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PhD position in Physics of Near-Well Damage and Leakage

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 currently seeking a qualified candidate to fill a 3-year PhD fellowship position within the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The focus of the position is on investigating mechanisms related to near-well leakage. The research project encompasses various facets, and the assigned tasks can be customized to align with the candidate's specific expertise and interests. The nature of the study can either be experimental or a blend of experimental and numerical approaches, contingent upon the candidate's background, qualifications, and preferences.

Responsibilities for the successful candidate could include conducting laboratory experiments, which involve the design and setup of fiber optic and acoustic measurement systems, development of testing procedures, active participation in experiments, and subsequent post-processing of experimental data. Additionally, the numerical modeling component may involve simulations of damage occurring at the casing-cement interface, delamination crack propagation, and the analysis of fluid flow within the microannulus between casing and cement.

The PhD position is a part of the CHARISMA project (Characterization and 4D Imaging of Near-Well CO2 Flow in Fractures and Micro-Annuli), which is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and falls under the auspices of the Norwegian CCS Research Centre (NCCS). Close collaboration with scientists from SINTEF Industry within the context of the CHARISMA project is anticipated to play a pivotal role in attaining the project's objectives.

The research is relevant to several fields, in particular CO2 and hydrogen storage, geothermal energy, and hydrocarbon production.

The PhD student will be assigned to the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) and will be supervised by Prof. Alexandre Lavrov (NTNU) and co-supervised by Dr. Amir Ghaderi (SINTEF Industry).

Your immediate leader is Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • The primary objectives of the PhD project encompass advancing the comprehension of leakage mechanisms occurring behind the casing, enhancing the assessment of potential ramifications for well integrity resulting from such damage, and refining techniques for detecting leakage. These objectives will be pursued through the implementation of cutting-edge laboratory experiments, potentially complemented by numerical modelling.
  • The candidate will utilize the experimental facilities at SINTEF Industry and may be required to enhance existing measurement systems in collaboration with partners from the CHARISMA project.
  • A research stay at a project partner in the US may be relevant.
  • Active involvement in conducting experiments, including participation in experimental procedures and subsequent post-processing and interpretation of acquired data, constitutes a pivotal aspect of the candidate's role.
  • A substantial portion of the experimental endeavours will employ advanced X-ray µCT facilities at the SINTEF Pore Imaging Laboratory. Proficiency in Python may be essential for the development of image processing algorithms, depending on the need to further refine existing methodologies.
  • Furthermore, the candidate will contribute to ongoing efforts focused on the development of novel microannulus detection techniques, with the aim of scalability and adaptability for application in well contexts.

Required selection criteria

  • Documented knowledge of physics, solid mechanics/geomechanics, and Python programming.
  • Documented excellent written and oral English language skills and expression (CEFR Level C2 or equivalent).
  • You must have a relevant background in engineering, in applied physics or in applied geophysics
  • 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 prior to employment. In this case, the job offer will be valid only if the candidate has at least B in the final master grade. The candidate can then be employed after the grades become available.
  • 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

It is advantageous if you

  • Have experience with laboratory measurement techniques (strain measurements, acoustic measurements, LabView, X-ray CT imaging)
  • Have knowledge of fracture mechanics
  • Have knowledge of acoustics
  • Have knowledge of computational mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, or computational physics
  • Have scientific programming skills in C++, Fortran, and/or MATLAB in addition to python
  • Have published articles in English.

Personal characteristics

We seek students who exhibit the following qualities:

  • A genuine passion for research.
  • Creative thinking coupled with effective communication skills.
  • The ability to work both independently and collaboratively within a team.
  • Willingness to undertake research with a focus on accomplishing the goals of the CHARISMA project.
  • Demonstrated responsibility and dependability.

Emphasis will be placed on assessing personal and interpersonal qualities. We strongly encourage women applicants to consider applying.

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 without required teaching duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme 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.

Regular, daily attendance at the institution and consistent accessibility are prerequisites for this position.

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
  • Specific documentation of essential qualifications, including English 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 is in preparation or has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis (if available). 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 available: Publications or other relevant research work. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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 Alexandre Lavrov, e-mail, and/or Dr Amir Ghaderi, e-mail If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Anne-Lise Brekken, 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: 02.04.2024


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 Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 2nd April 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service S. P. Andersens vei 15A, 7491 Trondheim

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