PhD position in Chalk mechanics for hydrocarbon production - IV-139/23

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 15 Jan 2024

15th January 2024

  • English

The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum has a vacancy for a
PhD position in Chalk mechanics for hydrocarbon production - IV-139/23
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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.

We have a vacancy for a 3-year PhD fellowship at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The position is within the area of mechanics of chalk for hydrocarbon production for wellbore stability, chalk influx and solids production, and methods of failure mitigation. The study can be experimental, analytical, or numerical depending on the background, qualifications, and interests of the candidate.

It is expected that the candidate will interact closely with AkerBP in analyzing field data and operational practices with goal to integrate new research and technology in AkerBP field operations. The successful completion of the PhD may lead to future employment opportunities. There will be interaction with the current KSP-K project “Chalk influx and solids production mitigation in the North Sea fields” for transfer and application of technology developed in both projects. The research is relevant to several fields in energy, civil, and mechanical engineering, and engineering physics that involve coupled problems and failure.

The PhD student will be assigned to the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) and will be supervised by Prof. Alexandre Lavrov and co-supervised by Dr. Euripides Papamichos.

Your immediate leader is Head of Department.

Duties of the position
  • The goals of the PhD project are to develop, implement and test a software tool for chalk to simulate observed behavior in the laboratory including the failure mechanisms of chalk under anisotropic stresses and fluid flow.
  • The chalk model will incorporate:
    • Poro-elastoplastic model(s) with fluid flow for shear failure and compaction failure/pore collapse.
    • Water sensitivity.
    • Compaction dependent permeability.
    • Creep and rate dependency.
  • Simulation of field conditions relevant to production and analyses of field cases.

The work will be carried out in collaboration with SINTEF Industry, and AkerBP. It is envisioned that the candidate will spend a period working and analyzing field data at AkerBP premises in Stavanger under the supervision and guidance of AkerBP scientists and engineers.

Required selection criteria
  • Documented knowledge of solid mechanics/geomechanics, theory of elasticity, theory of plasticity.
  • Documented excellent written and oral English language skills and expression (CEFR Level C2 or equivalent).
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in 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 prior to employment. In this case, the job offer will be valid only if the candidate has at least B in the final master grade. The candidate can then be employed after the grades become available.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program ( )

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

It is advantageous if you have:

  • Knowledge of computational mechanics and engineering or computational physics and scientific programming skills (C++, Fortran, Python, MATLAB).
  • Knowledge of poromechanics.
  • Laboratory experience in solids mechanics/geomechanics.
  • Strong background in engineering mathematics.
  • Published articles in English.

Personal characteristics

We are looking for students who are:

  • Passionate about numerical modeling and research.
  • Creative thinkers and good communicators.
  • Working independently as well as part of a team in accordance with the project objectives.
  • Responsible and dependable.

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 without required 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

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
  • Specific documentation of essential qualifications is necessary, including English 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 available: Publications or other relevant research work. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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. (tas bort hvis ikke aktuelt)


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 Alexandre Lavrov, e-mail [email protected], and/or Dr Euripides Papamichos, e-mail [email protected]. If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Anne-Lise Brekken, 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: 15.01.2024.

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NTNU - knowledge for a better world

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 Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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15th January 2024


NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




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