Postdoctoral Fellow in numerical modelling of turbulent reactive flows configurations

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 06 Dec 2021

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At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 42,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

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About the position 

We have a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Fellow position at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT), within the Thermo-fluids research group. This position will build upon and extend the ongoing collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia NL - Livermore, California), on advanced modelling of turbulent combustion processes.

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

The appointment has a duration of 3 years and is financed by the LowEmission Centre, which is dedicated to the reduction of CO2 emissions from the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The research will be an integral part of scientific activities on carbon-free firing of internal combustion engines (ICEs) and gas turbines (GTs) for power-generation and propulsion applications.

The position will be supervised by Professor James Dawson and co-supervised by Adjunct Professor Andrea Gruber, both at NTNU, and by Dr. Jacqueline H. Chen of Sandia NL. The research activity will be conducted by the successful applicant both at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering of NTNU and at Sandia NL, where the applicant will be hosted for extended periods of time and integrated in Dr. Chen’s research group. It is envisaged that the successful candidate will spend a total of approximately 50% of the time allocated to this position at Sandia NL over several visits.

Duties of the position

The principal motivation of the research is the reduction of CO2 emissions in propulsion and power generation applications.  One very promising approach is to operate ICEs and GTs on zero-carbon fuels such as hydrogen and/or ammonia.  The research will focus on selected blends of ammonia-hydrogen-nitrogen which can be designed to have similar combustion properties as natural gas, and therefore enable transition (retro-fit) of existing propulsion and power-generation equipment to carbon-free operation with minimal modifications. More specifically, the aim of the postdoctoral project is to understand the turbulent combustion characteristics of ammonia-hydrogen-nitrogen fuel blends in order to enable optimization of the burner design and minimize emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases (NOx, N2O). This fundamental knowledge is a crucial enabling step to zero-emission ICEs and GTs for large-scale reductions in CO2 emissions.

The present postdoctoral project requires both excellent skills in development and application of Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) tools for peta- and exa-scale supercomputers and profound knowledge of the fundamental processes that control turbulent combustion to analyze the DNS results. The successful candidate will have access to and deploy several state-of-the-art DNS codes on large-scale High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities, and will be tasked with the implementation of significant additions/improvements to the codes in order to perform the research.

The successful candidate will join two internationally active research groups in advanced numerical modelling of turbulent reactive flows and work together with experienced post-doctoral researchers, as well as PhD students, across a wide variety of reactive flow problems. Several joint publications in internationally leading scientific journals and attendance at international conferences is expected.

The expected start date is as soon as possible.

Required selection criteria
  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian PhD 
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in mechanical, aerospace or chemical engineering, engineering sciences, applied physics or equivalent discipline
  • Strong academic track-record with impactful publications in internationally leading scientific journals
  • Strong background in unsteady numerical simulations of non-reactive and reactive turbulent flows (LES/DNS)
  • Strong programming skills in Fortran, C, C++, Python and MATLAB (or similar analysis packages)
  • Excellent command of the English language, and skilled in academic writing

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant   

Preferred selection criteria
  • Significant experience with state-of-the-art DNS tools for fluid mechanics and reacting flows
  • Experience in performing massively-parallel calculations on large-scale HPC facilities
  • Good written and oral English language skills 

Personal characteristics
  • Enthusiastic, ability to adapt and learn
  • Highly motivated and scientifically curious
  • Able to work effectively by themselves and in a team
  • Able to work in a structured and goal orientated manner
  • Able to work in a multi-cultural environment

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer 
  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment 
  • world-class expertise in developing and using state-of-the-art numerical modelling tools
  • 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 545 300 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.

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 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 (ta stilling til dette) 

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out 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: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's-, master's- and PhD degrees.  
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 15 items) 
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address 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 

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.  

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. 

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants. 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor James Dawson, email  or Adjunct Professor Andrea Gruber, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-consultant Renate Fjellheim, e-mail: .

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .  

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-245/21 when applying.  

Application deadline: 06.12.2021 


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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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