PhD Candidate in Thermal Energy Storing and Digitalization in District Heating

Trondheim, Norway
14 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
27 Sep 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
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.

We are looking for a PhD candidate on the topic of thermal energy storing and digitalization in district heating at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). CETPartnership project, Thermal energy storing and digitalization in district heating to enable transition to renewable and resource efficient energy systems – TRAINING, provides funding for this position. TRAINING project includes national and international partners from industry and research from Norway, Sweden, and Germany.

The field of work will be to further develop models for smart district heating including thermal storage. Flexibility assessment for thermal storing and economic benefits should be also considered. A relevant candidate will work on dynamic simulation models supported by measurements for a district heating system with short- and long-term storages. The overall idea is that the candidate will work on data supported dynamic models for analyzing possibilities for thermal storing in district heating. Further, the candidate should tightly collaborate with the Norwegian industry partners and other partners in the project from Germany and Sweden.

The appointment has a duration of three years. During the evaluation process, the priority will be given to the candidates who fit the best to the scientific criteria explained above.

The position is linked to the Department of Energy and Process Engineering and the Sustainable Energy Systems group. The group has a well-established expertise in energy supply systems, building energy services, and renewables. Research activities within the group range from building energy use, building energy supply, indoor environment, energy efficiency, building services, control and automation, energy planning, building performance modelling and simulation, to energy storages, etc. The group is strongly involved in the Norwegian FME Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighborhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN) ( as well as in various national and international projects, e.g. IEA Tasks or EBC Annexes. The group is responsible for the HVAC laboratory at the department.

The PhD position will be supervised by Professor Natasa Nord at NTNU. 

Duties of the position

  • Complete the PhD training consisting of courses (minimum 30 ECTS credits). 
  • Review of relevant research field. 
  • Simulation of district heating system including thermal storages. 
  • Collect and organize necessary measurements and industry data necessary for the case studies to be simulated. 
  • Optimization of the system design and component properties. 
  • Control optimization of the simulated system. 
  • Collaborate with the national and international partners in the project. 
  • Develop documentation for the developed models. 
  • The PhD candidate shall publish the research outcomes in at least three internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. 

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in HVAC Engineering and Energy Engineering.  
  • 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 have good knowledge about district heating, energy in buildings, and simulation and modelling, and control of the respective components.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented before starting the position to be able to apply for the PhD admission.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (

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

  • Suitable background (Master degree or equivalent) within HVAC Engineering, Energy Engineering or Energy and Process Engineering. 
  • Very good knowledge of Modelica or similar tools. 
  • Strong programming skills (e.g. MATLAB, Python or similar).  
  • Very good knowledge of building simulation tools such as IDA-ICE and EnergyPlus. 
  • Very good knowledge about district heating and heating systems for buildings. 
  • Knowledge of European standards is a merit. 
  • Very good written and oral English. 
  • Knowledge of Scandinavian languages is an advantage. 

Personal characteristics

The applicant should: 

  • Analytical, respectful, and excellent at thinking «out-of-the-box» 
  • Motivated, ambitious, and eager to «walk new paths» 
  • Very good skills in practical meters 
  • Collaborative, open-minded and able to take initiatives, able to work independently and in team, with high degree of personal responsibility 
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and orally 
  • Eager to disseminate knowledge, both nationally and internationally 
  • Have good communication skills in scientific writing and oral presentations.

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 of the Faculty of 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:

  • A motivation letter describing the motivation for this position 
  • 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 on maximum 10 pages.
  • Name and contact information of three referees.
  • Publications and other relevant academic works if relevant with a brief description of his/her contribution to the attached publications 
  • Other enclosures such as recommendation letters

Only candidates with the complete application documentation will be considered for evaluation. 

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. 

EPT has established EPT Women in Science. The group is focused on supporting female PhD Candidates, Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Assistants and permanent academic employees within the Department. This support aims to help develop the careers of female PhD Candidates, Postdocs and Research Assistants, and is also made visible to our student body to encourage them to consider an academic path. As part of the EPT Women in Science initiative we are building an international network, inviting prominent female academics within and beyond the field of Engineering to speak at our events. 

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 Natasa Nord, e-mail If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Ingrid Wiggen, 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: 27.09.23

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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Questions about the position

Natasa Nord

Deadline: 27th September 2023
Employer: NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality: Trondheim
Scope: Fulltime
Duration: Fixed Term
Place of service: Kolbjørn Hejes vei 1B, 7491 Trondheim Department of Energy and Process Engineering, NTNU, Trondheim, 7491 Trondheim

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