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Postdoctoral Fellow in Computer Science for Urban Digital Twins

Ålesund, Norway
Closing date
10 Jan 2024

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Academic Discipline
Computer Science, Engineering & Technology
Job Type
Academic Posts, Postdocs
Contract Type
Full Time

About the job

At the Department of ICT and Natural Sciences (IIR), there is a vacancy in Computer Science for Urban Digital Twins.

In particular, the Postdoc position is linked to the Sustainable Digital Transformation (SDT) Research Group. SDT has been established as the core arena at NTNU for developing cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research related to the design, implementation, and validation of digitalization disruptive innovations aiming to address United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and societal needs.

This position is also linked to the Sustainability Analytics (SA), a new interdisciplinary research arena that aims to offer data-driven support for sustainable development of enterprises and cities by integrating analytical tools from data science, sustainability science, and decision science.

The position is linked to the Twin Fjord project. Twin Fjord - A participatory planning support system for sustainable land management using digital twin technology (NFR, 2021 - 2024) is a cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary collaborative and knowledge building project that aims to develop a participatory planning support system for sustainable land management using digital twin technology. The project is of high relevance to the “Land under pressure” call as it will provide an integrated decision support approach that enables public administrators, planning practitioners, policymakers, developers, and other planning stakeholders to consider environmental, societal, and economic impacts of land- use change from energy, transport, and building infrastructure development.

The position is linked to the NorDark project. NorDark - Unconventional methods to inform sustainable design: Mediating the needs of people and nature in Nordic after-dark environments (NordForsk, 2021 - 2025) is a multidisciplinary research project that aims to provide knowledge for the design of light infrastructure in green urban areas in after-dark conditions, considering human needs and minimizing the negative impacts on wildlife. To reach the goals of the project an interdisciplinary collaboration framework was implemented with six research teams: environmental psychology, physiology, wildlife ecology, sustainable science, light design, and digital twin technologies. The project consortium also includes two municipalities, Ålesund (Norway) and Uppsala (Sweden). A part of the project strategy is the implementation of an urban digital twin for the two study areas, one in Norway and one in Sweden. The execution of this tool has been proposed to support not only the sustainable design and implementation of light infrastructure for outdoor areas but also to enhance collaboration and communication within the research groups and with other stakeholders.

The Department of ICT and Natural Sciences in Ålesund is the employer. The position involves some traveling. The office location will be on the Ålesund campus, at the Department of ICT and Science.

The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions.

The position reports to the head of department.

Duties of the position

The Postdoc researcher, among other things, is expected to contribute to the design, development, and validation of components of urban digital twins for supporting data analysis and decision-making in the context of the Twin Fjord and the NorDark projects. The focus will be on the design, implementation, and validation of new digital-twin-related tools based on data, information, and impact assessment models necessary to support sustainability appraisals. The outputs of simulations and data-driven methods are information to be visualized in a digital twin interface and used by planning stakeholders in co-creative processes.

The Postdoc researcher is expected to contribute to the development of novel methods, algorithms, and solutions related to urban digital twins. The research is expected to lead initiatives towards not only the design and implementation of data management, simulation, and visualization components, but also integrate them into a common platform. Standards and best practices documented in the literature and employed by industry are expected to be investigated.

More specifically, the candidate is expected to conduct the following activities:

  • Research on literature and technologies related to data management, simulation, and information visualization in the context of urban digital twins
  • Development, integration, and validation of software components aiming the creation of a generic platform/framework for simulation and visualization in the context of urban digital twins
  • Investigate the use of the developed urban digital twins in the context of the Twin Fjord and NorDark projects
  • Investigate the use of digital twin technologies in other research projects 
  • Disseminate results through scientific publications and conferences
  • Actively contribute to the different research projects, either coordinating technical contributions and/or preparing project deliverables
  • Prepare new research proposals to attract industrial, national, and European projects
  • Provide assistance in the supervision of master and PhD students involved with the projects

The main supervisor for the PhD candidate will be Professor Ricardo da Silva Torres at Department of ICT and Natural Sciences. The supervisory team also includes Associate Professor Anniken Karlsen and Professor Agus Hasan.

Required selection criteria

  • A postdoctoral research fellowships is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions. You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree in Computer Science or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.
  • Completion of a Norwegian doctoral degree, or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian computer science doctoral degree, in Databases, Data Science, Information Systems, Software Engineering, Computer Graphics, Information Visualization or similar.
  • Solid programming skills, e.g., C#;
  • Good knowledge of data management, simulation, and/or visualization technologies. 

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

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

Preferred selection criteria

  • Prior knowledge and experience in one or more of the following: software engineering, data science, and/or computer graphics;
  • Good knowledge in Unity or similar gaming engines;
  • A clear and well-developed strategy for outstanding future research that has the potential to result in world-leading publications;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and produce work of a consistently high standard.

Excellent written and oral English language skills are required and must be documented. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are: 

  • OEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test);
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted); 
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A. 

Personal characteristics

  • The candidate must be independent, have great work capacity, and enthusiasm for research. 
  • The candidate must contribute to a good research and work environment.
  • The candidate must have excellent collaboration skills and ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment. 
  • The applicant must be motivated to collaborate both within the discipline and across other disciplines.
  • The candidate should demonstrate ability to work independently as well as in a team-based environment
  • Personal qualities, such as creativity, analytical, and structured reasoning, as well as the ability to carry out projects, will be considered in the selection process. 

The candidate is expected to be involved in research activities that may demand travels to national and international venues (e.g., Netherlands, Sweden, Finland).

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 594 500 per annum, 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 2 years.

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 on a daily basis.

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 applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.  

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following): 

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience. 
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas for the whole bachelor, master’s, and PhD degree. An English translation of all education documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.
  • A short presentation of the motivation for applying to this position. How the candidate sees her/his background as suitable. 
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons. 
  • A copy of the PhD thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their PhD, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis.
  • PDF copies of prior publications, with associated bibliographical data. 

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief 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 a strength. We want our faculty and staff to reflect Norway’s culturally diverse population and we continuously seek to hire the best minds. This enables NTNU to increase productivity and innovation, improve decision making processes, raise employee satisfaction, compete academically with global top-ranking institutions and carry out our social responsibilities within education and research. NTNU emphasizes accessibility and encourages qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender identity, ability status, periods of unemployment or ethnic and cultural background.

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 Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. 

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 Ricardo Torres, telephone + 47 92 21 93 07, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Gunn Helen Hellevik , 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: 15.12.2023 



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 ICT and Natural Sciences

Our campus in Ålesund works in a partnership with industry that is in a class of its own among Norwegian universities. This ensures a practical focus for our study programmes, while they are firmly anchored in modern theory. The Department offers programmes in automation engineering, computer engineering, electric power systems, simulation and visualization. Our research areas include autonomous vessels, robotics, cybernetics, medical technology and health informatics, and artificial intelligence. The Department of ICT and Natural Sciences is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 10th January 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Ålesund
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporar
Place of service Larsgårdsvegen 2, 6025 Ålesund

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