PhD Candidate in Simulation-based System Stress Testing

Updated: 5 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 03 Dec 2023

4 Nov 2023
Job Information

Research Field

Computer science
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Established Researcher (R3)

Application Deadline

3 Dec 2023 - 00:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

About the job

We are currently seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to join our team. The primary goal of this position is to pursue doctoral education leading to the successful attainment of a doctoral degree while actively contributing to the 'OPTISTRESS' project, which is focused on 'System optimization and stress testing in co-simulations.' 

The OPTISRESS project involves SINTEF Ocean, SINTEF Ålesund, DNV, HAV Design, Norwegian Electric Systems, Corvus Energy and NTNU. It centers on the development of efficient methods for system optimization and stress testing, with a specific focus on their application in virtual prototyping for maritime systems and operations through co-simulation. The purpose is to enable more cost-efficient assessment and assurance of the robustness and safety of a ship, and to increase confidence in design decisions at an early stage. Recent developments in maritime co-simulation combined with methods for numeric optimization will be central to this development. 

The PhD candidate´s role in the project will be to focus on simulation-based stress testing methodologies, including Adaptive Stress Testing (AST). The overarching goal is to make the leap from utilizing relatively straightforward simulators where parameter variations like position trajectories are tested to identify for example sensor misdetection or collisions, to efficiently employing system simulators. This involves combining sets of parameters encompassing design specifications, control system variables, operational configurations, weather conditions and scenario parameters. This comprehensive approach allows for the assessment of emergent system behavior from the early stages of the design process through to implementation. 

The specific challenges that the PhD candidate will address include the implementation of AST or similar frameworks using system simulators, the establishment of reward functions or cost functions to aid the search for inadequate system performance, the formal definition of undesired and desired behavior at the system level, and the interpretation of results to detect and rectify weaknesses and design flaws within the system architecture.

You will work within an interesting research project, benefiting from cooperation with highly engaged and diverse industrial partners. Your main supervisor will be Associate Professor Børge Rokseth, a specialist in system modeling, simulation, system safety assessment, and system assurance.  The immediate leader is Prof. Sebastien Gros, Head of Dept. of Cybernetics.

Duties of the position

  • Create a co-simulation stress testing framework that encompasses the following components:
    •  Designing methodologies, algorithms, and tools to integrate the stress test algorithm within a co-simulation framework.
    •  Developing a method to specify desired or undesired system-level behaviors for testing purposes.
    •  Establishing a mechanism for evaluating test results and performance based on conducted tests.
    •  Exploring ways in which this framework can be leveraged to enhance system design."
  • Collaborative Work: Collaborate closely with project partners to understand their requirements, develop relevant tools and methodologies, and integrate them into their work processes, ensuring practical applicability and industry relevance.
  • Use Case Demonstrations: Collaborate with the project team to demonstrate the developed framework on the project´s use cases. This involves selecting appropriate scenarios, executing simulations, and analyzing the results to validate the capabilities of the testing framework.
  • Publication and Dissemination: Actively publish research findings in reputable scientific journals and present at relevant conferences to contribute to the academic community's knowledge in the field. Disseminate research outcomes and insights to research partners within the consortium.

Required selection criteria

  • 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 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 before 15.06.24. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the the PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics
  • You must have documented knowledge through courses, projects, or former professional experience withing modelling and simulation of dynamical systems, and/or cybernetics.
  • You have experience in scientific computing using languages such as C++ and/or Python

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

  • Good collaborative skills as the candidate will work closely with other people in the OPTISTRESS-consortium.
  • Good written and oral English.

Personal characteristics

  • Motivation and a desire to make an impact on the development and application of autonomous systems. 
  • Adaptive and oriented towards finding solutions.
  • Good at communication.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • the opportunity to collaborate closely with global industry leaders and innovators
  • 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 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics  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 on a daily basis.

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 follow 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 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.
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

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 Børge Rokseth email: [email protected]  . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Berit Dahl, e-mail: [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: 03.12.2023.

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 Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics  is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 3rd December 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service NTNU, 7491 Trondheim

Additional Information
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