Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Powertrain Integration and Interfacing of an All-Electric

4 days left

Trondheim, Norway
17 May 2022
End of advertisement period
01 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position 

The Department of Electric Power Engineering (IEL) has a vacancy for one postdoctoral researcher within the field of Electrical Machines, Drives, and Power Electronics – “Powertrain Integration and Interfacing of an All-Electric Amphibious Airplane”. The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions. The successful candidate will be offered a two-year appointment, and the position is financed by the Norwegian Research Council through the innovation project Pilot-T – “Develop X10: the world’s first full-scale electric amphibious seaplane based on the flying boat concept”, which is led by Elfly Group. As a consequence, the prospective candidate will be part of a project team that works in close collaboration with the aviation industry.

The main supervisor of the postdoctoral researcher will be Associate Professor Jonas Kristiansen Nøland. The project will be co-supervised by Professor Ole-Morten Midtgård

The work of this project will be associated with NTNU’s Clean Aviation initiative that is currently being embraced locally at NTNU. 

The position reports to the Head of the Department. The main workplace will be Trondheim. However, for periods of time, the candidate will be located at Elfly Group’s workshop in Tønsberg. 

Duties of the position

The X10 electric seaplane aims to bring environmentally friendly aviation to Norway and the rest of the world with a new commercial electric seaplane infrastructure. The research, development, and tests in this Pilot-T project will result in the first full-scale experimental prototype of the X10 electric seaplane (X10). X10 is aligned with the purpose of this Pilot-T call, as it accelerates the application of novel and smart mobility for aviation, with enormous potential to contribute to efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly transport systems of the future. The research and development covered in this project will generate industrial development and bring new knowledge to the transport sector on how to create value with low-emission aviation solutions. The planned post-project development, certification, and commercialization activities will lead to the first commercial electric seaplane operations in Norway by 2030. The X10 project will be a crucial part of our ambition to offer a new low-emission aviation infrastructure on the international market. With the flexibility to place water-based airports almost anywhere along the Norwegian coastline, it represents a more efficient aviation infrastructure alternative to standard airports. The X10 is based on the flying boat concept with a low center of gravity that limits the risk of tipping over (capsizing). Equipped with landing gear, the aircraft can also utilize airports with runways >800m. Fully electric, the X10 is a more environmentally friendly transport system than existing fossil-fueled aircraft. This project will contribute to Norway being the European driving force toward innovations in the aviation industry.

To develop a 750-kW powertrain for an electric 9-seater seaplane, extensive research is required on the topic of high-voltage electric powertrains. The postdoc will be working on work package 5 of this innovation project, where a more precise description of the tasks and deliverables can be found. In particular, the researcher will be focusing or partially focusing on the following tasks: 

  • Develop a virtual twin representation of the complete all-electric powertrain.
  • Identify an appropriate third-party vendor to provide essential components of the aircraft’s all-electric powertrain. Once identified, develop a CAD integration with the aircraft’s 3D model and finalize the drive train layout design. Identify optimal placement and integration of the EPU, drive unit, and batteries in the airframe and wings, and collaborate with a supplier to develop the battery configuration as it requires substantial customization to fit in the hull structure.
  • Perform simulations on the finalized integration design to test battery weight and placement and its effect on aircraft and powertrain performance under varied conditions. Include experimental performance testing, using methods such as hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and back-to-back (B2B) testing to validate numerical models and explore research options for thermal management to optimize system integration.
  • Construct a full-scale test bench to ground test the final aircraft design with drivetrain and battery installed and make any necessary adjustments to the design.

Required selection criteria

The successful candidate is expected to work independently, have a solid mathematical background, and have a Ph.D. within electrical engineering (or engineering physics) with specialization in electrical machines, electric drives, power electronics, or another relevant discipline, with a Ph.D. thesis relevant for the project. Good command of the English language (spoken and written) is a prerequisite. An eligible candidate should have submitted the Ph.D. thesis for assessment by the application deadline. In summary:

  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian Ph.D.
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Electrical Engineering or another relevant discipline
  • Substantial research experience documented with peer-reviewed scientific papers
  • Excellent with verbal and written communication in English

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

The preferred candidate might demonstrate competence in some of the following:

  • Real life experience, preferably in aerospace or related industries that focus on lightweight powertrain designs (e.g., Formula 1, racing, marine vessels, etc.)
  • Skilled in electrical network modeling and analysis
  • Proficiency or good knowledge of CAD software (e.g., Elfly AS utilizes SolidWorks)
  • Basic knowledge of certification as a means to derive design requirements
  • Basic understanding of aviation certification standards is a plus (DO-160, DO-311)
  • Good understanding of Electrical grounding, bonding, and EMI concepts
  • Experience in semiconductor technology and power electronics would be advantageous

In addition, the candidate must master English fluently, both oral and written. 

A plus if there is also a personal interest in aviation, i.e., private pilot or similar, to a minimum, at least like flying.

Personal characteristics

The successful candidates should be

  • creative and innovative
  • independent and self-motivated
  • able to work in a team

We offer 

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment 
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues 
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from 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 2 years.  

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 requirement that you can be present at the institution daily. 

About the application 

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 where the applicant describes the personal motivation, summarizing scientific work, and how the applicant sees her/his background suitable
  • A research proposal (3-5 pages) for the postdoctoral career, where the candidate presents her/his ideas for the postdoctoral work 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 (summarising education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity).
  • Copies of educational certificates academic transcript of records (Bachelor-, Masters- and Doctoral degrees), and letters of recommendation. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement ( ) or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • A publication list, including citation rates according to Google Scholar or Web of Science. Highlight up to five of the most significant and relevant publications. The most relevant publications (maximum five) must be attached. 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.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Jonas Kristiansen Nø, or to Professor Ole-Morten Midtgå

Application deadline: 01.07.2022. 


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 Electric Power Engineering

The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 1st July 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Campus Trondheim

Similar jobs

Similar jobs