PhD Research Fellow in Mechatronics

Updated: 10 days ago
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PhD Research Fellow in Mechatronics
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About the position

A 100 % position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science as a PhD Research Fellow in Mechatronics, affiliated to Top Research Centre Mechatronics at the Department of Engineering Sciences , for a period of three years. The position is located, at the present, at Campus Grimstad. The starting date is negotiable with the Faculty.

Electric powertrains have played a key role in the electrification for fishing, oil, and transport industries since advancements in power electronics, energy storage and machine design allow electric powertrains to be more energy-efficient and dynamic in tractions, vehicles, and wind turbines. Over 350 000 electric vehicles are registered by February 2021 in Norway, leading the world in a transition to zero-emission transportations. Electrified systems will be dominant in the future due to the government promotions and incentives of renewable energy generation and utilisation, and strict environmental regulations over possible fuel-based technologies. However, high-frequency pulses from the converters and compact designs result in additional losses, stresses, and limited cooling spaces, such that failures in modern powertrains occur more frequently than before. Unlike industrial production, electric powertrains in such applications operate dynamically, changing speed and torque according to varying application’s demands or external environment, e.g. wind conditions. Moreover, these powertrains are intensively exposed to mechanical-, chemical-, dust- and thermal stresses in harsh environment and thermal cycling due to the dynamic operation. Operations and maintenance alone make up to 30-40% of the life cycle costs in windfarms and other sectors, in which maintenance for electric powertrains is a prime contributor. Early fault detections and taking corrective or preventive actions are very important to deal with failures and maintenance in a cost-effective manner.


The objective of the research is to find new methods and improve the state-of-the-art for fault-tolerance control and fault diagnosis in electric powertrains due to component level electromechanical faults or cyber-attacks. The proposed methods must be robust against noise, have high accuracy, applicable to limited historic failure data. Dynamic models of electric powertrains shall be developed in high-fidelity hardware in the loop (HIL). Fault diagnosis and fault tolerance control algorithms are proposed and validated to tackle component faults and cyber-attacks in electric powertrains. 

This research work involves theoretical analysis, computer simulations, and validations on high-fidelity hardware in the loop and prototype development.

Close cooperation with other researchers working in the research theme on condition monitoring and other colleagues at the department is highly expected.

Required qualifications
  • Master’s degree within mechatronics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, control, electromechanics, renewable energy or a similar/related field. Applicants that will obtain a Master’s degree within springterm 2021 can also apply. 
  • Good knowledge of English, both written and oral. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), must document this through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
    • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the Paperbased Test (PBT), or 92 for the Internet-based Test (iBT)
    • IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with the result of 6.5

Provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident .

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme in Engineering and Science, specialization in mechatronics

Desired qualifications
  • Good experience and/or background in power electronics, electrical machines, electric drives, power systems, signal processing, applied mathematics and/or machine learning.
  • Good programming skills in e.g. Python, MATLAB, C++
  • Strong writing skills for research papers.
  • Experience from close collaboration with local industry.
  • Norwegian or another Scandinavian language, both written and oral

Personal qualities
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills.
  • The ability to work independently, with a proactive approach.
  • Creativity.
  • The ability to work in a goal-oriented, organized, and focused manner.
  • Motivation and strong interest in cutting-edge research.

Personal qualities and suitability for the position will be emphasised.

We offer
  • Professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation
  • Opportunities to expand expertise through interdisciplinary research.
  • Opportunities to mentor undergraduate and master students if desired.
  • A positive, inclusive, and diverse working environment.
  • Professional development in a large, exciting, and socially influential organisation.
  • Access to resources and expertise of Top Research Centre Mechatronics
  • Modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers.
  • Membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA .

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 482 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions. UiA, as a public university, does not charge tuition fees even for international students.

General information

A good working environment is characterised by its diversity. We therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply for the position, irrespective of gender, age, disability or cultural background. The University of Agder is an IW (Inclusive Workplace).

Women are strongly encouraged to apply for the position. 

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Read more about the employment process here.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right. 


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • Certificates and certified transcripts for bachelor's-, master's degree. Applicants with foreign higher education must attach an official description of the grading system used at the issuing institution.
  • List and links of the applicant's scientific publications, if any.
  • A one-page summary/abstract of Master’s thesis.
  • Names and contact information for two references.

Please do not submit large documents, like thesis or publications. If any additional information is required, the applicant will be informed later.

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

Application deadline: 09.04.21


For questions about the position:

  • Prof. Khang Huynh, tel. +47 37 23 34 21, e-mail
  • Acting Head of Department, Tom Viggo Nilsen, tel. +47 37 23 32 55, e-mail

For questions about the application process:

  • HR Advisor Lise Askbo Fylkesnes, tel. +47 37 23 31 25, e-mail
  • HR Advisor Solveig Roland Svendsberget , tel. +47 38 14 24 44/, mobile + 47 99 40 03 49, e-mail

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

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9th April 2021


University of Agder




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