PhD Candidate in the Research Project Automatic Condition Monitoring of County Roads

Trondheim, Norway
16 Jul 2021
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in cooperation with the Department of Computer Science has a vacancy for a PhD candidate, connected to the research project “Automatic Condition Monitoring of County Roads”

About the research project

The Norwegian county road network is essential for value creation and regional development in the different Norwegian districts. Maintaining this network is challenging due to a harsh climate, significant back log and limited budgets.  The county Innlandet is committed to improve the maintenance of their network but? currently lack a good complete overview of the condition of their road network. Today they rely heavily on manual labour for condition monitoring and it takes too much time to get the necessary data. This hampers sound maintenance budget justification and timely decision making. Advances in computer vision, artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning provides new possibilities to radically improve and automate parts of the road condition monitoring process. In the research project “Automatic Condition Monitoring of County Roads” we will develop, apply, and evaluate new AI models to interpret images taken from the road network. The project will instrument busses in regular service with a data collection system and develop a pilot system for collecting data, interpreting the images, and analysing/predicting the maintenance needs.

About the position

As PhD candidate you will get enrolled in NTNU’s PhD programme and the main goal of the position is to learn and conduct high-quality research. You will become member of a team of researchers (other PhD candidates, Postdocs and Professors) and will conduct research on how information from visual images and the AI interpretation models can be utilized to plan and prioritize road maintenance. For this position you need to have a background in civil engineering (preferably a specialisation in road technology) or applied physics. The actual programming and training of the AI models will be done by others with a computer science background. 

In the PhD programme you will attend courses, set-up and execute your research project, write research papers and finalize your project with a PhD dissertation. You will report to the professor responsible for the overall project.

Duties of the position

  • Review the scientific literature road condition monitoring
  • Contribute to the development of AI training data sets 
  • Analyze the performance of AI interpretation models, from a pavement technology perspective
  • Investigate the possibilities for predictive models that can, based on an assessed current condition and other metadata, suggest what type of maintenance is needed, and when it needs to be conducted

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Civil engineering, applied physics, or equivalent education
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level 
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program ( 
  • Strong analytical capabilities
  • Fluent in English language, good written and oral communications skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Documented experience in civil engineering, in particularly pavement engineering
  • Experience with programming language such as Phyton, Matlab or C++
  • Experience with writing scientific publicationsGood oral and written Norwegian language skills 

Personal characteristics

  • Innovation driven, enthusiastic and ambitious
  • Self-motivated, curious, focused and goal-oriented
  • Ability to solve complex technical tasks independently
  • Excellent collaboration with different disciplines

We offer

Salary and condition

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

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 
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Research plan or project proposal (max 1 A4 page)
  • Name and address of three referees 
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work 

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, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher 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.

In accordance with The Public 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 prof. Alex Klein-Paste, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Senior Executive Officer HR Hege Johansen, 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 IV-195/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 15.08.2021

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 Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees – in both the public and private sectors – with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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

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