PhD Candidate within the Field of Analysis and Design of Offshore Aquaculture Structures

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

About the position

The Department of Marine Technology, has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate within the field of Analysis and design of offshore aquaculture structures against extreme environmental loads. For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

With the fish farming industry going into more exposed seas, the fish cages become larger and much more fish can be accommodated than ever before. However, much harsher environmental conditions in open seas bring significant challenges on the design of reliable and robust aquaculture structures. A number of innovative fish farm cage concepts has been proposed for offshore purposes, and two have been built and installed recently; the semi-submersible farm Ocean Farm 1 and the ship-shaped farm Havfarm 1. Offshore aquaculture structures share considerable similarities with offshore oil and gas platforms, and at the same time have their unique features. Relevant design standards for offshore aquaculture structures are incomplete and it is questionable whether the current design practices for offshore oil and gas platforms can be directly applied.

The work of this PhD position aims to develop a numerical tool for the analysis and design of offshore aquaculture structures under extreme environmental loads including possible hydro-elastic effects. Ultimate strength assessment of structures in intact and damaged conditions are focused, but fatigue evaluations may also be included. 

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

Duties of the position

  • Develop a numerical tool for the analysis of aquaculture structures by coupling FEM and CFD software, or possibly using the ICFD technique in LS-DYNA
  • Model the aquaculture system and conduct numerical analysis in extreme environmental conditions
  • Ultimate strength assessment of aquaculture structures in intact and damaged conditions
  • 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  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
  • Good knowledge on potential flow theory or CFD modelling
  • Good knowledge of engineering mathematics for possible analytical work 

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

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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 on a daily basis.

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 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

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality. 

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.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

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:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-156/22 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.08.2022

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 1st August 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Marine Technology