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PhD Candidate in Safety Analysis Framework for Autonomously Operated Zero-Emission Marine Vessels

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

About the job

The maritime industry is changing fast with two big innovations: self-navigating (autonomous) ships and ships that don’t pollute (zero-emission), using clean fuels like hydrogen and ammonia. However, mixing these technologies is tricky. Autonomous ships use complex computer systems to make decisions without human operator, and zero-emission ships use fuels that can be risky if not handled properly. Currently, we have a large number of studies to analyse the safety of either type on its own, but lack of a good way to evaluate both at the same time.

We need a new approach to make sure ships that are both autonomous and zero-emission are safe. This is important because these ships could make shipping cheaper, safer, and cleaner for the environment. We are looking for you who wants to develope a new way to analyse the safety of these advanced future ships, covering both the smart tech they use and the clean fuels they run on. It’s a big step towards making sure the future of shipping is both safe and green.

The main objective of your PhD research is to develop a new safety analysis framework for autonomously operated zero-emission marine vessels. Your research will specifically involve:

  • Identification of unique safety aspects of autonomous ships and zero-emission ships
  • Investigation on various safety analysis methods and frameworks for each of autonomous ships and zero-emission ships
  • Development of a new safety analysis method/framework for autonomously operated zero-emission ships
  • Demonstration of the new method/framework using a study case

You will be co-supervised by national/international industry partner(s). You can also have opportunities to collaborate with other research centres and projects at NTNU, like FME HYDROGENi, FME PROENERGY, SFI Autoship, and so on.

Your immediate leader is Associate Professor Hyungju Kim

Duties of the position

  • to take part in the mandatory PhD research education programme.
  • to conduct independent research and publish the results in recognised scientific journals
  • to develop and demonstrate a new safety analysis method/framework for autonomously operated zero-emission ships

Required selection criteria

  • you must have a professionally relevant background in mechanical engineering or naval architecture
  • you must have competence in risk analysis of marine vessels or autonomous systems or zero-emission systems. This can be proven by the academic papers/presentations, participation of research projects, 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 good 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

  • competence in risk analysis of autonomous ships and zero-emission ships
  • ability to present and publish your research results. This can be proven by your journal publications or conference presentations
  • experience in collaborate with industries. This can be proven by your research/work experience with industries

Personal characteristics

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

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.

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 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.
  • Project proposal (3-5 pages, excluding cover, references, etc.)
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

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 Hyungju Kim, 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: 05.05.2024


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 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 5th May 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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