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Phd Candidate In Modelling Of Physical Phenomena For Safety Analysis And Risk Assessment

Trondheim, Norway
NOK 532 200 per annum
Closing date
28 Apr 2024

Job Details

About the job

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

The Norwegian Government’s hydrogen strategy emphasizes clean hydrogen as essential to reach ambitious national and international emission targets by 2050 and provides a transition strategy for an energy-rich country. Several limitations concerning the storage and long-distance transport of electrical energy can be tackled by chemically converting it in form of hydrogen. Liquefied hydrogen (LH2) is stored close to atmospheric pressure and cryogenic temperature (around -253°C) and allows increasing storage capacity of more than 100% with respect to compressed hydrogen at 70 MPa when the same storage volume is considered. The use of LH2 is particularly attractive when the storage volume is limited, and large amounts of energy are required. However, cryogenic liquefied gas storage at very low temperatures requires an effective thermal insulation and is also subject to several operative and safety challenges. LH2 contains a larger amount of energy per volume compared to compressed gaseous hydrogen. The loss of containment of LH2 storage systems in case of accident with consequent release may lead to severe consequences that must be prevented or mitigated.

As PhD Candidate, we want you to support the activities of an ongoing national research and innovation centre for hydrogen and ammonia on modelling of physical phenomena that might be generated by LH2 leakage and dispersion during different accident scenarios. You will be collaborating with internationally renowned research institutes (e.g. SINTEF) and industries. The objective of the proposed PhD research is to improve safety of LH2 storage and distribution systems by understanding the fundamental mechanisms and consequences of selected critical physical phenomena and develop analytical and numerical models to simulate those. You will perform interdisciplinary research by focussing on different subjects such as physics, thermo- and fluid dynamics, risk analysis. Specifically, your study will involve:

  • LH2 pool formation mechanism to determine under which conditions a pool will be formed during an accidental release of LH2.
  • Behaviour of thermal insulation material when in contact with LH2 due to a loss of containment.
  • Oxygen enrichment phenomena due to phase change of air component during an accidental release of LH2.

By focusing on these areas, your PhD aims to establish inherent safer equipment for storage and distribution of LH2, thereby reducing the risks of current technologies. You will have the chance to collect and use first-hand data from previous and ongoing relevant research projects on LH2 safety.

You will report to Associate Professor Federico Ustolin

Duties of the position

  • take part in the mandatory PhD research education programme
  • conduct independent research and publish the results in recognised scientific journals
  • participate to dissemination events (international conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.)
  • attend consortium meetings of relevant research projects

Required selection criteria

  • you must have a professionally relevant background in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, energy engineering or RAMS engineering.
  • documented competence in modelling (e.g. thermo- and fluid dynamics analysis) of phenomena generated by hydrogen during accident scenarios. This can be proven by the attendance of study courses or other relevant activities, such as a master’s thesis.
  • documented competence in the topic of risk analysis and safety, both in general and in the specific case of hydrogen systems. This can be proven by the attendance of study courses or other relevant activities, such as a master’s thesis.
  • 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 meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • you must have excellent written and oral English language skills

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

  • foundational competence of numerical modelling including computational fluid dynamics. This can be proven by the attendance of study courses or other relevant activities, such as use of optimization approaches for a master’s thesis project.
  • ability to identify patterns or connections between interdisciplinary domains that are not obviously related, and to identify key or underlying issues in complex modelling cases
  • ability to transfer an idea to others in an understandable and effective way
  • adherence to moral and ethical principles of scientific integrity

Personal characteristics

  • ability to work independently and in a team
  • excellent communication skills and strong writing capabilities
  • honest and hard working
  • openness to feedback and input from others as well as the
  • ability to collaborate, negotiate and influence others.
  • manifest drive and determination

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 in Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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: 

  • CV, certificates, and diplomas
  • 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.
  • preliminary research plan (at least two pages, maximum four)
  • name and address of three referees
  • if you have publications or other relevant research work related to hydrogen technologies
  • documentation on required criteria two and three

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 Associate Professor Federico Ustolin, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Hedda Winnberg, 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: 28.04.2024


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 Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

We educate graduates who can create new products, operate and maintain products, and manage projects. The Department has a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. We conduct wide-ranging research in fields such as technology, energy, product quality and development, and productivity. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 28th April 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Richard Birkelands vei 2B, 7034 Trondheim


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