PhD Candidate in Metrology for Urban Drainage Systems

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

About the position

The Water and Wastewater group at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate in Metrology for urban drainage systems. For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.  

The PhD topic will look on urban drainage systems with the goal of establishing methods and guidance for measurement campaigns for different applications (e.g., hydrodynamic modelling, real-time control). Several types of data can be recorded to better understand and manage urban drainage and stormwater management systems. However, discharge is probably the most common one, especially to operate facilities and evaluate pollutants loads. At the same time discharge is a quantity that cannot be directly measured, urging engineers to retreat to indirect measurements involving readings from multiple sensors and/or a certain amount of postprocessing applying implicit assumptions. Therefore, calibrating those measurements is of the utmost importance, as is to identify the relative contribution to the overall measuring uncertainty of all components of the measuring system. Several sensors and methods are available to estimate or measure flows and validate recorded discharges data. Such measurements are conducted in many urban drainage systems in the world. They may look easy and well established, but they are often prone to error and biases that are not always obvious. Even when applying methods described in standards, one needs to be aware of the limitations posed by the conditions in field measurements on the applicability. The aim of the project is to test different measuring systems (i.e., sensor + postprocessing applied) and methods for discharge monitoring at the Risvollan measurement station applying strict metrological demands, to supply practitioners with a guide on decide which method is best for their specific needs depending on the field conditions encountered.

The main research question will revolve around how the usage of low-cost and low-quality data will influence the performance of urban drainage modelling and operation and what methods could be applied to improve this.

It is desired that the candidate has clear thoughts on how they aim to achieve the goal of the PhD project. Applicants must therefore enclose a brief description / project proposal that indicates how their thoughts on research questions and methodologies they intend to apply to achieve the goal of the PhD project.

The appointed PhD candidate will be required to work in Trondheim, Norway.

The position reports to Associate Professor.

Duties of the position

The following duties and responsibilities are associated with the position:

  • complete a PhD project within 4 years, with scope as described in this announcement
  • complete the PhD training consisting of courses (minimum 30 ECTS credits)
  • prepare scientific journal articles and conference papers under supervision
  • present results from research at international conferences and in a dissertation
  • teaching duties

Required selection criteria

To qualify for the position, the candidate must satisfy the following criteria:

  • you must have a strong academic background in Hydraulic/Environmental/Sanitary engineering or equivalent, 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. Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • you must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (
  • strong capabilities in analytical thinking, mathematical and physics-based modelling
  • strong knowledge about urban drainage systems
  • experience in mathematical modelling (e.g., hydraulic simulations etc.)
  • experience with at least one programming language (e.g., Python, R)
  • excellent written and oral English language skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servantsand 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

  • work experience in project management and/or research
  • understanding a Scandinavian language and/or strong motivation to learn Norwegian
  • experience/knowledge about metrological approaches
  • a broad interest in technology (IT, sensors, mechanical equipment)
  • knowledge about measurement devices and/or work with electronics

Personal characteristics

The applicant should:

  • be highly motivated, ambitious, and diligent
  • be analytical, eager to learn and think “outside the box”
  • be respectful and both skilled and motivated for collaboration, particularly in a multidisciplinary context
  • be open-minded and able to take initiatives
  • be able to work independently and in teams, with a high degree of personal responsibility
  • have excellent communication skills, both written and orally
  • be eager to disseminate knowledge, both nationally and internationally

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. Teaching duties will account for 25 % of the time (i.e., 1 year in total).

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 
  • 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. 
  • a research proposal (maximum 5 pages), briefly explaining the candidate’s suggested background and preliminary research methodology for the project (e.g. what are the main research questions and how do you want to address them?).
  • academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 works)
  • name and 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 Associate Professor Franz Tscheikner-Gratl, or Associate Professor Marius Møller Rokstad, If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Martine Sulen,

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. 

Application deadline: 26.06.2022

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 Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees – in both the public and private sectors – with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 26th June 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Institutt for bygg- og miljøteknikk