PhD Position in Hybrid Microstructures of Additively Manufactured Superalloys and Coatings

Trondheim, Norway
16 May 2022
End of advertisement period
31 May 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for an enthusiastic and experimentally inclined PhD candidate to work in hybrid microstructures between superalloys and coatings produced by additive manufacturing for high temperature applications, for instance aero-engines. The position is at the Physical Metallurgy group at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU).

This academic position will provide the opportunity for the candidate to complete a doctoral education program and obtain a PhD from NTNU, while undertaking professional development activities within the broad fields of research and materials science.

The project is motivated by the need to enable greener aero-engines. Aviation contributes greatly to the climate crisis and is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. This research project aims to enable technological processing and material breakthroughs for advanced high-performance metallic materials, which can withstand higher operational temperatures while maintaining structural integrity for aero-engine applications. Hybrid fusion zone microstructures between superalloys and coatings can pave the way towards these required breakthroughs, by achieving advanced properties, such as oxidation. As a PhD candidate you will work on the novel research of hybrid microstructures, which is enabled by the current developments in additive manufacturing.

You will report to Associate Professor Paraskevas Kontis. Professor Ida Westermann (NTNU) and Lecturer Dr. Katerina Christofidou (University of Sheffield, UK) will be co-supervisors. The PhD position is funded by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will experimentally investigate and characterize hybrid microstructures resulting from additive manufacturing processes between superalloys and coatings. Candidates will develop a broad range of skills in multi-scale advanced materials characterization methods, from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) down to near-atomic level by atom probe tomography (APT), by investigating hybrid microstructures after different processing steps. In addition, they will investigate their oxidation properties and develop a fundamental understanding of the relationship between processing by additive manufacturing and oxidation performance. The additively manufactured parts will be produced at the University of Sheffield, UK in close collaboration with Lecturer Dr. Katerina Christofidou. The facilities are provided through the UK’s National Institute for Advanced Materials Research, the Henry Royce Institute.  The candidate will also have the chance to visit the additive manufacturing facilities there if needed during the project.

  • The candidate will be required to independently design and carry out experimental plans aiming to understand these hybrid microstructures at different processing stages and their oxidation properties.
  • The candidate will collect, analyse, and report thorough data sets pertaining to materials structure and properties using a wide variety of experimental techniques.
  • The candidate will work extensively on oral, written and visual communication of science and will be expected to represent the Physical Metallurgy group by presenting their research at international conferences.
  • The candidate will be required to assist in the Atom probe lab, by assisting in the planning and undertaking of research activities related to atom probe with other scientists, such as PhDs and Postdoctoral researchers. For this purpose, the candidate will closely work with the APT Senior Engineer of the APT lab, Dr Constantinos Hatzoglou.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in materials science or metallurgy, with good knowledge on metallic materials and characterization methods. Knowledge or previous hands-on experience on nickel-based superalloys and/or high temperature oxidation will be considered a plus.
  • You must have hands-on experience on SEM and EBSD, while experience on other characterization methods such as TEM, APT and FIB for sample preparation will be considered a plus.
  • 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 and communication 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

  • Hands-on experience with SEM and EBSD, while experience on other characterization methods such as TEM, APT and FIB for sample preparation will be considered a plus.
  • Prior knowledge or experience on nickel-based superalloys and/or high temperature oxidation.
  • Candidates with a strong interest to support and take responsibilities within the APT lab.
  • Knowledge of a Scandinavian language is considered plus.

Personal characteristics

The candidate should:

  • Be comfortable working independently to solve complex problems and take responsibility for their own progress.
  • Be willing to learn from experiences and feedback from others.
  • Be able to build meaningful professional relationships in the workplace and foster respect among colleagues.
  • Be able to work together with other PhD candidates, postdocs, research staff and faculty, and contribute to the wider research groups at NTNU.
  • Be able to respect others in the workplace and contribute to an inclusive, fair and responsible work environment.

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 4 years with teaching duties within the APT lab of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Materials Science and Engingeering 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:

  • A cover letter describing your motivation for the position, a summary of scientific experience and how the applicant sees their background as suitable (1-2 pages max).
  • A draft research proposal (1 or 2 pages max) for the PhD study, presenting ideas for the PhD-work “hybrid microstructures between superalloys and coatings produced by additive manufacturing for high temperature applications” and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • 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.
  • Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • 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.
  • Name and contact information 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 Associate Professor Paraskevas Kontis, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Marie Kristiansen, 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 NVD-184/22 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.05.2022

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 Materials Science and Engineering  

We are Norway's leading educational and research environment in materials engineering, materials chemistry and materials science.  In collaboration with business and industry, we are a driving force for the development of innovative materials as well as new applications and manufacturing processes.  Activities in our disciplines are vital for the green shift. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 31st May 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service