PhD Candidate in Discrete Optimization

Trondheim, Norway
01 Sep 2017
End of advertisement period
29 Sep 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management

There is a temporary position available at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management as PhD Candidate in Discrete Optimization for a period of 3 years. This is an educational position which will provide promising research recruits the opportunity for professional development through studies towards a PhD. The position is connected to the PhD-program at the Faculty of Economics and Management and the faculty will be your employer.

The Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management has at the moment employed 23 professors, 9 Associate Professors, 7 Post Docs and 27 PhD Candidates. For further information about the department, see our website

The PhD Candidate will be part of the Section for Managerial Economics, Finance and Operations Research.

The candidate will be working within the research project “Design and Experimental Analysis of Novel Integrated Optimization Methods” (AXIOM) funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Faculty of Economics and Management at NTNU. There are three main partners within the project: 1) Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management at NTNU, 2) Molde University College, and 3) SINTEF Digital. Collaboration with world leading research groups from Portugal, Canada, USA, Italy, and Brazil is also an integral part of the project. The main objective of the project is to design novel integrated methods for solving complex discrete optimization problems. The expected results are innovative methods combining elements from exact methods, metaheuristics, and heterogeneous computing. 

AXIOM has four workpackages (WPs). WP1 starts from exact methods and analyzes how these methods can be extended and improved using heuristics. WP2 investigates how exact methods are best utilized within a metaheuristic framework. WP3 develops algorithms that fully utilize all processing elements of modern PCs and are flexible and scalable. In WP4 experimental data are collected, analyzed, and synthesized into new knowledge and understanding. The candidate will mainly work within WP1.

The developed methods will be generic, but the inventory routing problem is the main case. The inventory routing problem (IRP) is a generalization of the vehicle routing problem and is concerned with the repeated distribution of products from supply facilities to demand points over a given planning period. The objective is to minimize the distribution costs during the planning period without causing stock-outs or overflows at any of the customers or producers.

The IRP is interesting from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective since it integrates parts of a supply chain that traditionally are managed separately. The problem arises when the consumer allows the supplier, or a third party, to decide on the timing and size of deliveries. The increased flexibility that the supplier gains from this agreement can be turned into reduced costs for the whole supply chain. The theoretical interest comes from the challenge of coordinating three notoriously hard problems (vehicle routing, inventory management, and scheduling of deliveries), and developing theory and solution methods for the coordinated problem.

A number of different versions of the IRP exist and both road-based and maritime applications are found in the research literature. The research group at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management is ranked as one of the leading groups on maritime transportation and has worked extensively on maritime inventory routing problems. The research fellow within AXIOM will extend previous research done by the group and push the research frontier further.


Employment will be activated in accordance to existing regulations of 31.01.06. The requirement for the position is a completed master’s degree in Industrial Economics and Technology Management or education to equivalent level. Students finishing their education within one year are also welcome to apply and will have the possibility to be appointed the position given that the grades from the last part of the education are satisfactory. Applicants must have a strong academic record from their previous studies, and must have a weighted average grade for the last two years of their master's or equivalent education (equivalent to 120 credits) of B or higher 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 admitted only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

Applicants also have to address the following selection criteria:


  • Interest and solid background in discrete optimization
  • High level of personal responsibility, initiative, and ability to work in a project team
  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English
  • Willingness and ability to communicate and work together with technical subject matter experts
  • Ability to work independently and to take initiatives


  • Experience in programming
  • Excellent communication skills with both technical and administrative staff
  • Knowledge of written and spoken Norwegian

Salary and Working Conditions

The PhD position is paid according to salary level 50 in the national salary scheme, minimum gross NOK 432.300,- per year, of which 2 % is deducted for the State Pension Scheme.

Please find more information about the appointment of PhD Candidates in NTNUs supplementary purviews of 23.01.12,

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants. The employee is expected to accept possible changes in work tasks. Primary residency in Trondheim is a prerequisite.

It is a major political objective to achieve a balance of age and gender in the national labor force and to recruit people with an immigrant background. Women are encouraged to apply.


Employment in a PhD position requires admission to a PhD-program in Industrial Economics and Technology Management. Information about the PhD-program is found at

The application should include:

  • CV, recommendations, certificates and diplomas.
  • Publications and other relevant scientific work.

Joint work will be evaluated. If it is difficult to identify the contributions from individuals in a join piece of work, applicants should enclose a short descriptive summary of what he/she contributed to the work.

Information about the applicants may be open to public inspection as provided by the Freedom of Information Act.

Further information about the position may be obtained from Professor Henrik Andersson, e-mail, Professor Marielle Christiansen, e-mail or Associate Professor Magnus Stålhane, e-mail

An application including attachments must be submitted via Applications sent to the contact persons will not be considered as relevant.

Deadline: 29.09.2017