PhD Candidate in Technology Implementation and Railway Management

Trondheim, Norway
24 Nov 2022
End of advertisement period
11 Dec 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the job

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD candidate in the Project and Quality Management Research Group (PKL), with special focus on railway management.

The PKL Research Group is involved in research related to various aspects of project and performance management, including digitalization, quality and change management. NTNU is participating in the coming project FutuRe, funded through the EU-research programme Europe’s Rail. The position is funded by this project, in co-operation with Jernbanedirektoratet .

The FutuRe project aims at providing new innovative technical requirements, methods, solutions, developments and services – including technical requirements and standards for future developments – based on the latest leading-edge technologies to make regional rail cost efficient, while meeting safety standards and improving reliability, availability and capacity of the railway system.

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate related to concept development of Automatic Train Operation (ATO) on regional lines. The PhD position is connected to an activity that will develop a live demonstrator for ATO on Grade of Automation (GoA) 3/4, which means driverless or unattended. We will run a train remotely! The work will be both practical and academic.

You will participate in preparations, roll out and evaluation of the demonstrator. This includes definition of work and test plan, use cases and a description of specificities and variances of the relevant locations. During and after the demo, the candidate will be involved in documentation of set-up and results.

You are expected to be an active and integrated part of the academic environment at the department and to participate in cooperation with a number of stakeholders in the railway industry and work with the FutuRe project that funds the PhD position.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Your immediate leader is Professor.

Duties of the position

  • execute a PhD project within 3 years 
  • complete training as part of the PhD degree, a minimum of 30 ECTS
  • prepare scientific journal articles and conference papers under supervision
  • present results from the research at international scientific conferences and in dissertation
  • relate your work to required deliverables of the FutuRe project

Required selection criteria

  • you must have a professionally relevant background inrailway and/or project management
  • you must have experience from work with railway technology or similar types of technologies
  • you need experience from train traffic analyses
  • your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, 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 skills

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

  • possibilities for frequent travel and/or stays of different length at relevant European demonstrator locations
  • you need to have clear thoughts on relevant topics for the doctoral dissertation
  • experiences from collaboration with a diverse set of stakeholders, professionally or academically
  • relevant publications, published or work in progress

Personal characteristics

  • analytical, respectful and excellent at thinking «out-of-the-box»
  • motivated, ambitious and eager to «walk new paths»
  • collaborative, open-minded and able to take initiatives, able to work independently and in team, with high degree of personal responsibility
  • good communication skills, both written and orally
  • eager to disseminate knowledge, both nationally and internationally

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

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 subject to external funding.

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 your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • CV and certificates
  • 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.
  • project proposal/brief description of the project idea
  • motivational letter that indicated your thoughts on the PhD project
  • research plan
  • 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.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short 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 professor Nils Olsson, telephone +47 97713628, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact contact HR Consultant Elisabeth Halvorsen, 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.  

Application deadline: 11.12.2022


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 Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

We educate graduates who can create new products, operate and maintain products, and manage projects. The Department has a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. We conduct wide-ranging research in fields such as technology, energy, product quality and development, and productivity. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 11th December 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

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