Postdoc position in Acoustic methods for prediction of geological conditions while drilling

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 24 Sep 2023

24th September 2023

  • English

The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum has a vacancy for a 
Postdoc position in Acoustic methods for prediction of geological conditions while drilling
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About the job

We have a vacancy for a PostDoc candidate at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) in Acoustic methods for detection and prediction of geological features while drilling - IV-115/23.

The project is a part of the BRU21 program – a large-scale research and innovation program focusing on digital and automation solutions for the offshore energy industry – see the video presentation here.

Acoustic methods are very important for safe and efficient drilling of wells for oil and gas production as well as CO2 storage. Wells with the diameter varying between 12 cm and 1 meter and length of several kilometers, extend through various geological features which can affect safety and efficiency of the drilling process. Hard stringer – a relatively thin layer of hard rock – is one of such features. It is important to detect/predict hard stringers (and other features) at a distance ahead of the drilled well. Since drilling emits significant acoustic energy into the rock ahead and around the well, it is, in principle, possible to detect these geological features with acoustic methods. However, very complex, uncertain and noisy environment in the well makes this task very challenging. A previous research project conducted at NTNU indicated the possibility of solving this challenge by employing a specific type of machine learning. This methodology needs to be further developed for hard stringers and tested in experiments.

The PostDoc project will focus on developing and testing (lab tests, simulations and/or field trials) methods for acoustics-based detection and prediction of hard stringers ahead of the drilled well.

The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions.

Your immediate leader is the head of the department.

Duties of the position

For the current position, the scope of work / objectives are as follows:

  • Develop acoustic methods for detection/prediction of hard stringers while drilling: signal processing (e.g. advanced filtering), data analytics (e.g. machine learning), configuration of sensors and/or acoustic sources, etc.
  • Verify the concept in a laboratory setup:  scale down the problem to the laboratory scale, develop the experimental setup, plan and conduct experiments.
  • Test and optimize the developed methods with simulations (e.g. in Comsol or other relevant software package) and, possibly, with field data
  • The candidate must engage in BRU21 activities as required

Required selection criteria
  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree on a topic relevant to the project (e.g., acoustics, seismics, physics) or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.
  • If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.
  • Good written and oral English language skills
  • Proficiency in Matlab and/or Python 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Ph.D Candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate.

Preferred selection criteria
  • Experience with machine learning (e.g., Keras, TensorFlow)
  • Relevant industrial and / or research experiences
  • Creativity and innovation

Personal characteristics
  • High level of personal responsibility and initiative
  • Work independently as well as part of a team in accordance with the project objectives

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 Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 595 500 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 2 years. Employment for 3 years may be relevant after assessment and consultation with the individual applicant.

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 funded by AkerBP – an industrial partner of the BRU21 program.

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 or Norwegian. 

Publications and other scientific work must be attached to the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You must  therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.  

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following): 

  • CV and certificates
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's-, master's- and PhD degrees. If you have not yet completed your Ph.D, you must provide confirmation on your estimated date for the doctoral dissertation, or that your PhD thesis has been submitted
  • A copy of the doctoral thesis. If you are close to submitting, or have recently submitted your thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed doctoral degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 items)
  • Research plan
  • Name and contact information of three referees

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. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well. 
Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief 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 a strength. We want our faculty and staff to reflect Norway’s culturally diverse population and we continuously seek to hire the best minds. This enables NTNU to increase productivity and innovation, improve decision making processes, raise employee satisfaction, compete academically with global top-ranking institutions and carry out our social responsibilities within education and research. NTNU emphasizes accessibility and encourages qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender identity, ability status, periods of unemployment or ethnic and cultural background.

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 Professor Alexey Pavlov, telephone +47 974 15 395, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Eli Meistad, e-mail:

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: 24.09.2023 

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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.


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.

Questions about the position

Eli Meistad

Seniorrådgiver HR


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24th September 2023


NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




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