external funding. 

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis. 

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.  

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: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's-, master's- and PhD degrees.  
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment  
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address of two referees 

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well. 

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 and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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 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. 

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 Nicholas Worth ( or Associate Professor Jonas Moeck (

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 IV-176/21 when applying.  

Application deadline: 23.06.2021.

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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 23rd June 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Trondheim, Norway

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