PhD Candidate in Fluid-Structure Interaction for FOWTs including Nonlinear Structural Mechanics

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 14 Mar 2024

14th March 2024

  • English

The Department of Marin Technology has a vacancy for a
PhD Candidate in Fluid-Structure Interaction for FOWTs including Nonlinear Structural Mechanics
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About the job

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

This position will focus on research in fluid-structure interaction, laying the foundation for advanced structural analysis of floating wind turbines (FOWTs) accounting for nonlinear structural behaviour. The project's objective is to accurately model aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loads by incorporating the effects of nonlinear structural mechanics on these loads, extending beyond just limited linear elastic structural responses. However, this position does not encompass extensive structural analysis.

The research will be carried out in two main phases. The first phase includes co-simulation for two-way coupled analysis using CFD software (e.g., STAR-CCM+, Ansys Fluent, and OpenFOAM) and the finite element code Abaqus. The structural analysis must be performed using Abaqus with nonlinear structural mechanics. Examples include material non-linearity (e.g., plasticity and viscoelasticity in both conventional and novel materials), geometric non-linearity (e.g., under extreme weather conditions, collision, buckling, and material degradation), complex joint and connection behaviour (e.g., gapping, sliding, or other complex contact interactions), and novel design concepts that allow for large deflections in the structural members.

The selected candidate will be responsible for validating the CFD-based models against experimental data, which could be sourced from existing literature or developed as part of their PhD project at NTNU. In the second phase, simplified, engineering fidelity models will be developed (e.g., using Ansys Aqwa, Abaqus Aqua, and HydroDyn+AeroDyn) and compared with the CFD-based models to document their level of accuracy and limitations. It is notable that the PhD candidate will consider the controller effects in the numerical model. Since the ultimate goal is to perform seamless Hydro-Servo-Aero-Structural (with nonlinear mechanics) analysis in Abaqus, development of Fortran subroutines for the wind and wave loads as well as the control systems may be expected.

Your immediate leaders are your supervisor and the Head of the Department.

Duties of the position
  • conduct original, cutting-edge research, including critical literature review to identify the state-of-the-art and research gaps, designing research projects and methodologies, and generating, collecting, and analysing data
  • publish findings in top-tier journals and present at international conferences
  • collaborate actively within the project team and with external partners
  • engage in professional development through attending seminars, lectures, and workshops as well as networking (all supported financially and professionally)
  • participate in teaching courses and workshops as well as the supervision of master’s students

Required selection criteria
  • relevant background in Marine, Mechanical, Aerospace or Structural Engineering, or a related discipline
  • strong knowledge in fluid dynamics, including hydrodynamics and aerodynamics
  • expertise in CFD and familiarity with simplified hydrodynamic analysis tools such as Ansys Aqwa and Abaqus Aqua
  • education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • 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 August 2024
  • meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program ( )
  • good English skills both written and spoken

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
  • proficiency in finite element analysis, especially with Abaqus
  • familiarity with OpenFAST and its modules
  • programming skills in Python and Fortran

Personal characteristics
  • self-motivated with intellectual curiosity
  • strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • attention to details
  • excellent communication, collaboration, and networking abilities
  • ability to work independently and as part of a team

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer
  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

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 4 years with 25 % teaching duties dedicated to the department.
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.

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
  • 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
  • cover letter explaining your motivation and qualifications for the position
  • research proposal aligned with the position's objectives including a brief background and the state-of-the-art, research questions, methodologies, and anticipated outcomes
  • contact information for three referees
  • documents indicating research or professional background relevant to the position (publications, project report, etc.)

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 Mojtaba Mokhtari, [email protected]. If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Marit Gjersvold, [email protected].

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: 14.03.2024

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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.

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We develop methods and technology related to the blue economy: oil and gas extraction at sea, ship technology and the equipment industry, fisheries and aquaculture. We also have a strong commitment to the development of sustainable solutions for offshore renewable energy, coastal infrastructure, and marine robotics. Marine technology helps to solve major global challenges related to the environment, climate, energy, food and efficient transport. The Department of Marine Technology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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14th March 2024


NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




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