PhD Candidate in Timber Structures

Trondheim, Norway
01 Dec 2021
End of advertisement period
04 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate at the Timber Structures research group at the Department of Structural Engineering.

The group conducts research on timber-based buildings and bridges covering most topics related to mechanics like strength and flexibility, dynamics, and vibrational response with respect to human comfort or fatigue failure, assembly and connections of components, as well as development and design of composite components. Moreover, the characterization and modelling of wood-based materials are essential and emphasized in most of the research activities. The research strategy is basically to utilize experimental and numerical methods in parallel. Most projects are performed within international research programs or with national partners.

The current PhD position is allocated to research on the effects and growth of damaging mechanisms in wooden structures. These damaging mechanisms can be related to several causes like localized stresses at interfaces between different materials, creep related effects of long sustained loading, moisture fluctuations causing shape distortions and internal stresses, cyclic loading causing low and high cycle fatigue, in addition to effects from growth irregularities, natural cracks and material inhomogeneities. Of special interest is load situations that impose stresses in directions normal to the grains or shear stresses, or a combination thereof. Typical zones with possible damaging mechanisms are in connections having metallic fasteners for joining of the components, or highly stressed local areas around supports or removed material.

You will report to the supervising professor.

Duties of the position

  • Acquire the state-of-the art within the research field
  • Carry out experimental research on damage initiation and propagation
  • Develop advanced numerical models within the scope of the project
  • Publish scientific work in recognized journals

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in structural engineering and mechanics, preferably including timber engineering
  • 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 
  • You must have good 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 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

  • Interest and knowledge of timber as a structural material
  • Knowledge of the European basis of design for buildings and structures
  • Knowledge of FEM software packages like Abaqus
  • Norwegian or Scandinavian language skills

Personal characteristics

  • Good cooperative skills
  • Motivated and ambitious
  • Great willignes to learn more in the field of timber engineering

We offer

Salary and conditions

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. A 4 years period with 25% of the time allocated to teaching assistance may be considered for the candidates with the right background and motivation.

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 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. 
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 works)
  • Name and email address of three 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, 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 Professor Kjell Arne Malo, telephone +47 73594784, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Elin Pedersen Nystuen, 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-263/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 04.01.2022

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 Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 4th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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