PhD Candidate in Microstructure of Sea Spray Ice: Prediction of Icing on Marine Structures

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 25 Sep 2020

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About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate at Department of Structural Engineering .

NTNU Nanomechanical Lab , Department of Structural Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is seeking a PhD Candidate for a collaborative project on microstructure of sea spray ice. The PhD position is one of the two positions supported by the new project " Microstructure of Sea Spray Ice: Prediction of Icing on Marine Structures (MICROSPRAY)" co-funded by the PETROMAKS2 program of the Research Council of Norway and Equinor (2020-2024).

MICROSPRAY project: Sea spray icing implies a considerable risk and safety problem for the shipping and offshore industries. In cold, stormy weather sea spray ice can form extremely rapidly on ships and offshore structures. This process is, in contrast to normal ice formation on the surface of the sea or a lake, difficult to predict. This is mostly due to three complex interacting processes. First, the sea spray flux depends on spray generation created by breaking waves the transport of droplets with the wind. Second, sea spray ice accumulation is also dependent on cold air and water temperatures, the geometry and surface properties of a structure on which the ice is accumulating. Third, but not least, accumulation rates depend on the amount of unfrozen seawater entrapped in the porous spray ice: this water can contribute to more than half of the sea spray ice loads. It is the latter contribution that currently makes predictions of sea spray ice formation uncertain. 

The present project focuses on the microstructure of sea spray ice and crystal growth processes during sea spray ice accumulation. 3D X-ray tomographic imaging will provide important novel knowledge about the microstructure and properties of sea spray ice. This will enable us to improve models and predictions of its accumulation, e.g. through better knowledge of its liquid fraction. We will also obtain important information about ice-surface contacts for different materials, providing fundamental data and insight for the development of anti-icing materials and coatings. Improving our understanding of icing processes in the sea, the project will contribute to improved safety and risk evaluation in ice-covered waters.

The PhD candidate will work at NTNU Nanomechanical Lab, chaired by three full time professors and two adjunct professors from the industry. In 2019, there were 18 PhD students and 3 Postdoctoral Fellows working at the NTNU Nanomechanical Lab.

You will report to your supervising Professor(s).

Duties of the position
  • contribute to the sea spray ice growth mechanisms, ice adhesion tests and finite element modeling, x-ray imaging, and field work
  • publish in top-ranking journals and conferences
  • perform excellent and independent research on topic attached to the position
  • collaborate with the project team at both NTNU and Equinor
  • interact wit the research group where this position will be hosted and with international leading groups in the same field

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in material science, mechanics, physics, nanotechnology or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale . If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

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 .

  • good written and oral English language skills

Personal characteristics
  • motivated and ambitious with good workability
  • ability to work both individually and in a team environment and a high level of personal responsibility
  • eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences
  • excellent communication skills both written and oral

We offer
Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 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.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering  within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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 daily.

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 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. 

The application must include:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Research plan or project proposal
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Name and address of three referees

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 suitability.

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

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 Jianying He, telephone +47 93804711, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Elin Pedersen Nystuen, 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-186/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 25.09.20

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The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering .

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