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PhD Candidate in Coupled Offshore and Onshore Power Grids

Trondheim, Norway
Closing date
19 Mar 2024

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD position at the Department of Electrical Energy, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. The candidate will be a part of the Power System Operation and Analysis (PSOA) Research Group.

The Department of Electric Energy, NTNU, is a research partner in the Knowledge-building Project for Industry, titled ‘Development of Coupled Offshore and Onshore Power Grids’. The research project is led by SINTEF Energy Research, and the industry partners include Statnett, Aker Solutions, and GE Grid Solutions.

Over the next 25 years, massive amounts of renewable energy from offshore wind resources need to be 1) integrated into the Norwegian and European energy system in a way that is 2) economically sustainable while 3) at the same ensuring the security of electricity supply. For grid owners and operators, a major challenge is to understand which grid development solutions are socio-economically favourable, considering all these aspects. Until now, offshore grid development has been restricted to single interconnectors and cables to/from shore for offshore wind farms or oil and gas platforms. With more offshore wind, a transition towards more varied offshore grids is expected, coupled to onshore grids through hybrid cables, energy islands, interconnected subgrids, meshed AC/DC grids, and through coupled grid operation. This project addresses the need for knowledge and methods for analysing different transition paths for grid development and how to identify good grid development strategies.

The selected PhD candidate, in connection with this research project, will take part in advancing the state-of-art research on the knowledge basis to support the coordinated development of power grids offshore as well as onshore, against a backdrop of large-scale offshore wind development and a changing onshore energy system.

The PhD Candidate will be employed at NTNU, and the workplace will be in Trondheim. The main supervisor of the PhD candidate will be Associate Professor Vijay Venu Vadlamudi, and the co-supervisor will be Senior Research Scientist (SINTEF Energy Research) Iver Bakken Sperstad. In addition, co-supervisors from cooperating partners may be appointed.

Your immediate leader is the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • The candidate will develop models, methods and tools that enable sound grid infrastructure investment decisions and contribute to the development of robust coupled offshore and onshore power grids that are socio-economically profitable. The broader research questions that the research project deals with are as follows:
    • How to generate models and datasets that are computationally efficient and representative for a large range of future scenarios and operating conditions?
    • How to take into account the coupling, interdependencies, and synergies between offshore and onshore grids in grid development?
    • How to assess risk and resilience with respect to security of supply in coupled offshore-onshore grids?
    • How to assess the socioeconomic impacts of grid developments?
  • Examples of relevant PhD topics within these research questions include: a) Offshore grid reliability analysis considering flexibility through interactions with other energy carriers, b) robust and distributionally robust optimization applied to offshore grid development, c) simplified representations of stability constraints in grid development and reliability analysis, d) novel techniques for understanding and communicating socio-economic analysis results.
  • The candidate will disseminate scientific findings via conference presentations and journal publications.
  • The candidate will complete academic training consisting of course work corresponding to minimum 30 ECTS.

Required selection criteria

  • Applicants must hold an M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) within Electric Power Engineering, with specialization in electric power and/or energy systems; your Master’s thesis must be of relevance to the project description. Applicants with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering or Engineering Physics with a Master’s thesis relevant to the project are also eligible to apply.
  • 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, i.e. by having relevant work experience and/or published/publishable scientific papers.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the Faculty's doctoral program.
  • You must have excellent programming skills (e.g., Python, C/C++, Matlab).
  • You must have very good English language skills, both written and spoken, corresponding to the scale C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). One of the following test scores could be documented for this purpose: 
    • TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) — iBT enhanced score reporting is required. Your proficiency level for the overall test should correspond to a score of at least 100. Your proficiency level for each section of the test should correspond to at least ‘high-intermediate’ level.
    • IELTS — 8, with no section lower than 7.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted) 
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) — 193-199. 

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills, and the ability to communicate fluently, will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for the shortlisted applicants.

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

  • Work experience in a field related to the project description.
  • Excellent written and spoken English language skills, beyond the requirement of minimum scores for the documentation of proficiency.
  • Proficiency in Norwegian language skills, or another Scandinavian language, will be rated positively.

Personal characteristics

The candidate should:

  • be curious, passionate, and creative
  • be structured, targeted, and solution-oriented
  • be self-driven with a strong ability to work independently as required
  • be a team player with the ability to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team
  • have good communication and dissemination skills

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 three years. The desired starting date for the position is early August 2024.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in the PhD programme in Electric Power 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 at Campus Trondheim 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 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 cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation, summarising scientific work, and explains how the applicant sees her/his background as suitable for the advertised position.
  • CV (summarising education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience, and other qualifying activity) and relevant certificates/testimonials.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If you are yet to complete the master's degree, you must submit an official confirmation of when it would be likely completed.
  • A copy of the master’s thesis. If you have recently 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.
  • A draft research proposal (2-4 pages including references) for the PhD study, where the candidate presents her/his own ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement.
  • Names and contact information of three references.
  • Research work - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency

Incomplete application will not be taken into consideration.

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 are our strengths. 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 Associate Professor Vijay Venu Vadlamudi (e-mail: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Sven Robert Storø (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: 19.03.2024.


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 Electric Energy

The Department of Electric Energy is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 19th March 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Elektrobygget O. S. Bragstads plass 2E, E-blokk 3. etasje, 7034 Trondheim

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