PhD Position within Virtual Prototyping of Maritime Operations System

Ålesund, Norway
06 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
01 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The majority of the Ocean Space is still unexplored, and several industry sectors are searching for opportunities where the Ocean Space is challenged in various ways. For more than 50 years, oil and gas has been produced from offshore fields. The wind industry has moved from land-based to offshore wind turbine installations. Furthermore, the increasing need for various minerals has gradually started a subsea mining industry. All these examples have to face operations in the changing and challenging environment in the ocean. Virtual prototyping (VP) is a recognized method to test and validate solutions before committing to a physical prototype, given its ability to quickly design, simulate and evaluate complex structures operating in remote environments, such as a vessel installing an offshore wind farm or a subsea equipment used for mining operations.

The PhD should study VP methods for design, simulation and evaluation of maritime operations systems. It is known that the development of systems and equipment for the offshore industry is complicated and expensive. As the computers have become more and more powerful, and the confidence with mathematical modeling of the physics gradually has increased, computer analysis of maritime systems and equipment have become widely accepted to document the behavior of the technical solutions.

More recently, simulator environments have been developed to a level where partners in an offshore installation project can come together in a real time virtual reality to test out both the functionality of the equipment and the planned procedures to carry out the installation project. This means that maritime operations can now be tested out in a realistic and mobile environment to a highly reduced cost compared to the full-scale prototypes. The involved maritime personnel can train to carry out their job at no risk. A simulator environment for real time simulations is under development in the SFI MOVE project, and the PhD is expected to be a part of this development group. 

The next step in the development is to assist in building virtual scenes where both the various maritime operation scenarios as well as the particular vessel can be defined. Examples of use for these VP methods are:

  • Design of maritime operations (e.g. installation of subsea equipment or maintenance of offshore wind parks), including structures (e.g. vessel, AUVs), process (e.g. installation, intervention), environment (e.g. sea, wind) and human factor (e.g. engineers, crew).
  • Design of a vessel or other complex maritime system dedicated to a certain operation. The vessel size and behavior should be possible to vary quickly through parameterization and/or modularization.
  • Evaluate how well various vessel/equipment configuration works in a given operation scenario (by comparing critical response values as well as cost indicators).
  • Evaluate the optimum operation of the vessel, i.e. what is the preferred loading condition, what is the preferred vessel heading under the actual present sea conditions.
  • Operation limits (based on established response-based criteria).
  • Use available wave radar data to forecast the wave situation for the next 60-120 s. This may be utilized in a critical phase of a lifting operation (e.g. through the splash zone) or in the critical phase where the gangway is connected to a vessel or an installation.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the research we expect applicants to be willing and able to approach problems holistically. Experience from maritime projects will be essential, and close contact with the industry partners in the SFI MOVE project is necessary. The candidate must appreciate the needs and position of the end user of a virtual scene, as well as the technical challenges from both a physical and a computer perspective. Advanced simulator facilities and laboratories are available for the research.


The position requires a Master’s degree in marine technology, or a similar relevant area. The described PhD project involves a substantial part of computer programming, and the right candidate needs to have good programming skills (object-oriented programming). A profound comprehension of mathematics and physics is expected and some background in cybernetics is appreciated.

The successful candidate should be enthusiastic and highly motivated and be willing to work both independently and with other researchers. The successful candidate must also fulfill the requirement for admission to a doctoral program:

  • The applicants must hold a Master degree, with an average grade B or better measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) grades, or similar education at the equivalent level
  • Good theoretical and analytical skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as in team
  • Keen interest in the wider context of own research and ability to engage in cross-disciplinary teams
  • Written and oral fluency in English (in case of foreign applicant). The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:
    • 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.


PhD Candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross NOK 442 400 before tax. There will be a 2 % deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund from gross wage.

Engagement as a PhD Candidate is done in accordance with “Regulation concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”, given by the Ministry of Education and Research of 19.07.2010. The goal of the positions is to obtain a PhD degree. Applicants will engage in an organized PhD training program, and appointment requires approval of the applicants plan for a PhD study within three months from the date of commencement.

The position is of 3 years duration (or 4 years of which 25% teaching duties).

For further information about the position, please contact Associate professor Karl H. Halse ( Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering ( - NTNU Ålesund

See for more information.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants. The positions adhere to the Norwegian Government's policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. Women are encouraged to apply.

The application

The application must contain information of educational background and work experience. Certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be enclosed. Applications with CV, grade transcripts and other enclosures should be submitted via this webpage at

Mark the application with IV-194/18.

Start-up date may be discussed, but tentatively August 2018

Application deadline is 1. July 2018

According to the new Freedom of Information Act, information concerning the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the list of applicants.

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Ålesund
  • Place of service Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineeri
  • Jobbnorge ID 153938
  • Internal ID 2018/12723
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!