Postdoc within Simulation-Based Testing with Automatic Scenario Generation and Adaptation

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Oct 2023

About the job

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to join our team for a two-year fellowship position. The primary objective of this position is to qualify for senior academic roles while contributing to the project "SIMPLEX: The role of simulation in assurance of intelligent and complex systems". This collaborative initiative involves DNV, Zeabuz, and NTNU, and focuses on the development of a comprehensive framework for simulation-based testing of autonomous systems.

The need for new sustainable modes of urban transportation is driven by factors such as growing coastal cities, congested roads, increased demand for personal mobility, the establishment of zero-emission zones in urban areas, and the general public's call for sustainable transport solutions. To address this, one promising solution is the utilization of urban waterways for small and medium-sized electric passenger ferries. However, realizing the potential benefits of these ferries hinges on reducing or eliminating the need for on-board manning. Despite the rapid development of technology for autonomous passenger ferries, the lack of trust in their safety remains a primary obstacle to their widespread deployment.

The main goal of the SIMPLEX project is to address this challenge by developing a framework for holistic simulation-based testing of autonomous systems that will help build the trust needed to deploy the systems into society.

The postdoc's role in the project will be to contribute to this framework by focusing on the development of methods and tools for automatic simulation-based testing. This includes the building and automatic adaptation of relevant scenarios, developing ways of ensuring sufficient scenario exploration and coverage, and research how to evaluate test outcome automatically in an efficient manner. The candidate will also contribute towards testing the developed tools and methods on real-world use cases focused on urban passenger ferry systems.

You will work within an interesting research project, benefiting from cooperation with highly engaged and diverse industrial partners. The main supervisor is Associate Professor Børge Rokseth who has a background in system modelling and simulation, system safety assessment and system assurance. The immediate leader is Prof. Sebastien Gros, Head of Dept. of Cybernetics.

Duties of the position

  • Develop and Refine Framework: Develop and refine a comprehensive framework that combines safety requirements and automatic testing of autonomous systems. This includes designing methodologies, algorithms, and tools to ensure that safety requirements are met and to identify any potential weaknesses in the system. Focus on creating innovative approaches for scenario generation and exploration, ensuring a wide range of test scenarios are covered to thoroughly evaluate the performance and safety of autonomous systems.
  • Collaborative Work: Collaborate closely with DNV and Zeabuz to understand their requirements, develop relevant tools and methodologies, and integrate them into their work processes and simulators, ensuring practical applicability and industry relevance.
  • Use Case Demonstrations: Collaborate with the project team to demonstrate the developed framework on specific use cases within the SIMPLEX project. This involves selecting appropriate scenarios, executing simulations, and analyzing the results to validate the capabilities of the testing framework.
  • Publication and Dissemination: Actively publish research findings in reputable scientific journals and present at relevant conferences to contribute to the academic community's knowledge in the field. Ensure effective dissemination of research outcomes and insights to research partners within the SIMPLEX consortium, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange.
  • Supervision and Mentoring: Assist in supervising and mentoring master students involved in the project. Provide guidance, support, and technical expertise to ensure their successful contribution to the research objectives.
  • Continuous Learning and Professional Development: Stay updated on the latest advancements in autonomous systems, simulation techniques, and safety assurance methods. Engage in professional development activities, attend relevant workshops or training, and actively participate in discussions and forums related to the field.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian PhD, in a field relevant to the goals of this position, for example: formal verification, systems engineering, system modelling and simulation, control engineering, or computer science. If you can document that the PhD thesis has been submitted, your application can be assessed even if you have not yet defended your dissertation. Documentation of the obtained doctoral degree must be presented before you can take up the position.
  • You must have experience in scientific computing within development environments such as Python and/or C++.
  • Good oral and written English.

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

  • Industrial or academic experience with modelling and simulation, simulation-based testing, smart testing or system verification activities.
  • Industrial or academic experience with autonomous system development within robotics, autonomous driving or other relevant fields. 
  • Good collaborative skills as the candidate will work closely with other people in the project.
  • Good track record of publications in reputable journals.  

Personal characteristics

  • Motivation and a desire to make an impact on the development and application of autonomous systems. 
  • Adaptive and oriented towards finding solutions.
  • Good at communication.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 604 900 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.

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 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. 

Publications and other scientific work must follow 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.

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 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
  • 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 continually maintain and improve your professional development and be flexible regarding any organizational changes.

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 Børge Rokseth, telephone 922 42 259, email:  . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Berit Dahl, 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: 15.10.2023. 

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 Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics  is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline: 15th October 2023
Employer: NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality: Trondheim
Scope: Fulltime
Duration: Project
Place of service: NTNU, 7491 Trondheim

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