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PhD Candidate in Pulse Jet Propulsion for Commercial ships

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

About the job

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

Would you like to contribute to developing new technology for environmentally friendly ships in collaboration with one of the largest maritime suppliers in the world, working at a leading university in marine technology? How about exploring a new innovative technical solution inspired by nature? What if you can do all this while learning about complex hydrodynamics, ship propulsion, simulations, and experiments in the same project? Then this job is for you!

The Department of Marine Technology at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time position as a PhD Candidate. The goal is to complete a doctoral education while working on an industrial innovation project led by Kongsberg Maritime.

The project is called “Pulse Jet Propulsion for Commercial Ship” and will explore a new propulsion system inspired by the swimming technique used by squids and jellyfish, which is characterized by a pulsating jet. Can this effect be utilized for large commercial ships, thereby reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions?

These questions will be explored using a combination of experiments, existing simulation techniques such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and new simplified simulation methods developed especially for this project. As a PhD candidate, you will be involved in all these methods. However, the primary responsibility will be the development of new simulation methods and exploring pulse jet propulsion systems using the new techniques.

Your supervisor is Professor Sverre Steen at the Department of Marine Technology, NTNU.

Your immediate leader is the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

A PhD position has two primary goals. For one, you will learn how to do scientific research of high international standards, which shall lead to the award of a PhD degree. Second, you will produce results for the project you are working on.

Tasks include the following:

  • take courses in the relevant technical topics for the project, comprising a minimum of 30 credits. This can include classes in hydrodynamics, ship propulsion, optimization, machine learning, simulations, or similar topics
  • practice scientific communication by writing articles and attending conferences with other scientists and PhD candidates
  • Investigate the fundamental aspects of pulse jet propulsion by utilizing theory learned in courses and reading the existing scientific literature on the topic
  • use Computational Fluid Mechanics to investigate the dynamic operation of propellers
  • explore simplified propeller simulation methods, such as actuator disk and actuator line, empirical models, and machine-learning techniques
  • use the models you develop with other existing models in system simulations of ships performing complex maneuvers
  • use the methods to explore different designs and operational modes of the system
  • plan physical and digital experiments to explore the capabilities of the new propulsion system
  • attend and assist in physical experiments in world-class laboratories
  • communicate your results clearly to industrial partners, other scientists, and the world

A formal requirement for getting a PhD is writing a final report documenting your work. Papers written for academic journals and conferences can be a part of this task.

Required selection criteria

  • M.Sc. degree in a technical field relevant to the project. This can, for instance, be marine technology, mechanical engineering, physics, or mathematics
  • basic knowledge of fluid mechanics
  • education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at the master's level
  • 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
  • final year master's students can apply if the master's degree is obtained and documented by 15.08.2024
  • meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • very good written and spoken English language skills
  • some experience with programming, for instance using languages such as Python, Julia, Matlab, etc.

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

  • a more in-depth knowledge within fluid mechanics
  • interest in learning more about hydrodynamics, ship propulsion, simulation techniques, and experiments
  • programming skills using system languages such as C, C++, or Rust (useful for implementing simplified models connected to CFD solvers)
  • relevant practical work experience from the maritime industry
  • proficiency in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language

Personal characteristics

  • curious and eager to learn
  • self-motivated
  • good collaborating skills
  • communication skills both orally and in writing
  • structured and good problem-solving 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 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 the 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 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 and 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 has been submitted
  • 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
  • name and contact information of three referees
  • if you have publications or other relevant research work they might be included

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 Prof. Sverre Steen, telephone +47 9340 6429, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Marit Gjersvold, 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: 30.04.2024


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 Marine Technology

We develop methods and technology related to the blue economy: oil and gas extraction at sea, ship technology and the equipment industry, fisheries and aquaculture. We also have a strong commitment to the development of sustainable solutions for offshore renewable energy, coastal infrastructure, and marine robotics. Marine technology helps to solve major global challenges related to the environment, climate, energy, food and efficient transport. The Department of Marine Technology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 30th April 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Jonsvannsveien 82, 7050 Trondheim

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