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PhD position in Well Plugging and Abandonment

Trondheim, Norway
NOK 532 200 per annum
Closing date
15 Jun 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.

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) in Well Plugging and Abandonment (P&A) Technology and within the framework of the ongoing industry sponsored research program SFI – Center for Subsurface Well Integrity, Plugging and Abandonment (SWIPA)

Cement is the traditional material used in the well construction phase and in the well plugging and abandonment phase to seal off any leak paths between the reservoir and surroundings. Improved sealing performance using cement includes, among other things, the use of additives to make the cement more flexible and reduce crimping when the cement sets.  In some types of clay formation, the bore hole diameter will shrink and make a tight seal against the casing in the well bore. Bismuth can be an alternative material for improved sealing of wellbores. The metallic material, which has a typical melting point between 150 – 300 0C depending on material composition, is typically expanding 0,5 - 3% when it sets. For some applications, this material can be applied to avoid or reduce leaks and thus improve the integrity of the well.

The PhD research work will focus on the use of expanding materials like Bismuth, and investigate how this material affects the interaction between the casing, cement (if any) and formation,  and further how this  will affect sealing along the bore hole section. 

Your immediate leader is Head of Department.

Duties of the position

For the current position, the scope of work / objectives are as follows:

  • Determine properties of Bismuth alloy
    • Strength vs. temperature
    • Creep vs. temperature, stress and time
    • Degradation /corrosion resistance (Change of microstructure)
  • Laboratory tests: Expansion and sealing performance using Bismuth alloy in casing and casing annulus. Effect of reinforced Bismuth alloy plug
  • Modelling of interaction between /Bismuth alloy/ casing /cement/formation, and how the interaction is affecting sealing along the bore hole section
  • The candidate must engage in SWIPA activities as required
  • The candidate must commit to follow and complete the courses selected for his/her PhD programme

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in petroleum and/or mechanical engineering
  • 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 end of June 2024. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (
  • 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

  • Relevant industrial and / or research experiences
  • Creativity and innovation

Personal characteristics

  • High level of personal responsibility and initiative
  • Work independently as well as part of a team in accordance with the project objectives

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.

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 Norwegian or 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 one-page research proposal outlining how you would approach the research challange
  • academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be consideres in the assessment (up to 5)
  • Name and contact information of three referees

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. Sigbjørn Sangesland, telephone (+47) 918 97 308, e-mail If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Hr Consultant Anne-Lise Brekken, 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: 15.06.2024.


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 Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 15th June 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service S. P. Andersens vei 15A, 7491 Trondheim


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