PhD Position in Numerical Modeling in Energy Mechanics

Trondheim, Norway
10 May 2022
End of advertisement period
01 Jun 2022
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 3-year PhD fellowship at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The position is within computational energy geomechanics. The research will include development and implementation of models for finite element method (FEM) analysis with poro-elasticity and-plasticity. The research is relevant to several fields in energy, civil, and mechanical engineering, and engineering physics that involve coupled problems and failure. The PhD student will be assigned to the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum and will be supervised by Prof. Alexandre Lavrov and co-supervised by Dr. Euripides Papamichos. The position will report to the Head of Department.

The position will report to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • The goals of the PhD project are to develop, implement and test a finite element simulation tool for chalk to simulate observed behavior in the laboratory including the failure mechanisms of chalk under anisotropic stresses and fluid flow.
  • The chalk model will incorporate:
    • Poro-elastoplastic model(s) with fluid flow for shear failure and compaction failure/pore collapse.
    • Water sensitivity.
    • Compaction dependent permeability.
    • Creep and rate dependency.
  • Analysis and prediction of laboratory experiments and implication of the various material parameters in chalk influx and solids production.
  • Simulation of field conditions relevant to production and analyses of field cases.
  • If desired, there is possibility for laboratory tests and material characterization.

The work will be carried out in collaboration with SINTEF Industry, Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech, and industrial partners.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in engineering/physics
  • 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 documented knowledge of solid mechanics, theory of elasticity, theory of plasticity.
  • You must have background in computational mechanics and engineering or computational physics.
  • You must have documented scientific programming skills (C++, Fortran, Python, MATLAB).
  • You must have excellent written and oral English language skills and expression (Level B2 or higher).

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

It is advantageous if you have:

  • Knowledge of the theory of finite element method.
  • Knowledge of poromechanics.
  • Experience with modern software development principles.
  • Hands-on experience with commercial finite-element software packages, e.g., ABAQUS, ANSYS, COMSOL.
  • Published articles in English.

Personal characteristics

We are looking for students who are:

  • Passionate about numerical modeling and research.
  • Creative thinkers and good communicators.
  • Working independently as well as part of a team in accordance with the project objectives.
  • Responsible and dependable.

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 without required duties.

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 (ta stilling til om stillinger skal være betinget av ekstern finansiering).

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.
  • Motivation letter.
  • 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. 
  • Certificates of English language. 
  • Documentation of required selection criteria, i.e. knowledge of solids mechanics, elasticity, plasticity, computational mechanics, scientific programming.
  • 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 professor Alexandre Lavrov, email and/or Dr Euripides Papamichos, If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Anne-Lise Brekken, 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).

Please refer to the application number IV-110/22 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.06.2022.

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 Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 1st June 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Institutt for geovitenskap og petroleum