PhD Candidate in Extreme Dynamics

Trondheim, Norway
03 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
31 Mar 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

About the job

At the Department of Structural Engineering, we have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in the testing, modelling, and simulation of flexible structures under extreme dynamic loading. The position is linked to the SIMLab (Structural Impact Laboratory) research group.   

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

Changes in the society around us have exposed a growing risk of extreme loading events on buildings and critical infrastructures (e.g., extreme weather conditions, avalanches, accidental events, or man-made attacks). Successful estimation of the interaction between the load and the structural response is essential to ensure the resistance of civilian infrastructure to extreme loads. While the effective action of loading on massive, rigid structures is well known, the interaction between extreme dynamic loading and lightweight, flexible structures is not very well understood. Mainly because we lack the experimental techniques providing insight into the actual physics of the loading during such loading events.

This project will address this challenge from a solid mechanics point of view, developing new methodologies to quantify the surface pressure loads on flexible structures. This will be done using load identification methods and inverse modelling strategies. The work is to be carried out within a well-known research group with decades of experience in the testing, modelling and simulation of structures subjected to extreme loads. The candidate will contribute to consolidating the group’s leading position on the interaction effects between dynamic loads and the structural response.  

Your immediate leader is Associate Professor Vegard Aune. 

Duties of the position

  • Combining experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods to establish a data-driven approach for load identification
  • Numerical modelling and simulation of the interaction between the load and the structural response during extreme loading events
  • Experimental work in controlled, laboratory environments using non-intrusive, optical techniques to measure the structural response
  • Develop a load identification methodology for flexible structures experiencing large deformations

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Structural engineering, Mechanical engineering or Computational mechanics
  • 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.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by 1th of July. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program PhD programme in Engineering.
  • You must be fluent in spoken and written English.
  • You must have demonstrated completence in non-linear finite element analysis, Phyton programming, and solid mechanics. 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate 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

  • Experience in simulations of fluid-structure interaction.
  • Competence in programming general frameworks for solving ordinary and partial differential equations (e.g., the finite element method).
  • Experience in optical measurements related to experimental work.

Personal characteristics

  • Willing to work both independently and to collaborate with other researchers.
  • Motivated and ambitious.
  • Creative and eager to learn.

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 without teaching duties, or four years with 25 % teaching duties, depending on the candidate’s qualifications.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in the PhD programme in Engenieering 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 or Norwegian.

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.
  • Name and contact information 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.

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 Vegard Aune, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact June Hovde, 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: 31.03.2023


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 Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 31st March 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

Similar jobs

Similar jobs