Postdoctoral Fellow in Experimental Physics/Fluid Mechanics: Free Surface Turbulence

Updated: 5 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 May 2023

About the position

We announce a 4-year postdoctoral fellowship as part of an ERC project, for experimental work in the one-of-a-kind water channel facility  at NTNU Trondheim, Norway. The candidate should have an excellent record in a relevant area of experimental physics; fluid mechanics expertise is an advantage but not necessary (see selection criteria below).

The experiments will be unique in combining tailored waves, turbulence and mean flow simultaneously. This is a rare opportunity for an excellent candidate with experimental background to work in a highly active, ambitious, multinational research team in a stimulating environment.

You will work in the group led by Professor Simen Å. Ellingsen

The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions. The latest start-up date is January 2024.

The project WaTurSheD, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), concerns the triple interactions of waves, turbulence and shear currents (WTC) and how they mix waters beneath a water surface. How heat and gas are mixed into the ocean is crucial to ocean and climate modelling, but the underlying physics are not well understood, something the project will address; thus the research is a scientifically exciting study of fundamental fluid mechanics, and important to our future.

You will be responsible for an extensive laboratory campaign in the Large Water Channel (Jooss et al. 2020, J. Fluid Mech. 911, A4 ), in close collaboration with several other postdocs and PhD students. A recent publication from the same project is Smeltzer et al 2023 J. Fluid Mech. 962, R1

The applicant should include a brief research proposal of no more than one page (see below).

Duties of the position

  • Planning, preparing and executing state-of-the-art experiments
  • Some management and supervision tasks in the research group, including preparation of article manuscripts.
  • Some minor departmental and teaching tasks

Required selection criteria

  • You must have completed a doctoral degree in physics or mechanical engineering. If you can document that the PhD degree will in all probability be obtained before the announced start-up date, 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.
  • Extensive experimental research experience in a relevant branch of the physical sciences at a level publishable in high quality international journals is an absolute requirement.
  • Excellent English language skills, including documented skill in independent scientific writing (e.g., article manuscripts). A responsibility of the position will be to help bring manuscripts within the research group up to a publishable standard.
  • A strong international publication record in highly reputable journals, with emphasis on quality over quantity.

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

Preferred selection criteria

  • The primary criterion is laboratory experience in a relevant area of physics at a high international level.
  • Experience with experimental fluid mechanics is a clear advantage, in particular turbulent flows and particle-image velocimetry (PIV) and/or free-surface flows (including waves). However, an excellent candidate with a strong general experimental physics background can often learn quickly – the ability to adapt to new fields should be argued and documented.
  • Previous knowledge of turbulence and/or surface waves is an advantage, as is experience with laser based and/or optical flow measurement.
  • Experience with building and developing laboratory set-ups is particularly valuable.
  • A background in curiosity-driven fundamental research is preferred over applied/industrial engineering research.
  • Female applicants are particularly encouraged (or other non-male gender).

NOTE: a background in computational fluid mechanics with standard software (e.g. ANSYS, OpenFOAM) is not particularly relevant and does not itself qualify for the position.

Personal characteristics

  • enthusiastic and driven
  • efficient while diligent
  • inventive, able to find creative solutions to problems
  • a team player and generous collaborator
  • tolerant and flexible in a highly diverse environment

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities. Due to the extended responsibilities within the research group, statements from references will be important, and the interview stage will be done carefully, possibly involving two rounds of interviews depending on the applicants.

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 584 500 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 4 years.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants  (in Norwegian), 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.

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
    • in English; provide an official/professional translation if necessary.
    • 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
    • for transcripts from countries outside Norway, please include an official explanation of grades for international comparison (often provided by the awarding University).
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 items)
  • Research plan, maximum 1 page (see below)
  • Name and contact information of three referees

Research plan: Candidates are required to submit a one-page sketch on how they plan to use their scientific background and research ambitions to address the research challenges of this position. You should describe ideas for future investigations; it is understood that the topic may not be your speciality – the key is to demonstrate understanding of excellent experimental research in the context of this position. For examples of recent experiments in our laboratory, refer to  and .

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 .

EPT has established EPT Women in Science . The group is focused on supporting female PhD Candidates, Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Assistants and permanent academic employees within the Department. This support aims to help develop the careers of female PhD Candidates, Postdocs and Research Assistants, and is also made visible to our student body to encourage them to consider an academic path. As part of the EPT Women in Science initiative we are building an international network, inviting prominent female academics within and beyond the field of Engineering to speak at our events.

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  (in Norwegian). You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Simen Å Ellingsen, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Emmy Høiseth, 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: 31.05.2023


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 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.

Deadline 31st May 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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