PhD Candidate in Timber Engineering

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 16 May 2024

11 May 2024
Job Information

Research Field

Researcher Profile

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

Application Deadline

16 May 2024 - 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 have a vacancy for a Ph.D. Candidate within the timber structures’ group at the Department of Structural Engineering.

The timber structures group at NTNU has had a great development over the last years. The research interests of the group are focused on development of structural concepts for mid-rise timber buildings, timber bridges with long spans, development of high-performance connections based on threaded rods, static and dynamic testing of timber components and investigation of fracture and high-cycle fatigue. The research methods are based on both small-scale and full-scale experimental testing and on Finite Element Modelling.

Timber structures have gained increasing attention in the European construction field because of their sustainability, cost effectiveness, and reduced self-weight. The use of wood is particularly beneficial because of its low carbon footprint compared to other construction materials such as concrete and steel. Wood products can achieve high mechanical performance not only at the material level, but also at structural level, as it was proved by the recent efforts to design and construct high timber buildings in Europe. Such buildings require performant connections in terms of stiffness and resistance to achieve sufficient serviceability and safety. Performant moment-resisting connections can contribute to the lateral stiffness of the building, reducing the need for diagonal bracing or walls and allowing for more spacious buildings. An innovative moment-resisting beam-to-column connection has recently been developed at NTNU, based on friction, and utilizing threaded rods as fasteners.

The design life of load-carrying wooden structures is recommended to be up to 100 years by the Eurocodes. However, the long-term mechanical deterioration of wood driven by cyclic variations of the environmental conditions is a challenging topic for large structures. Furthermore, increasing circularity and prolonging the service life of buildings and structural components is a step forward towards more sustainable, resource-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly construction. Therefore, the response of the connection subjected to long-term loading and moisture effects should be investigated, as well as the potential for disassembling/reassembling. Moreover, design recommendations about the long-term performance need to be developed for the application of such connections.

The scope of this Ph.D. project is to investigate the long-term behaviour of moment-resisting connections with threaded rods subjected to permanent load under varying climate conditions and evaluate the long-term effects on the structural response of buildings.

The research will involve both finite element modelling and experimental work. The research will involve cooperation within the framework of an international project.

The Ph.D. project aims to start in August/September 2024. The Ph.D. position holder will be required to work in Trondheim, together with the rest of the timber structures group.

Your immediate leader is Associate Professor Francesco Mirko Massaro.

Duties of the position

  • Complete the PhD training consisting of courses (minimum 30 ECTS credits) 
  • Review of existing literature on long-term response of timber connections.
  • Experimental testing of threaded rods embedded in timber subjected to permanent load under varying climate conditions.
  • Evaluation of long-term properties of connections with threaded rods by use of experimental and/or finite element method.
  • Assessment of the effects of creep deformations on the ultimate and serviceability limit state of timber buildings with connections consisting of threaded rods.
  • Determination of the required tolerances of the connections to facilitate reassembly of structural components.
  • The Ph.D. candidate shall publish the research outcomes in internationally recognized journals and conferences.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Structural 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.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by August 15th.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program .
  • You must have good written and oral English language skills.

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

  • Suitable background (M.Sc. degree or equivalent) within structural engineering and/or timber engineering.
  • Knowledge of Finite Element software (e.g. Abaqus or similar)
  • Programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python or similar).
  • Knowledge of European standards for the design of buildings (Eurocodes)

Personal characteristics

  • be highly motivated and diligent.
  • be able to work both independently and as part of a group.
  • be able to cooperate within the framework of an international project.
  • have good communication skills in scientific writing and oral presentations.

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 3 years, with a possible extension to 4 years with 25 % teaching duties.

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.
  • 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 Francesco Mirko Massaro, email [email protected] . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Kristine Grønvold, 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: 03.05.2024

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 Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering .

Deadline 16th May 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Materialteknisk, Richard Birkelands vei 1A, 7034 Trondheim

Additional Information
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