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Doctoral Researcher In The Field Of X-Ray Computed Tomography Applied To Lithium-Ion Batteries

Trondheim, Norway
Closing date
7 Jan 2024

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Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Job Type
Academic Posts, Postdocs
Contract Type
Full Time

About the job

A position as a PhD student in the field of X-ray Computed Tomography applied to lithium-ion batteries is available at the Department of Physics, NTNU.

Starting date August 2024 or as agreed upon.

The position is for 3 years.

About the position

Lithium-ion batteries have a profound influence on today’s society and are key enablers of a wide range of modern devices that everybody uses on a daily basis, including mobile phones, other portable devices, and electric vehicles. In the HeaLiSelf project financed by the Norwegian Research Council, we aim to better understand the long-term performance of Li-ion batteries through state-of-the-art experimental methods and modelling. The important topic of self-healing of emerging damage after heavy usage (high power charging/discharging) will be given special attention. The key motivation for the project is to contribute to solving imminent and long-standing energy challenges of huge societal impact.

We are consequently searching for a creative, skilled and ambitious Ph.D. candidate for our scientific activities relating to better understanding and subsequently improving the long-term behaviour of Li-ion-batteries. The candidate will work in an international team of several principal investigators, Ph.D. students, postdocs and master students. External collaboration with other academic research groups and industry actors is an important part of the position.

The doctoral candidate will work as a fully integrated partner in the HeaLiSelf project and will develop research within the area of measuring and modelling the internal state of Li-ion batteries under operation – a topic of high interest both to academia and industry. The central aim of the project is to obtain a better understanding of the internal thermodynamical state of batteries using fibre optic-based sensors, as combined with in operando X-ray computed tomography (CT).

The research work will involve performing innovative experiments combined with data analysis, computer programming, and scientific publishing. Sophisticated analysis and modelling of large datasets, also using statistical and machine learning (artificial intelligence) methods, will be important topics. Emphasis is put on correlating 4-dimensional (3D + time) microscopy results with both the electrical performance of the battery under operation and with signals from embedded fibre optical sensors and infrared temperature measurements.

Recognizing that many Ph.D. candidates proceed with an industrial career, often in lead positions, we put strong emphasis on being an attractive high-performance arena, which may serve as an academic trainee step between a master’s degree and top positions in both academia and industry. The candidate is expected to participate actively in the group activities, to mentor bachelor and master students, and to contribute to our extensive international network. Moreover, having excellent contacts within battery science worldwide, we offer up to two academic semesters of secondment as an integral part of the 3-year Ph.D. program to either industry or to associated top-ranked universities in Scandinavia and beyond. Dependent on the career ambitions of the candidate, we can also tailor the educational part of the Ph.D. study to include a broad selection of courses.

Duties of the position

The candidate will

  • plan and execute a comprehensive, independent research project under supervision. This will involve laboratory experiments, systems integration and data analysis.
  • learn to master academic writing and author journal publications.
  • present her/his work at international conferences and workshops.
  • collaborate internationally.
  • Participate in secondments to the battery industry.
  • contribute to the supervision of undergraduate students.

Required selection criteria

  • The successful candidate has completed/ is about to complete a master’s degree in physics or a closely related field, with good grades. Candidates holding a prior degree with an experimental (i.e., laboratory-based) battery-related background will be considered, regardless of degree title.
  • 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 1 July 2024.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.
  • The position requires a strong interest in experimental physics, data analysis and computer programming.
  • The position requires spoken and written fluency in English.
  • The following requirements on qualifications will be given major weight in the evaluation of the candidate. In the cover letter, the applicant must specifically describe his/her expertise in relevant fields like battery chemistry and physics, materials science, X-ray physics, microscopy, electrical measurements, analysis of large datasets, artificial intelligence & machine learning, computer programming.

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 from experiments using microscopy, X-ray methods, or electrical measurements is a desired qualification requirement. Computer programming skills (e.g., Matlab, Python, LabView or C) and hardware building skills are desired, as is basic knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) and more specifically machine learning (ML) methods.
  • Working knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language would be evaluated positively.

Personal characteristics

The successful candidate should be creative, ambitious and enthusiastic, with a strong ability to work goal-oriented, both independently and as part of a team. Good scientific writing and oral presentation skills are requested. He/she should enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams, which is of high importance in this multidisciplinary project

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 per annum before tax.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 physics  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. 

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 : 

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • A brief description (~300 words) of possible implementation and sensing strategies that pertain to the topic mentioned above (i.e., Project Proposal/Research Plan).
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)   

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.

You will report to Professor Dag W. Breiby (, phone: +47 984 54 213) to whom further inquiries may be directed. For further information, you can also contact HeaLiSelf project leader Professor Steve Boles ( or Research Scientists Dr. Basab Chattopadhyay (

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: 07.01.24


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 Physics

Our research and teaching are both experimental and theoretical, covering a wide range of disciplines. Our activities contribute to development of new medical technology and to finding solutions for the next generation’s communication technology, energy utilization and development of materials. The Department of Physics is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 7th January 2024
EmployerNTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Høgskoleringen 5, 7034 Trondheim

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