Postdoctoral Fellowship in Solar Energy Digitalization

Trondheim, Norway
08 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
22 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position 

We have a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Solar Energy Digitalization.

The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions.

You will report to Associate Professor. 

Duties of the position

The Postdoctoral Fellowship position is defined under the NFR FRIPRO-FRINATEK Groundbreaking Research project called HELIOS “Enhancing optimal exploitation of solar energy in Nordic cities through digitalization of built environment”.

HELIOS aims to break the paradigm of solar energy use in the Nordic climate, by overcoming the common false beliefs that have discouraged the adoption of solar systems for a long time in Scandinavia. HELIOS has the ambition to turn the Nordic conditions into unique opportunities to accelerate the penetration of solar energy in the Nordic built environment by increasing the social awareness around impacts and benefits of solar energy and realizing its full potential through the deployment and the optimal integration of solar systems, using Trondheim as a pilot city.

HELIOS develops an advanced co-simulation approach by combining numerical equations, algorithms, and simulation tools with observational data, in-field experimental campaigns, and monitoring of solar irradiance. The solar cadaster, grounded on this approach, contributes to change the role of solar energy in the Nordics by demonstrating the unexploited solar energy potential and expanding scientific knowledge dealing with complex urban phenomena (e.g. solar inter-building reflections, shadow cast) in various spatial domains (building, neighborhood, and city) and predicting solar energy potential at multiple temporal terms (short, mid and long).

The main duties involved in the Postdoctoral Fellowship position is to conduct research, co-supervision of PhDs and experimental activities in the framework of the HELIOS project.

The major work duties are:

  • Conducting the research within the subject area.
  • Preparing reports and deliverables.
  • Communicating with project partners.
  • Leading the relevant tasks under work packages
  • Participating in international activities such as IEA Task 63 “Solar Neighborhood Planning” ( and COST Action PEARL PV (
  • Writing scientific articles.
  • Supervising degree projects and doctoral students.
  • Actively seeking external research funding.
  • Collaboration with industry and wider society.
  • Administration related to the work duties listed above.

This Postdoctoral Fellowship is a part of NTNUs initiative to establish a Center for Green Shift in the Built Environment ( hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The Center’s vision is to create value in the society through digitalisation. This center will utilize and develop expertise, methods, tools and strategies for a sustainable built environment. The research and innovation activities of the center will be directed at a green shift and a digital future.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian PhD 
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Solar Energy and related subject areas

The ideal candidate should have prior knowledge, research, experimental and/or professional experiences in:

  • Modelling and simulation of solar systems and software tools for solar irradiation, daylighting, building energy, parametric modelling design software, and geographical information systems.
  • Developing advanced solar radiation calculation model combining numerical equations and advanced algorithms in a co-simulation approach.
  • Conducting observational data, in-field experimental campaign and solar data monitoring.
  • Experiences in experimental activities in real pilot buildings and design, elaboration and creation of data acquisition system for solar energy irradiation.
  • Validate and calibrate the numerical model through in-field monitored data. Test and implement the model in representative pilot buildings and neighbourhoods.
  • Data harvesting, data mining techniques and algorithms, data processing.
  • Proficient use of programming language and coding in general, and prior knowledge of Python and/or MATLAB + Simulink.
  • Weather forecasting techniques and elaboration of climate prediction models to predict solar power and geometry at different time horizons in climate change scenarios.
  • Developing deep learning-based approaches for automated reconstruction of 3D building models with detailed façade elements and semantic information.
  • Advanced 3D modelling and computer graphics techniques to calculate solar irradiation on urban surfaces considering complex urban solar phenomena (e.g. overshadowing effect and solar inter-buildings and ground reflections) and elaborate urban form optimization scenarios in 3D model cityscape visualization.
  • Elaborate solar potential forecasting in real-time to predict solar energy generation and  implement climate change scenarios to evaluate the exploitation of solar energy in a medium (20-50 years) and long (100 years) term.
  • Writing skills for research project proposals development.
  • Experiences in publications in international high level scientific journals and conferences.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills in English are necessary.

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).

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 selected 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  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Data analysis and implementing of solar radiation modelling and optimization will be considered an advantage.
  • Experimental and/or theoretical experience in solar energy systems, will be considered an advantage.
  • Prior knowledge or professional experience and ability in dealing with “solar cadastre” and dialogue with municipalities will be considered an advantage.
  • General knowledge and experience within engineering and technology, architecture, natural sciences, and computer science.
  • Norwegian language skills will be an advantage.

Personal characteristics

In the assessment of the candidates, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as personal motivation for the position, in terms of the qualification requirements as specified above. We look for candidates who show clear signs of independence, teamwork spirit, original thinking and scientific mindset.

  • Honesty and high ethical standards.
  • Highly motivated for research work.
  • High level of personal responsibility aiming to challenge the status quo and promoting new initiatives.
  • Ability to work independently and part of an interdisciplinary team in accordance with the project objectives.
  • Ability to acquire new knowledge quickly and being able to use existing knowledge in new ways.
  • Ability to appropriately encounter and handle any arising challenges and problems during the research work.
  • Suitable candidates should be flexible and solution-oriented.

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 553 500 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 with teaching duties.  

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 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 cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation and relevance with respect to the topic and the requirements of this announcement.
  • 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 (up to 5 items) 
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address/affiliation of three referees  including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses

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. 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Gabriele Lobaccaro, telephone +47 918 13 568, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Tone Måsøval Arntzen, email

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-219/21 when applying.  

Application deadline: 22.10.2021 (22nd of October 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 22nd October 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering