Phd Candidate in Life Prediction of Nickel-Based Alloys Under Hydrogen Environment

Trondheim, Norway
05 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
10 Oct 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.

A PhD position is available at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering within the field of life prediction of nickel-based alloys under hydrogen environment.

Nickel-based alloys are extensively used in the oil and gas industry owing to their excellent mechanical properties under harsh environment. Nevertheless, multiple field failures have been reported over the last years, indicating hydrogen-assisted cracking/hydrogen embrittlement (HE) caused by the presence of hydrogen in the environment. Alarmed by this “time bomb” scenario, the oil and gas industry in Norway is attempting to establish a practical guideline related to HE in nickel-based alloys. To meet the urgent industrial needs, microstructure-informed hydrogen embrittlement life prediction of nickel-based alloys (Helife) project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, aims to provide the scientific basis for establishing a practical guideline for HE assessment of both the existing components made of precipitation-hardened nickel alloys and the promising strain-hardened alloys for the subsea applications. The research will focus on investigating the mechanisms of selected materials with representative microstructures under controlled hydrogen environments and well-defined loading conditions, using multiscale mechanical testing and characterization approaches. We are looking for you who want to collaborate with industrial partners and conduct in depth research in this field.  

Your immediate leader will be Associate Professor Xu Lu.

Duties of the position

  • develop experimental approaches for probing the mechanisms of selected materials with representative microstructure under controlled hydrogen environment and well-defined loading conditions
  • conduct independent research using multiscale mechanical testing and advanced characterization techniques
  • conduct electrochemical testing relevant to the project
  • participate in project meetings with supervisors and colleagues
  • write journal papers
  • present scientific work at conferences
  • write and defend a PhD thesis

Required selection criteria

  • you must have a relevant background in materials science/engineering and/or mechanical engineering
  • experimental skills in mechanical testing and microstructural characterization of materials
  • your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's leves
  • 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 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

  • good knowledge and experimental skills of mechanical testing at multiscale levels (nano to macro)
  • hands-on experience with one or more advanced characterization techniques such as SEM, EBSD, FIB, and TEM
  • prior knowledge/experience in hydrogen embrittlement phenomenon of structural materials is a plus
  • relevant experience from industry is a plus
  • knowledge of basic programming software like Matlab

Personal characteristics

  • motivated, enthusiastic and result oriented
  • independent and self-going
  • progress oriented
  • motivated to embrace challenges
  • good collaborative capabilities
  • good communication skills and ability to work in close contact with the industry
  • motivated to conduct research in a multidisciplinary setting and team

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 532 200 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 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 be attached to 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
  • cover letter justifying your interest and fit for the position
  • research plan or project proposal (maximum 2 pages, Times New Roman or similar Font 11, Single spacing)
  • name and contact information of three referees
  • academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 10 works)

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.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

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.

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 Assoc. Prof. Xu Lu, e-mail:, +47 92257159, or Prof. Roy Johnsen, email:, +47 93245101.

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact PhD Coordinator Hedda Winnberg, 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. Diploma Supplement is required for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

Application deadline: 10.10.2023


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 10th October 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Richard Birkelandsvei 2b, 7034 Trondheim

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