PhD Candidate within the Field of Mechanical Behavior of Ice Under Impacts

Trondheim, Norway
28 Apr 2022
End of advertisement period
22 May 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Marine Technology, has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate position within the field of Mechanical behavior of ice under impacts and ice structure interactions.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Human activities increase continuously in the Arctic regions related to exploration and production of natural resources (e.g., oil and gas), maritime shipping and cruise activities. The challenging arctic environmental (waves, current, wind, etc) and ice conditions pose significant safety concerns. Potential impacts from glacial ice or ice floes may cause significant structural damage, leading to possible economic loss, environmental pollution and in the extreme cases, fatalities, and progressive structural collapse. It is therefore crucial to understand the mechanical behavior of ice during impacts and design crashworthy structures to withstand such actions.

The work of this PhD position aims for deeper understanding and proper modelling of the mechanical behaviour of ice during impacts. With the ice material modelled, realistic glacial ice impact simulations will be carried out considering ice structure interactions. Small scale experiments may be possible subject to discussion with supervisors.

You will report to the Head of the Department and your Supervising Professor.

Duties of the position

  • A number of glacial ice material models exist in the literature with varied assumptions and performances. The candidate is expected to investigate different material models and compare their performances with experiments from literature
  • Traditional nonlinear finite element methods (NLFEM) based on the classical continuum mechanics have inherent difficulties of representing defects, voids, and crack propagations in ice materials. The candidate is expected to reformulate ice constitutive models with the peridynamics theory, which handles well material discontinuities. A short introduction to peridynamics can be found here:
  • Explore the possibility to unify the ice material models used for level ice and glacial ice
  • Carry out ice-structure impact simulations and examine their interaction effects
  • Develop simplified models for rule-based design methods
  • Conduct academic writing and publish project results in acknowledged peer-reviewed journals and international conferences

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in one or more of the following areas: Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or equivalent
  • 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 
  • Good English language skills (written and oral)
  • Good Programming skills in MATLAB, Fortran, Python or similar

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

  • Good knowledge and skills in finite element modelling and conducting nonlinear finite element analysis
  • Strong background in mathematics and solid mechanics
  • Knowledge on constitutive modelling of materials is considered an advantage

Personal characteristics

  • Self-motivated and curiosity driven
  • Ability to work independently and to work as part of a team
  • Ability to conduct interdisciplinary work
  • Critical thinking both mathematically and physically
  • Good presentation skills

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.

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 funded by NTNU.

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.
  • A personal statement demonstrating your research experience, your motivation for a PhD study, and why you are suited for the position.
  • A research statement demonstrating your understanding of topics of the position and how you plan to proceed under the scope.
  • Name and address of minimum 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 Associate Professor Zhaolong Yu, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Marit Gjersvold, 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-108/22 when applying.

Application deadline: 22.05.2022

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 Marine Technology

We develop methods and technology related to the blue economy: oil and gas extraction at sea, ship technology and the equipment industry, fisheries and aquaculture. We also have a strong commitment to the development of sustainable solutions for offshore renewable energy, coastal infrastructure, and marine robotics. Marine technology helps to solve major global challenges related to the environment, climate, energy, food and efficient transport. The Department of Marine Technology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 22nd May 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Marine Technology

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