Postdoc within Aquaculture Technology

Trondheim, Norway
17 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position 

In the FRIPRO project “CHANGE - An underwater robotics concept for dynamically changing environments”, we have a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics.    

Aquaculture technology is a key competence area today and is expected to develop into one of Norway’s most important industrial sectors in the future. This field provides applied and theoretical scientific challenges of high complexity that can only be solved through interdisciplinary approaches. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU and the Department of Aquaculture Technology at SINTEF Ocean have had a long tradition for collaboration within aquaculture technology research and are therefore currently establishing a co-funded research group in this area. The group will be formed around a core of three PhD students and will also associate with PhDs and Postdocs that are working with aquaculture technology in existing and upcoming research projects. The positions in the group cover several different topics within the scientific field of cybernetics but are all related to specific common challenges the industry faces. It is intended that the research group will become a collective dynamic force for a growing environment in the field of Aquaculture technology while supporting and further strengthening the collaborative bonds between NTNU and SINTEF in this area.

The position is connected to the FRIPRO project ''CHANGE – An underwater robotics concept for dynamically changing environments'' started in April 2021, and will focus on theoretical, algorithmic and practical challenges related to developing methods for minimizing the impacts of autonomous operations in complex and dynamically changing environments on living fish. This will include acquiring fundamental knowledge about methods for monitoring changes in fish behaviour induced by underwater vehicles, developing new methods for modelling and control of underwater vehicles that take living fish into account, and experimental testing in laboratory and full-scale fish farms.

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway FRIPRO-Young Researcher Talent program. The research will be conducted at SINTEF Ocean’s Aquaculture Technology department and at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics NTNU and will be encouraged to interact with the other PhD students, postdocs and researchers both at NTNU and SINTEF.

The Postdoc will be directly involved in the supervision of a PhD. Underwater robotic systems such as the Argus Mini ROV and BlueROV owned by SINTEF ACE and the Eelume robot at NTNU will be provided as platforms for field trials and demonstrations in the Flume Tank and SINTEF ACE facilities of SINTEF Ocean. The Postdoc position is associated with a highly interdisciplinary project that targets fundamental research questions in the fields of Biology and Technology interaction, underwater robotics, modelling and control theory. The Postdoctoral Candidate will report and work closely with Associate Professor Martin Føre from NTNU and Dr. Eleni Kelasidi from SINTEF Ocean, who leads the 'CHANGE' project. 

The project will be integrated in the existing and future SFF (e.g. CoE NTNU AMOS) and SFI (e.g. EXPOSED) and will build on and strengthen the established cooperation in biology, marine robotics and autonomy with NTNU and SINTEF partners such as Equinor, SalMar, ScaleAQ, Eelume, WaterLinked and DNV GL.

The main workplaces will be the Department of Engineering Cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Aquaculture Technology Department at SINTEF Ocean in Trondheim, and the candidate will have an office space at both locations. The candidate may also be offered a 3-4 months research stay at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the international partner in the CHANGE project.

You will report to Head of department.

Duties of the position

The candidate will be expected to contribute to expanding the world of science in areas relevant for achieving the project objectives of the FRIPRO project “CHANGE - An underwater robotics concept for dynamically changing environments”. These may include: 

  • Developing advanced mathematical models representing the operational environment, including fish behaviour, structural deformations and disturbances, and mathematical models of underwater vehicles designed for operating in dynamically changing environments, accounting for hydrodynamics, locomotion, actuation and sensor data. In particular, this will entail:
    • Developing realistic models of fish behaviour, dynamic structures, and the environmental conditions suitable for the navigation of UUVs.
    • Developing observers that enable fusing numerical models with real-time data. 
    • Developing computationally affordable models of underwater vehicles that incorporate hydrodynamic effects caused by the dynamic cage environment and variable environment by integrating environmental sensors data from full-scale data. 
  • Working closely with the PhD student (started 1st of April 2021 affiliated with the same project withing the topic: Autonomous vessels for controlled Fish-Machine-interaction, see developing intelligent bio-interactive control strategies for autonomous operations that focus on environment adaptation and energy efficiency, while minimising the impact on the fish.
  • Experimentally investigate, demonstrate and showcase the developed models and control approaches in laboratory and field studies using underwater vehicles.
  • Disseminating results of the work via conference presentations and peer-reviewed conference and journal publication. Examples of aimed relevant publication channels are ICRA, IROS, CDC, ACC, IJRR, IEEE RAM and IEEE Transaction on Robotics.
  • Collaborating effectively with researchers and students at NTNU and SINTEF Ocean.

Expectations of the position

We expect the candidate to:

  • commit adequate time and effort to the project; display initiative in identifying and resolving problems relating to the research
  • be well organised and capable of setting and meeting deadlines for various phases of the research; acquire any new skills required as part of the project
  • maintain frequent and regular contacts with the Aquaculture Technology team and the PhD 
  • student specifically
  • seek and accept in good faith advice from supervisors and advisory panels
  • fulfil tasks required by the supervisors as part of the project; meet the normal scholarly and professional standards required by the discipline
  • ensure that all written work is of a high standard of expression and organization; report the results through both written work (especially scientific papers) and oral presentations (specially seminars to various audiences).

Required selection criteria

The Postdoc-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian PhD in one of the following fields, robotics, mathematics, physics, cybernetics or equivalent education with a strong background in mathematical modelling and control.

The candidate must also have a strong expertise in modelling and control of underwater vehicles, and persons with knowledge in mathematical modelling and nonlinear control, and with practical experience and excellent programming skills in C++ and Python are particularly encouraged to apply. Moreover, since the goal of the project is to develop and adapt new technological solutions and concepts for use in fish farms by simultaneously advancing and merging different scientific fields, the Postdoctoral Researcher will have to work in a closely with the PhD students and SINTEF Researchers that are part of the Aquaculture Technology team at SINTEF and NTNU. 

Excellent written and oral English, and academic writing.

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.

Academic results, publications, relevant specialization, work or research experience, personal qualifications, and motivation and a desire to make an impact on critical societal problems will be considered when evaluating the applicants.

Preferred selection criteria

Despite our research having civilian objectives, the research project uses equipment that is restricted by export licenses and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Applicants that are citizens of Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, EU or NATO countries are eligible. Other applicants, instead, in order to be considered for the position are required to provide evidence of eligibility to use such equipment and attach this evidence in their application.

Personal characteristics

We seek a candidate who is curious, has the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively and is strongly committed to keep an open, has the capability to supervise younger researchers, honest and professional interaction with the colleagues at NTNU and SINTEF, based on mutual respect, trust and good-will.

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 years.

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: 

  • A motivation letter (0.5-2 pages)
  • 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
  • Contact information for three references (including email addresses and telephone number)

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.

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements and personal characteristics specified above. 

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.

The position is available from the 01.10.2021. However, applicants that expect to complete their PhD degree autumn/winter 2021 can also apply.

Questions about the position can be directed to Martin Føre, phone number +47 99232845, e-mail or Eleni Kelasidi, phone number +47 45185796, e-mail

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2021/32292 when applying. 

Application deadline: 15.08.2020.

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 Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Deadline 15th August 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Trondheim

Similar jobs

Similar jobs