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PhD position in Circular Design Optimisation of Aluminium Extruded Crash Management Systems

About the job

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

A 3-year PhD position at the Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering in Gjøvik, is available, linked to a Horizon Europe EU funded project of ASEMlab. The project is dedicated to zero emission electric vehicles and especially the development of circular materials for the automotive industry. The successful candidate will focus on the circular design optimisation of aluminium extruded crash management systems (CMS). This research project combines operations research methodologies with machine learning techniques to revolutionise the design process, ensuring superior crash performance and enhanced circularity of automotive safety systems. Through this position, you will find an exceptional portfolio of industrial and academic partners from Norway and Europe, across a variety of sectors, while the PhD student is expected to largely collaborate with Benteler Automotive Raufoss AS. The successful candidate will join the Dept. of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering and will be part of ASEMlab team. ASEMlab is in possession of brand-new facilities for research, covering manufacturing, testing & characterization, non-destructive evaluation, recycling as well as advanced software for design and analysis. It has a strong portfolio of running (national and EU) projects and ongoing collaboration with the industry. NTNU in Gjøvik is one of the new campuses of NTNU, located close to Raufoss Industrial Park, Mustad Industrial Park and Sintef Raufoss.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Associated Professor Davar Hemyari. 

The PhD position aims to:

  • Develop mathematical models for structural, performance, and circularity aspects of aluminium extruded CMS, integrating machine learning techniques.
  • Formulate multi-objective optimisation problems using operations research techniques to balance crash performance and circularity goals.
  • Integrate predictive models based on machine learning algorithms into the optimisation framework to guide design space exploration.
  • Conduct sensitivity analysis using operations research methods to assess the robustness of optimised CMS designs.
  • Validate optimised designs through numerical simulations using LS-Dyna, Abaqus, or similar software, sensuring compliance with low-speed crash requirements such as the Euro NCAP, RCAR and ACEA standards.
  • Collaborate with industry partners to apply the optimised design methodology to real-world case studies.
  • Communicate research findings effectively through publications, presentations, and reports.
  • Given the involvement in different research programmes, professionality, exceptional communication skills as well as the ability to travel to project meetings and other dissemination activities, is a must. 

Duties of the position

  • Conduct literature reviews to gain insights into circular design principles, crash management systems, and optimisation methodologies.
  • Acquire relevant data on historical crash performance, circularity metrics, material properties, and manufacturing processes.
  • Develop mathematical models and optimisation algorithms for CMS design optimisation.
  • Integrate predictive models into the optimisation framework and conduct sensitivity analysis.
  • Validate optimised designs through numerical simulations, physical prototyping, and experimental testing.
  • Collaborate with industry partners to apply the optimised design methodology to real-world case studies.
  • Present and publish research results.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background and Master's degree in mechanical engineering, materials science and Engineering, or a related field as Industrial Engineering, Systems Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering or Circular 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.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (link)
  • Specialization or coursework in operations research, optimisation techniques, machine learning, structural engineering, and sustainability.
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, MATLAB, or R for data analysis and optimisation.
  • Experience with crash simulations using LS-Dyna and Abaqus software.
  • Familiarity with low-speed crash requirements such as Euro NCAP, RCAR and ACEA standards.
  • Knowledge of aluminium manufacturing processes and their implications for sustainability such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
  • Strong knowledge of circularity aspects and environmental impact.

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Structural Engineering, or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree. The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, Post-doctoral and research assistant.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English language written, and communication skills is a prerequisite. The candidate is expected to be fluent in written and oral English language skills. Candidates from universities outside Scandinavia and English-speaking countries are kindly requested to document English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)). 

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted) 
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

In extraordinary circumstances, formal documentation of language skills can be relinquished. In such cases the candidate’s language skills will be assessed in a personal interview.

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

  • Familiarity with industry-specific standards for crash testing, including Euro NCAP, RCAR and ACEA standards.
  • Exposure to circular economy principles and life-cycle assessments through coursework or extracurricular activities.
  • Previous involvement in research projects, internships, or work experiences related to automotive engineering, sustainability, or optimisation.
  • Experience from industry and /or experience from working in projects with multiple partners will be considered a merit.
  • Previous experience working in National /European projects will be considered a plus.
  • Ambitious, proactive with a strong ability to work on problem-oriented activities.

Personal characteristics

We are looking for a positive, balanced personality who can think creatively and critically. The candidate must have excellent analytical and collaboration skills as well as an ability to work independently and in teams. Cooperation skills and communication skills are important for the position and will be highly weighted in the selection process. 

We think it is important that you have:

  • a demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, such as completing a master's thesis or participating in research projects during studies.
  • strong analytical skills and problem-solving abilities, as evidenced by academic coursework and projects.
  • ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary research teams, demonstrated through coursework, group projects, or internships.
  • excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. This is essential for presenting research findings and collaborating with industry partners.
  • ability to be a key team player.
  • research mind-set and are application oriented.
  • ability and motivation to be a self-starter with initiative and ability to set up, organise and execute your research.
  • a strong motivation to contribute to cutting-edge research in the field of circular design optimisation for automotive safety systems.

Emphasis will be placed on education, previous experience, and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

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 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 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 (Departments to choose from the following): 

  • Cover letter (tailored to the position)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Certified copy of transcripts and diplomas with grades from post graduate studies (in English)
  • Research statement dedicated to the needs of this position (max. 2 pages) that should include:
    • A short presentation of the motivation for a PhD student
    • How the applicant sees his/her background suitable for this position
    • The applicant’s view of research challenges within the area of this position
  • Names and contact details of at least 2 reference persons who we can contact
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis (1 page)

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 Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills, 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 Gjøvik has a population of 30 000 and is a town known for its rich music and cultural life. The beautiful nature surrounding the city is ideal for an active outdoor life! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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 Prof. Davar Hemyari,, +4797768949 or Prof. Sotirios Grammatikos, Director of ASEMlab,, phone: + 4790577561 . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Kristine Rognlid Hagaseth, HR consultant,

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: 17.06.2024

NTNU//Espen Taftø Vestad

Campus Gjøvik 2020

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 Manufacturing and Civil Engineering

Our profile of expertise can help to solve the world’s most important societal challenge: the development of sustainable solutions in industry and society. This profile includes research on modern industrial processes, use of new and recycled materials, new technological solutions and the application of new forms of organization and business models. The Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering

Deadline 17th June 202
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Gjøvik
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Teknologivegen 22, 2815 Gjøvik

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