PhD in Digital Twin based Production-Maintenance Planning and Control for Hydrogen-based Industry

Trondheim, Norway
10 May 2023
End of advertisement period
18 Jun 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

About the job

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

Hydrogen-based industry is facing an important development and first pilots are being implemented in many sectors, among them Glass and Aluminium sectors. Insufficient knowledge about how to plan and control production systems and their maintenance represents one of the major bottlenecks for the industry, and digital twins can be used to have a better control of the systems and a better planning of production and maintenance activities in order to improve the performance of the whole system.

This PhD position is funded by the European project H2GLASS on “advancing Hydrogen (H2) technologies and smart production systems TO decarbonise the GLass and Aluminium SectorS” and will involve internationally renowned research institutes and industries. You will work in collaboration with SINTEF Energy.

The Production Management research group at NTNU’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is internationally leading in research within production and logistics management and engineering, and the purpose of this PhD position is to expand its scope to the Hydrogen-based Industry. The research will be closely integrated with the group’s research in other sectors, and it will be linked to the Logistics 4.0 Lab, Norway’s first logistics laboratory that merges digital technologies with traditional production and logistics systems, enabling researchers, practitioners, engineers, pioneers, students, and other enthusiasts to come together and collaborate on common ground.

You will contribute to the development and implementation of Digital Twins in some production sites within the partners of the project. You will further develop and create new knowledge on how to use digital twin models to represent the correlations between the process parameters and process performance indexes. Process parameters will be collected in real time during production and the process performance will be predicted dynamically using the developed digital twin models. Multi-objectives optimisation will be conducted to seek optimised process parameters (for smart production planning and control) for achieving best overall performance, i.e., trade-off between all the process performances indexes. The maintenance models will be integrated in the process planning and optimisation logic.

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

You will be supervised by Professor Fabio Sgarbossa

Duties of the position

  • apply qualitative methodologies, such as case studies and literature reviews, to gain insight into the characteristics and challenges of the hydrogen-based industry, and develop frameworks and knowledge on digital twins for Production-Maintenance Planning and Control
  • apply quantitative methodologies, such as simulation and analytical modelling, to develop decision support for the configuration, organization, planning, and control of production and maintenance activities, to study the interactions in such industrial systems and analyze the domain of solutions, such as to create managerial insights and guidelines for practitioners
  • collaboration with partners on the project
  • take part in the mandatory PhD research education program
  • conduct independent research and publish the result in recognised scientific journals and present them at international conferences

Required selection criteria

  • relevant professional and/or academic background in Industrial Engineering, Logistics Engineering, Production Management, Supply Chain Management, Mechanical Engineering, Energy and Process Engineering
  • education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • 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
  • experience in using a combination of qualitative methodologies, such as case studies and design science, and quantitative methodologies, such as simulation and advanced analytics, within the fields of operations and supply chain management
  • submitted research plan showing relevance, rigorousness, and impact
  • excellent 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

  • candidates with Scandinavian language skills will be preferred
  • it is beneficial if the applicant has some previous experience from industry or research in hydrogen industry or similar process industry. This can be proven by the attendance of study courses or other relevant activities, such as a master’s thesis

Personal characteristics

  • ability to work independently as well as in teams
  • good communication skills and ability to work in close contact with industry
  • hard working, with drive and determination
  • modest, open to feedback and input from others as well as able to respect, collaborate, and negotiate with others

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 [subject area] (Link to website, if applicable) 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
  • Research plan; 5-7 pages, where you show your capability to structure a 3-years research study with clear motivation, objectives, research questions, methodologies, expected results and dissemination plan. The combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies should be emphasized and motivated
  • 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 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 Fabio Sgarbossa, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Linn-Cecilie Felle Brattheim 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: 18.06.2023


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 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 18th June 2023
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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