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Phd Position In Fluid Mechanics, Wave-Turbulence Interactions, Theory, Modelling And/Or Data-Driven

Trondheim, Norway
NOK 532 200 per annum
Closing date
8 May 2024

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 looking for excellent applicants for a PhD position at the Thermo-Fluids research group, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, NTNU Trondheim.

The position has a duration of 3 years. The supervisor will be Professor Simen Å. Ellingsen ( whom you may contact for further information.

The position's exact project has considerable flexibility to be tailored to the skills and interests of the successful applicant. It will involve theory, numerics, data analysis and modelling, carried out in close collaboration with a major experimental campaign. Novel data analysis tools may be highly relevant, including (but far from limited to) data-driven algorithms such as dimensionality reduction and governing-equation discovery. Previous knowledge of specific techniques or theory is not required.

The PhD candidate will be primarily affiliated with the research project "Small flows with big consequences: Wave-, Turbulence- and Shear current-Driven mixing under a water surface" (WaTurSheD) financed by the European Research Council (ERC), whose overall goal is to understand the mutual interactions between waves, currents and turbulence (WCT) in the uppermost layer of the ocean through experimental, numerical and theoretical research. WTC interactions play an important role in the weather and climate systems by mixing the waters, controlling the exchange of heat, gas, energy and momentum between ocean and atmosphere, as well as the transport of microplastics, pollutants and nutrients. A recent experimental article is

The candidate will investigate how new knowledge of WTC physics can inform better model representations of WTC-driven upper-ocean mixing. There is considerable flexibility in tailoring the project to the candidates' particular strengths and interests, so a range of different educational backgrounds in physics and engineering can be relevant so long as the candidate has a strong background in maths, general physics and programming. 

She/he will be part of an excellent team of PhD students and postdocs in WaTurSheD and the closely related project GLITR (also ERC, led by Professor Jason Hearst), and will collaborate closely both within the project groups and with external collaborators in Europe and the USA. 

The Thermo-Fluids group is internationally excellent with a cutting-edge team of researchers from many branches of fluid mechanics. The candidate will be part of a vibrant scientific environment.

Applications must be sent through the JobbNorge platform, not via email. 

Your immediate leader is Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • The candidate will plan and execute a comprehensive, independent research project under supervision. Depending on the exact project  decided this will involve theoretical work, analysis of large data sets, and considerable numerical programming.
  • The candidate will learn to master academic writing and be lead author of several journal publications.
  • The candidate is expected to present her/his work at international conferences and workshops. 
  • Depending on funding, the position may be extended to 4 years, in which case the candidate will do 25% teaching. 

Required selection criteria

  • You must demonstrate a high level of competence in fundamental physics, mechanics and mathematics
  • Documented experience developing advanced computer programmes is required.
  • Previous experience with surface waves and/or turbulent flow is a clear advantage, but experience from other branches of physics could also qualify.
  • Programming proficiency in MATLAB, Python, C++ or similar is necessary.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills are an important criterion. 
  • 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 summer 2024.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (Doctoral Programme - PhD - Faculty of Engineering Science - NTNU

Please note that experience with ready-made CFD software (e.g., ANSYS Fluent, Star CCM, openFOAM), while potentially useful, is not particularly relevant and does not qualify for the position. 

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

  • The research is of a fundamental kind; applicants with an applied or industrial background in engineering will typically not be competitive.
  • A specialisation in Fluid Mechanics or physics is typically preferred. 
  • Knowledge in data-driven analysis of large data sets is highly relevant.
  • Women and persons of minority background are especially encouraged to apply.

Personal characteristics

  • Enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • Able to work effectively on their own and in a team
  • Diligent, thorough, and hard-working
  • Able to work structured and goal oriented with a drive to get projects finished
  • Creative, good at finding solutions
  • Open-minded and tolerant, able to work in a highly multicultural environment and collaborate equally well regardless of colleagues’ cultural background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality.

The applicant is expected to contribute to the social and environment and activities, of the Ellingsen group and the larger Thermo-Fluids group above and beyond the position itself.

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. An extension to 4 years is sometimes offered by the Department, in which case the candidate will do 25% teaching. Note, however, that this eventuality should not be expected: it requires that funding is available and that there is a need which the candidate is deemed the best available persion to fill.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering (Doctoral Programme - PhD - Faculty of Engineering Science - NTNU) 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.

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.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted, or will soon submit, 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 brief research proposal and plan, maximum one page (see below).
  • Name and contact information of three references.
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work which you wish to have taken into account, these must be attached.

A brief research proposal of no more than 1 page should be included. It is understood that some applicants come from other fields and are not familiar with the particulars of the topics herein, and the proposed research needs not conform with the actual tasks intended for the position; the idea is to show understanding of a research project and demonstrate motivation. Inspiration may be taken from this recent article

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken outside Norway, 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.

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 Department of Energy and Process Engineering has established EPT Women in Science. The group is focused on supporting female PhD Candidates, Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Assistants and permanent academic employees within the Department. This support aims to help develop the careers of female PhD Candidates, Postdocs and Research Assistants, and is also made visible to our student body to encourage them to consider an academic path. As part of the EPT Women in Science initiative we are building an international network, inviting prominent female academics within and beyond the field of Engineering to speak at our events. 

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 Professor Simen Ådnøy Ellingsen, e-mail: Simen Å. Ellingsen ( . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Ingrid Wiggen, 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: 08.05.2024.


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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Questions about the position

Simen Ådnøy Ellingsen

Deadline 8th May 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Høgskoleringen 1, 7491 Trondheim

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